A Brief History of High Heels

One shocking fact regarding the history of high heels is that a long time ago men did wear them so that eventually women followed this idea until today. Can you imagine men on high heels? It was men who first worn shoes. European aristocracy in the 1600s worn shoes as a form of status signal. The logic at that time was that people who did not have to work could be wearing such impractical type of footwear. This particular logic was the same as the one in China regarding the footbinding matter. So it is clear now that men were the first sex who popularized the use of shoes.

history of high heels_2

The very first time that women adopted the use of shoes was in 1630 so that this period is said to be the beginning of women high heels history as well. The main idea though at that time was shoes could enhance their masculinity to get the so called equality towards men. We all know that gender issue of man and woman are always interesting even until today. According to Elizabeth Semmelhack, a shoe museum curator, women of the 1630s cut their hair short, smoke cigars, incorporate epaulettes in their clothes, and also wear shoes in heels. Women wanted to be as masculine as men to be looked as equal to them.

In the history of high heels, the next thing that happened is that even lower class people were started to imitate the use of shoes in high heels. The lower class people worn shoes in heels back then as a form of fashion enhancement to look better in others. The elite class people then try to do a bit of alteration to their shoes to once again differentiate themselves from lower class people who have started to wear shoes like them. One thing was that the heels became higher to emphasize the higher social class of the elite. Another thing was that the heels were available in two types of fat and also skinny. The fat heels were for men while the skinny heels were for women.

history of high heels_1

It was a clear distinction that was created along the history of women high heels back then. The elite is actually the pioneer of high heels having the idea of differentiating themselves from lower class people back in the 1600s. It could also be said that aesthetical matter could signifies the different class level of the elite and the lower class people back then. Yet once imitated by the lower class people, the elite will always find new ways to get their differentiation even clearer.

Soon afterwards the use of high heels was stopped all of a sudden due the idea of better functioned footwear compared to aesthetic type of high heels. Men were the first to quit wearing heels since the association is closer to women. Upon certain enlightenment women were also quit wearing the heels soon afterwards. Fortunately back in the mid of 19th century of the history of high heels, many female models were photographed using high heels that brought back the use of heels.

Leave a Reply

*