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The History of Heels

Posted on January 11 2021

The History of Heels


Did you know that high heels were originally created for men? Yep, for decades high heels found their place on the feet of male soldiers, aristocrats and even royals in different places of the globe. Just walk into any history museum and you'll be sure to see at least one image of a man in heels. 



Heels are traced back to the 15th century Persia when soldiers wore them to help secure their feet in stirrups. Persian migrants introduced the heels to male aristocrats who wore them to appear taller in Europe. The trend started to catch on to upper- class European women. The higher the heel the more cloth was required for the dress and this was an indication of wealth.


In 1673, King Louis XIV from France, introduced shoes with red heels and red soles. The red color was said to be chosen because it was making the statement that the “nobles did not dirty their shoes.” This idea of red heels soon caught on to other royalty across Europe and it identified as a sign of superiority and privilege. Eventually the red sole heels and heels started to make a decline during the French Revolution. 

There was a time in history when heels were not having a moment and flats were all the talk. But then slowly, as the 19th century continued, heels came back into fashion. By the 1940's and '50s new technology was made to make heels and the use of steel and metal in the heel came into play. But the new technology didn't mean that they were easy to walk in. In 1955, the "stiletto” heel was invented in Italy by the French fashion designer Roger Vivier. Once introduced the stiletto became extremely popular across the female population of the world. Since the '40's and '50's the height of heels has changed the shape of heels has changed and the materials used have changed. The stiletto definitely had a moment in fashion but since then the small kitten heel has had a moment in fashion. Over time the evolution of heels has shown the trends, the trends have faded and then re-emerged again. 

The most important constant is that w
omen continue to be attracted to heels given the power they feel when they put on a pair - they feel more confident. The way a heel makes a woman feel just doesn't change over time. No matter the height of the heel, there is still that Cinderella moment when you put it on, 


At ALLY, our goal is to continue giving women the option to feel powerful and beautiful in heels, minus the pain. As a fashion item that's been around for centuries, heels should be both comfortable and stylish at the same time. Learn about our brand story and innovation from this blog here.


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