How High Heels Went From Menswear To Women’s Torture Device

1. The original high heels were men’s shoes – and they weren’t meant for walking.

Horseback riders wore spikey-heeled shoes so that they could stand in their stirrups and shoot bows more accurately. No one ever said, “Hey, let’s walk in these!” Because that would have been insane.

2. Eventually they were redesigned and adopted by wealthy aristocrats as a sign of privilege.

Basically, if you were so rich you never had to move your ass, you wore high heels to prove it.

3. Shit got so out of hand in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries that women wore these “chopines” to really drive the point home.

Sometimes they needed servants help them walk down the street, which really reinforced the whole “I’m filthy stinkin’ rich” thing. The long, voluminous dresses of the period neatly concealed how enormous these shoe stilts were.

4. When heels trickled down to the bourgeois, rich people made up new (aribitrary) signifiers of status.

For example, only members of King Louis XIV’s court were allowed to wear red ones. Heels that color, therefore, indictated power.

5. Sound familiar?

These Christian Louboutin’s go for $1,075… lol.

6. Masculine-inspired pieces become very “trendy” for ladies around the 16th century.

Yes, women started wearing heels to look more mannish. Let that sink in for a minute.

7. Over time, women’s heels grew more slender, while men’s heels got chunkier like these.

Because nothing says masculinity like a chunky heel.

8. By the 1800s, men had grown so sick of women biting their style that they quit the heel game.

Women followed suit shortly thereafter, and began wearing slippers and flats. Which means heel disappeared from fashion altogether.

9. And the whole world rejoiced.

So what brought the high heel back?

10. Porn.

Someone realized high heels do wonders for the butt and legs – and started drawing pinups wearing them. Men loved it, women caught on, and the rest is history.

11. Some biologists speculate that men like women in heels because they naturally arch a woman’s back and flare her buttocks.

Not unlike a baboon in heat.

12. Radical feminists claim that men encourage women to wear high heels because they make the wearer weak and unable to run away.

13. Today, many women say they wear heels to feel empowered.

You have to be freaking powerful to put your feet through daily torture and risk developing a range of foot deformities!

14. Whatever the reason, heels have taken over women’s footwear.

Boots have heels.

Frickin’ sneakers have heels.

17. And people continue to design heels that are even less practical than stilettos.

Like the heelless heel (a modern-day chopine and just as impractical).

Alexander McQueen’s armadillo heel. Which are hooves, essentially.

And the reverse heel(?!).

20. But despite all the pain they cause, women have really fallen in love with heels.

Fetishized them, really. You can watch a whole documentary about women’s obsession with heels/shoes, if you’re so inclined.

21. And yet, only the bravest of men dare to try ’em on.

Femininity FTW.


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