Heeled shoes are by no means feminine . Does it surprise you? Yet it should not, because in ancient times a parity between the two sexes was unthinkable and therefore a woman as tall as a man in ancient times was not acceptable.

No woman would use a heel , except for real needs – for example, not soiling a dress in the mud. In fact, heels are a masculine and practical invention , then dropped into abandonment until it was picked up by women and transformed into… pure style of elegance. Ultimately in fashion accessory. 

History of heeled shoes

The first heeled shoes appear in the war, around the 10th century . In fact, the European knights added to the soles of the shoes to be able to get on and off the horse better and to be able to dominate the enemy in battle , during a battle on the ground. The heel took root during the Middle Ages, even outside the war field, in the most modern cities and above all in the more affluent neighborhoods. Men always used them, while women were also allowed but only on special occasions. In any case, only richer people could have them made to measure.

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the heel became a status symbol and meant “importance, wealth, being untouchable”. Heeled shoes were worn by kings, princes, judges, as well as by their wives and especially in France it became a very important element of fashion . For many fashion historians, the heeled shoe as we know it today was born in this happy period of French luxury. But in order to never deny the eternal war of style between Italians and French, it is necessary to admit – according to other historians – that the women of the Medici knew heels much earlier!

As symbols of seduction and feminine charm , heels were re-evaluated in the 1930s , particularly when Ferragamo designed the famous “heeled slippers” for the American actress Judy Garland in 1938.

Materials and models of heeled shoes

The materials with which a heel shoe is made are represented by all those fabrics and by every type of woven fiber, wood, cardboard, recovered leather, plastic and rubber with an insulating function, and in recent times plastic materials (then coated with leather or skin). For the heels to be coated, materials such as polystyrene are also used, while in the case of heels to be painted, ABS is used.

If we look at the different models of heeled shoes on the market, these can be:

  • Kitten heels
  • Pump / decolte
  • Cut out
  • Wedges / wedge
  • Sling backs
  • Ankle boots
  • Stiletto
  • Mary Jane
  • Mules
  • T-strap
  • Chelsea stiletto
  • Ballroom
  • Understand

Heeled shoes, the most famous models

There are several popular models of heeled shoes. Some of these are still worn today and have become an icon of femininity. Here are some of the most iconic: 

  • The decollete, perhaps the most famous . They are the shoes that are completely “low-cut” in front, which wrap only the external part of the foot and end with a high heel and firm on the ground. The most famous of this type of heeled shoe are signed by well-known brands such as Louboutin and Jimmy Choo;
  • The sandals , that is the open shoes and stopped by elegant ankle laces, which are usually low but which can also have a high heel. Among the most famous we certainly have those of Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Birman;
  • There are boots with heels , both high, “Texan style” so to speak, and low, ankle boots ( Charlotte Olympia, Weitzman ), where the heel is high and thin or thick and massive;
  • Stiletto heels are extremely thin at the toe and it takes a lot of balance and a lot of grace to wear them. Most of the shoes with stiletto heels are decollete, but there can also be sandals and “extreme” ankle boots. All the great fashion footwear houses produce stiletto heels and they can be found in any brand. Perhaps the sexiest shoe model ever among those mentioned in this post;
  • The mules, which are slipper shoes with an elegant toe, open at the back, and with a heel. This however is usually low or medium. Famous are those of Roger Vivier, Birman, Olympia and obviously the inevitable Jimmy Choo;

Our post dedicated to the history of heels ends here. See you next time with the insights on fashion, by our portal!