High Heels For Men: Vive La Revolution!
Interesting Semi Relevant Historical Fact
Although Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were married in 1770 when Louis XVI was fifteen years old, the marriage was not consummated until 1773 when he was 18 years old, and due to "clumsiness and ignorance" it was another four years before the couple were able to successfully conceive, not due to any physiological trouble, but due to the fact that neither of them knew what they were doing. A visit from Marie Antoinette's brother in 1977 where he explained the ways of the birds and the bees to the unfortunate couple, resulted in their first child being born in 1978, and three more following thereafter.
Ever wondered how it came to be that women cornered high heels for themselves and left men out in a sea of flat shoes with only the occasional fancy riding boot to tide them over? Americans and British will be pleased to know that this is another thing that they can blame the French for, but they're also going to have to give them credit for the existence of the high heel at all.
High heels first came into existence around the year 1500 where they were invented for the rather practical cause of ensuring that rider's heels did not slip out of their stirrups when they were bounding along at a gallop. This very practical use
The style caught on amongst French male aristocracy, who would often ride, and quite liked the feeling of being elevated above their normal stature. Slowly but surely heels became higher and higher, and it is said that by the time the end of the sixteenth century rolled around, men's shoes quite often sported heel heights of between three and four inches.
These high heels were all the rage in the French court, and the height of one's heel soon came to be associated with one's status and power. The expression "well heeled" is said to have originated from this period in history. If France's monarchy had remained stable it is quite possible that today both men and women would wander the streets of the world's cities in fabulous high heeled creations.
Unfortunately for Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and a large portion of French Aristocracy, the French Revolution occurred in 1789, and put paid to the pretty ways of the French Court. It was not at all a good idea to be seen as being in any way aristocratic, and high heels quickly fell out of fashion. As charming as they were, they were not worth risking one's neck for.
Today most 'men's' high heels are to be found in riding boots, or the occasional cuban high heel, whilst 'women's' styles are much more plentiful and versatile running the gamut from stiletto, to wedge, to blade, and everything in between.
Of course, there is absolutely no law that states that men can't wear styles categorized in the women's category, and given the beauty and gorgeous design of many 'women's' high heeled shoes, why wouldn't they? Cowboy boots can only get a guy so far, and once he steps in off the range, why, there's no reason why he shouldn't step into some stilettos for the evening.