WHERE DID HIGH HEELS COME FROM?

“Tick tock tick tock”, you can hear a woman approaching from metres away and you instantly know she is wearing high heels. Women and high heels have always been the most famous love story in the world of fashion and glamour. Although, it instantly makes you look taller and stand above others, it is the complete impracticality of it, which makes it so stylish; they give women foot and back aches, but the temptation is too high to resist, and we end up surrendering to it.

Other ladies shoes, like the flats and pumps, can never take the place of an overwhelming pair of high heels on the shoe rack. Women can spend hours trying to find a decent pair of heels for their desires, be it retail or online shopping, from apps like Tata App and many others. But, did you ever sit down to wonder over where did high heels originally come from? They obviously, weren’t nature’s miracle or a God’s gift, although most women would agree to it. They were obviously man-made, but who made them, a man or a woman?

Any guesses?

Well, as unbelievable as it may sound, high heels were first created for men. Too stunning to believe? Don’t worry we have all the proof to clear all your doubts and misconceptions. High heels were created by the Persians (Persia is the present-day Iran), for whom everything relied on horsemanship. Elizabeth Semmelback of the Bata Shoe Museum confirms that the Persians used high heeled shoes while on horseback to get a better bearing in the stirrups. They were also good for on foot travel or fighting as they gave a better grip on marshy as well as rocky terrains, just like, our modern day spiked or studded shoes; the heels, however, have taken a different path since then.

When diplomats from Persia travelled to Europe (somewhere in the 1600s), they took their trend with them. The aristocrats of Europe immediately loved the audacious, manly and lordly way of them. It gave the height of man a sudden boost making him look nobler.Earlier, it was only supposed to be worn by the high-born lords and ladies,but the fever of looking taller soon caught the common masses. Be it, men or women, everyone wanted to try out this new fashion trend. The aristocrats, in turn, started wearing even higher heels so as not to lose their status as a higher person.

For centuries this trend prevailed, patronized by various Kings, their queens, and nobles; for example, Louis XIV, Mary Tudor, Madame de Pompadour (Louis XV’s mistress) and so on. Among these, Louis XIV is still remembered for his famous “red soled” heels, which he wore because of his short height (5’4”). It was from here that high heels slowly found their way into ladies shoes trend. As centuries passed, men stopped wearing high heels for various reasons (including the French revolution where anything aristocratic was debarred) making it more popular among women.

So, whenever a man complains about women wearing high heels, you know what to tell him.

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