January 30, 2013

WHY MEN STOPPED WEARING HIGH HEELS:

A recent episode of the BBC’s “The Why Factor” explored the history of high heels. Of interest is the background of men wearing high heels, which they originally wore as a form of riding footwear.

“Good horsemanship was essential to the fighting styles of Persia – the historical name for modern-day Iran …When the soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him to secure his stance so that he could shoot his bow and arrow more effectively,” said Elizabeth Semmelhack of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.

I’m so enjoying the visual of a man on horse in stilettos. From there, interest in Persian fashion spread to Western Europe where the high heel became a way for men to flaunt their status. The more impractical the footwear, the more privilege it displayed. The higher a man’s heel, the less distance he had to walk. . . . By 1740, high heels were seen as too foolish and effeminate for men to wear.

Except for a brief return during the Disco era.