What if we told you that the only people to create high heels in the beginning were men? In a time when stilettos and platforms are usually associated with female fashion and feminine sensuality, this truth might surprise some people, but it shouldn’t. In fact, male warriors, aristocrats, and even royalty have used high heels for decades for very particular reasons in various parts of the world. The fascinating history of heels in footwear doesn’t end there. In order to keep their feet in stirrups, soldiers in 15th-century Persia worn high heels. The shoes that Persian immigrants brought to Europe were worn by male lords who wished to seem taller and more powerful. The pedestal-like chopine of the late 15th to the early 17th century elevated the upper-class European woman to a towering figure. In Venice, where slaves were frequently used as crutches, the shoes were particularly well-liked and occasionally reached a height of 54 cm. Chopines were completely buried behind skirts. The amount of fabric required for the garment, which rose with the height of the footwear, was another indication of prestige. Chinese foot-binding, which was still frequently practiced in the early 20th century, resulted in a mincing stride similar to what is now brought on by high heels. Despite the excruciating deformities, the body soon acclimated to the limits of the tiny, bound feet, which were around four inches in length.
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