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36 Bewildering High Heels Facts For Fashionistas

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Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo: there isn't a single woman who hasn't heard of these famous high-fashion shoe labels.

High heel shoes seem to go with any occasion, whether it's a formal event, a cocktail party, or a business meeting, which is why they're a fundamental piece of footwear in every woman's collection. Even though most women find it difficult to wear heels for lengthy periods, their love for high heels is unrivaled since they make them appear taller and more confident in themselves.

Mostly regarded as women's footwear, high heel shoes were originally adorned by men. Hard to believe, right?! Read on to learn more amusing facts about high heels and why people love them!

The Invention Of High Heels

High heels have a surprisingly long history dating back to the 10th century. 

Evidence of people wearing high heels has been found in ancient Egyptian murals dating back to 3500 BC. In these murals, noblewomen and men wore high heels to distinguish themselves from the lower classes.

Egyptian butchers wore high heel shoes to safely walk over the debris and blood on the floor.

Ancient Greek and Roman actors wore heeled shoes made of wooden cork called 'kathorni' or 'buskins.'

Around the 16th century, Venetian women wore platform heels known as 'chopine' that were as high as 20-24 in (50.8-61 cm).

In the 1600s, the height of the heels started getting regulated. For instance, the heels worn by commoners could only be 0.5 in (1.2 cm), and those worn by the nobles and royals could be 2.5 in (6.3 cm).

The French queen, Catherine de Medici, popularized high heels among women in the 16th century. She wore high heel shoes to symbolize her power and authority in the French court.

Men wore high heel shoes for hundreds of years in Persia before the trend reached Europe in the 17th century. They frequently wore high-heeled shoes while horseback riding to keep their feet from slipping out of the stirrups.

Modern high heels were brought to Europe in the early 17th century by the emissaries of the Persian king Abbas the Great.

The trend of wearing high heels was further popularized by the French royalty in the 17th century. The French king Louis XIV wore high-heeled shoes in style.

By the 18th century, men and women started wearing different heels. While men wore thick-heeled shoes, women donned thin heels.

After the French Revolution (1789-1799), high heel shoes went out of style.

In 1860, high heels became popular again with the introduction of Pinet and Cromwell heels.

During the two World Wars in the 20th century, heels began to be replaced with wooden-soled shoes due to a shortage of materials.

In the post-war period, high heels became fashionable again due to the development of the film industry and photography.

The stiletto heel was invented in 1950.

Until the '50s, most heels were constructed of wood. They are now manufactured from different materials such as plastic, leather, and suede.

Types Of High Heels

Today, high heels come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. The most popular types of high heels are stilettos, pumps, and wedges.

Block heels, also known as stacked heels, are solid heels that distribute body weight in a way that they are more comfortable to stand in than thinner heels.

Continental heels are slender shoes having a slightly curved backline with the upper part of the chest of the heel spreading towards the center of the shoe.

Cuban heels are similar to continental heels. The only distinction is that they are not curved and can be either short or medium in height.

The cone heel is similar to the shape of a cone. It has a thick and sturdy base with a narrow tip. 

The Cromwell heel is named after Oliver Cromwell, an English general, and has a height of up to 6.5 in (16.5 cm).

The stiletto is a tall and skinny heel. In Italian, the term 'stiletto' means 'a dagger or knife'.

Wedges were popularized by Salvatore Ferragamo.

High heels give the impression that the wearer is taller than they actually are.

The Importance Of High Heels

Since time immemorial, men and women have worn high heels for different purposes. While high heels were once worn for functional and cultural reasons, they are now largely worn as a fashion statement by women.

The most obvious benefit of wearing high heels is that it makes people look taller.

Many women have expressed that wearing heels make them feel more confident and empowered.

Wearing heels has an impact on body posture. The back is arched, and the chest is pushed out. Overall, it creates an illusion of a slimmer physique.

In the 17th century, high heels symbolized masculinity, wealth, and high social status.

High heels were used for their utility in horseback riding. Even today, cowboy boots have a heel.

Unique Features About High Heels

Whether you consider high heels as an essential accessory or a pain in the feet, you cannot deny that high heels are among the world's most popular and oldest fashion trends.

Some ladies are so obsessed with wearing high heels that they undergo surgery to shorten their toes and deaden the nerves so they can wear them without pain.

Christelle Doyhambehere ran the Paris marathon in six hours, four minutes, and seven seconds while wearing 3 in (7.6 cm) heels.

Dido Fashion Club designed the world's largest high-heeled shoe in 2019. It is 12 ft 11 in (3.9 m) long and 9 ft 3 in (7.6 cm) tall.

According to famous high heel fashion designers Gucci and Jimmy Choo, a low heel is one that is less than 2.5 in (6.4 cm) while a mid-heel is one that is between 2.5 -3.5 in (6.4-8.9 cm). A high heel shoe exceeds the mid-heel range.

Stuart Weitzman designed one of the most expensive heels in the world that are now owned by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.

The most popular high heel fashion label is Christian Louboutin, followed by Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo.

In the 17th century, the puritans in the United States associated high-heeled shoes with witchcraft and banned them.

Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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