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High-Heeled Shoes

High-Heeled Shoes

Height was a central feature of seventeenth-century fashion. People accentuated their height with tall hairstyles, long flowing gowns, long straight jackets, and high-heeled shoes. Introduced in the late sixteenth century as a wedged cork heel and adopted from the very high chopine, high-heeled shoes became the dominant style of footwear for both men and women during the seventeenth century.

The heel of seventeenth-century shoes developed into an arched sole with a large square-based heel. At the beginning of the century, heels were quite low, but soon grew to two or three inches in height. By the eighteenth century, some men wore shoes with six-inch heels, which probably made walking without a cane impossible. Heels were made of stacked pieces of leather or blocks of wood. The fanciest shoes covered the heels with the same fabric as the rest of the shoe, but brown leather coverings were most common. The French court of Louis XIV (reigned 16431715) popularized red leather heels in the 1650s.

In addition to adding height, high-heeled shoes altered the posture and walk of the wearer. No longer could people stride casually without thought of their feet. Moving gracefully in high-heeled shoes took concentration and practice. High-heeled shoes forced people to thrust their upper bodies forward and take smaller steps. The stiffened posture and delicate movements required by such shoes fit right into the fashion of the times, which valued exaggerated manners. By the next century, children started to learn to walk in high-heeled shoes at an early age.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Batterberry, Michael, and Ariane Batterberry. Fashion: The Mirror of History. New York: Greenwich House, 1977.

Lawlor, Laurie. Where Will This Shoe Take You? A Walk Through the History of Footwear. New York: Walker and Company, 1996.

[See also Volume 3, Sixteenth Century: Chopines ]

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"High-Heeled Shoes." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"High-Heeled Shoes." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/high-heeled-shoes

"High-Heeled Shoes." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/high-heeled-shoes

High-Heeled Shoes

High-Heeled Shoes

As hemlines began to rise by the mid-1920s, the adornment of women's feet became an essential part of a fashionable outfit. High-heeled shoes with low-cut uppers emphasized women's dainty ankles. For the most part high-heeled shoes had one-or two-inch chunky heels. At the beginning of the decade the uppers fastened to the foot with laces or straps with buttons on one side. As the decade continued, the ornamentation on these shoes became fancier and many shoes were designed to match whole outfits.

By mid-decade the T-strap sandal showed off even more of a woman's foot. Like other shoe styles, the T-strap sandal had high heels, but the upper portion of the shoe was cut away into a T-shape to expose the top of the foot. Considered fashionable, if a bit racy, in the 1920s the T-strap sandal became especially popular into the following decade.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Lawlor, Laurie. Where Will This Shoe Take You?: A Walk Through the History of Footwear. New York: Walker and Co., 1996.

Pratt, Lucy, and Linda Woolley. Shoes. London, England: V&A Publications, 1999.

[See also Volume 4, 191929: T-Strap Sandal ]

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"High-Heeled Shoes." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"High-Heeled Shoes." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/high-heeled-shoes-0

"High-Heeled Shoes." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/high-heeled-shoes-0