Did you know that high heels were originally invented for men? Kinda wish they’d kept them

A history lesson for you!

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Did you know that the pill was originally invented for men? Yeah, it was. But the test subjects didn’t like the side effects, so researchers decided to market it to women instead (with the same side effects). Did you know the same thing happened with heels though?

Well, pretty much.

Gather round children. Heels were invented for ancient Egyptian butchers, so they could keep their feet clean of any blood while slaughtering animals. In a video published by ATTN this week, they also link the high heel back to men, this time to the Persian army, who wore them as they rode into battle to keep themselves upright on their horses.

Elizabeth Semmelhack, the curator of the Bata Shoe Museum, echos this discovery, first tracing the high heel back to a 9th century ceramic bowl from Persia. Actors in Ancient Greek also wore a buskin, a platform heel designed to give them greater height over other actors.

Then in the 1500’s men began wearing heels to signify that they were a person of authority, class and wealth. In fact King Louis XIV (the one Leonardo DiCaprio plays in that film from the 90’s) even made a law that only nobility could wear heels and only specific members of his court could wear red ones.

In fact it was through emulating men that women even came to wear heels in the first place. “In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits,” says Semmelhack.

“They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel – it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.”

“Women were seen as emotional, sentimental and uneducatable. Female desirability begins to be constructed in terms of irrational fashion and the high heel – once separated from its original function of horseback riding – becomes a primary example of impractical dress.”

In the 20th Century though, men’s heels (aside from cuban, cowboy and Tom Cruise’s footwear) have largely fallen out of fashion. So we’re left with all the tendon pain, hammer toes, bunions and degenerative joint disease of the knees. Maybe the pendulum will swing around again. Who knows.