Who do you think first wore high heel shoes? If you think it's a woman, you are wrong, dead wrong! According to the history books, men wore high heel shoes long before women. It was written and noted that the first high heel wearers are Persian horseback warriors.
The extended heels of the shoe are mainly created for horse riding purposes. They develop it to keep the horse rider's foot from slipping up in the stirrups which is really helpful when shooting arrows.
History books says that the craze for high heeled shoes, for men, all started when a group of Persian diplomats visited Europe in the 15th century. Western European Aristocrats enthusiastically embraced and adopeted the Persian-style high heeled shoes.
Since then, the shoes became a status symbol. Rich men from 15th century wears high heel shoes to make themeselves look taller than their peers.
When the 1600s came, the perception about high heel shoes changed. From being a shoe used for horse riding, it became a shoe that defines the wearers' status in society. Powerful leader in Louis XIV of France used the shoe not just to make himself look taller, but also to define his power. He wears red heels on all his shoes and ordered that only the upper echelons of society could have matching red heels.
The women of 1600s didn't want to get left behind in terms of role in the society. Elizabeth Semmelhack, curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto and author of Heights of Fashion, a History of the Elevated Shoe, says the rage of that period in parts of Europe was for women to dress and act like a man. (It should be noted, though, that at the time men’s outfits by today’s standards were extremely effeminate, a-la King Louis XIV)
You had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits. They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel — it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.As time passed by, the fashion and craze in high heels has reached the lower classes of the society. They started to wear high heel shoes as well but the elite has done something to make a statement about their level. The upper class make their heels more tallker than the lower class. So technically back then, the higher the heel, the higher his stand in the society. They also started to differentiate the heels into two kinds - flat heels for men and skinny heels for women.
Eventually, men drifted away from wearing high heel shoes completely. Since the women are already wearing it, men decided not to use such shoe anymore to show their distinction and upper hand in the society.
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