High heels are creating an illusion of longer legs and the overal figure. They change the posture of the wearer and the person wearing heels might gain a bigger erotic potential, but wearing heels may also negatively influence one´s health. But where did they come from?
It all probably started in old Egypt, where heels were worn by men and women for ceremonial purposes and by butchers in order to keep their feet clean. In old Greece and Rome actors wore shoes with wooden platform. The platform indicated the importance of a character in a play or its social status. Also prostitutes in old Rome were recognised by their high heels.
Venice was known for their curious (and for me also fascinating) type of shoes called chopines, these were on a very high platform. They probably evolved from shoes that were worn in Turkish spas to protect feet from the dirt. These very high Venezian shoes indicated a person´s status. Chopines were later banned in Venice because they were a cause of injuries and miscarriages because women sometimes fell down.
Heels were also very practical for horse riders because they kept the rider from slipping from the stirrups. The fashion of wearing the high heels was introduced by Catherine de Medici in France during the 16th c. and the heels were soon associated with elite and priviledge. Louis XIV invented the Louis heel and he decreed only nobility could wear red heels. During the French Revolution heels were lowered a lot. In the second half of the 19th c. heels came in fashion again, it was a Victorian age.
During the 20th c. more types of heels were invented and heels underwent multiple make-overs and many came in and out of fashion and in these days designers are experimenting with their shape and height, so you can find various and sometimes odd shoes with heels and platforms. One have to think about their comfortability and wearability.
|(Louis heels, source)|
|(Alexander McQueen shoes, source)|
If interested in some more pictures of historical footwear click here.