Wednesday, January 20, 2010
What's In a Shoe.....
Surely I can't be the only woman that has a hard time finding a nice pair of shoes that don't feel like something from a torture chamber?! There was a time when shoes were made with real support in the arch and had decent toe room, but that has all been sacrificed to the fashion Gods so now we have to walk around wincing as we mince our way down the street.
Who came up with high heels in the first place? That's an interesting question and here's a possible answer:
The origins of high heels are far from glamorous and rooted in male practicality. Oh yes, MEN wore the original heels. Who whoulda? The earliest known evidence of high heels comes from hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptian tombs. As far back as 4000 BC butchers are thought to have constructed shoes to keep their feet away from the day-to-day "carnage". EWWWW!!!!
In 1500’s, it was men, descendants of the European nobility, who began to wear heeled shoes in order to keep their feet in stirrups when riding. Although there are some references to heels in history prior to this, this is when it became populari for men of the courts and the term "well-heeled" came to suggest “being wealthy” or “able to afford costly shoes.” Then in the 1500's women began to wear a 24-inch heeled shoe named ‘chopines' which were all the rage in Venice, Italy.
Then there was a down swing in style as the new powers that be decided that it was out of place to wear anything higher than 2". Heels have gone up in height and down over the years, depicting style, empowerment to women, and so on.
Nowadays there is an anything goes attitude towards shoes that has left the real woman behind. The desire to look and feel sexy has pushed out feminine practicality to the point that you can't go to a shoe store and find anything comfortable anymore. You can order online, but really? How many women do you know that can just order a pair of shoes and have them fit the first time? My husband can testify to that, especially after following me around yesterday as I tried on shoe after shoe in an effort to find a comfortable and versatile shoe for dress up occasions. As his eyes started to glass over I realized it was a futile search for the time being. I did eventually leave him at his parents while I ran to a little shop that happened to have shoes that actually had an arch that matched my feet! Yay! It only took me 4 hours to find them.....