The Surprising History Of High Heels

Published March 28, 2016

High heels are more than just shoes: they’ve long been symbols of power, for women and men.

High Heels History

Image Source: Lifetime

About 72 percent of women will wear high heels at some point in their lives. While these shoes have become something of a metonym for femininity itself, you might be surprised to learn that the heel didn’t begin as a trend for women at all.

In fact, men wore the shoes first, and for hundreds of years the only women who ever wore elevated heels were courtesans. So how did the shoes eventually end up in practically every woman’s closet?

author
Abby Norman
author
Abby Norman is a writer based in New England . Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Independent, Bustle, Mental Floss, Atlas Obscura, and Quartz.
editor
John Kuroski
editor
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Cite This Article
Norman, Abby. "The Surprising History Of High Heels." AllThatsInteresting.com, March 28, 2016, https://allthatsinteresting.com/high-heels-history. Accessed April 24, 2024.