The History of Shoes With Heels

“I do not know who invented high heels, but surely we women owe him a lot.” These the words of Marilyn Monroe dedicated to one of those irresistible passions involving more or less all womankind: the shoes with heels.

But who really invented the shoes with heels?

I tell you right away that this argument seems to be a matter of discussion for some time immemorial.
We do definitely hard to believe given that the shoes were usually real markers of gender, class, race and ethnicity, and is the foot that the shoe were considered influential and powerful phallic symbols and fertility (not for nothing yet it binds today a pair of shoes on the car of the newlyweds).

With shoes so it opens before us an immense and fascinating world and also full of contradictions: all love the heel 13, but we know that is not friend of our posture and our backs, as also confirmed by doctors and scholars foot, yet we are all attracted and somehow arranged to make us “a little ‘hurt’ while wearing the umpteenth least shoe heel 12 that stole our hearts.

Starting from ancient Greece to Rome

Our beloved shoe in this period had characteristics quite different from the current ones: the protagonists were the sandals with platform, called HarvardShoes, later known as buskins, and were shoes with wooden soles or cork-based high, very popular especially among actors who wore them to emphasize the social status or even the different importance of the characters represented.

But at the time, from a purely female point of view, there was talk of heels only in relation to prostitutes, the only ancient Rome to wear high-heeled shoes.

In the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, things change dramatically, and both men and women usually wore clogs or wooden soles undoubtedly precursors of high heels.

Certainly, however, they did not wear this kind of shoes for beauty, indeed, exclusively for dates convenience extremely poor conditions of the roads where the common shoes in linen, silk or even rubber can not survive two days.

From 1400 to the end of 1600 a party from Turkey trip with destination the whole of Europe

The famous chopines or wedges were created in Turkey in 1400 and until the middle of 1660 we could see across Europe. These shoes were very special because they could be of cork or increasing of 8-10 cm wood, but sometimes of 18-20 cm, measure requiring women to use sticks or even servants to help them keep their balance. They were usually worn by women or eunuchs.

The Venetians made their tiles a real status symbol, revealing with them the wealth and social position of women, and from this period onwards seems to be already can speak of certain issues concerning  domination and submission attached to the shoes especially considering the tiles China lotus.

In fact, both the Chinese concubines that the Turkish odalisques wore high shoes, forcing scholars to hypothesize that the heels were used not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to prevent women from escaping the harem.

The 1500 was definitely the actual growth and development period of the shoe with heels: in1550 finally the shoe was constructed in two pieces, the base and heel, and to avoid the riders, both male and female, slipping from the heels brackets their boots were made more stylized and thin by the Caterina de ‘Medici, who made a real fashionable to use even outside the purely equestrian.

In fact, the ‘formal invention of high heels is usually tied to Catherine de’ Medici who at age 14 was already engaged to the powerful Duke of Orleans, later King of France.

Young and petite in front of the regal height of the Duke, he felt insecure thinking about that arranged marriage and knowing that she would be the queen of the Court of France, but above all feared competition with the lover of her future husband, certainly taller than her, Diane de Poitiers.

To dazzle the French nation and even her husband, here Catherine during a reception party wore shoes with high heels 7 cm that had given her a more imposing physique and a seductive sway when she walked: the success was huge and since then heels higher were associated with privilege to womenswear.

The France of Louis XIV, the French Revolution and the revolt against high heels

At the beginning of 1700, in France, King Louis XIV (the Sun King) often wore heels with personal decorations depicting battle scenes in miniature: these increases were called “Louis heels” and their height usually touched the 9 cm.

The king decreed that only the nobility could wear colorful increases red ( les talons rogue ), and that no one could take them the same as yours.

Over the century, a sort of cultural fetishism of the foot was manifesting itself in various ways: many women began to cover your feet with silk ribbons apparently diminished. As the corset, high heels carved their body to make it look more aristocratic, refined and desirable.

In 1791, “Louis heels” disappeared with the revolution and Napoleon banished the increases in an attempt to show the equality of citizens: the heel was thus lowered considerably turning into a very small, minute wedge or replaced by low spring increases.

To the present day

From this period to 1930 it was created four main types of high heels shoes, used by Western women: the knock-on ( or chain heel ), stacked,  spring and neo “Louis heels”.

When your shoes with high heels made their return some of their mannequins also felt comforted with rises by ten thirteen centimeters.

In fact, in the mid nineteenth century the fashion of shoes with heels slowly back in vogue thanks to the introduction of the sewing machine so that in 1888 opens in the United States the first shoe factory

destined to its relentless rise, thanks to the glamor of American cinema and in this period feel in fashion names such as  Salvatore Ferragamo, shoemaker of Hollywood divas who in 1938 he invented the first patent in the history of fashion for the cork wedge.

Others followed hundreds, including the heel cage and over 20,000 models of shoes.

For stiletto instead must thank coupled explosive Christian Dior and Roger Vivier, mentioned for the first time on the Daily Telegraph of 10 September 1953. A revolutionary model with tapered tip and thin heel to toe just like a knife.

The rest? Well … the rest is history.