History of Heels: The Popular Women’s Shoes Originally Designed for Men

Have you ever wondered where the first pair of womens heels originated? Or who were the first people to wear a pair of pump heel? If you are nodding yes, then you have come to the right place. The team at Wildfire have done some research, so we can give you a quick history lesson on the style of shoes that are now ever so popular.


That is right, and we are here to chat about the history of womens heels. Woohoo! These shoes are a major trend in the fashion world for women, and we are in love with every inch of it. A pair of womens heels allow women to express themselves in the most feminine and stylish way possible.


They give every female the chance to let out their feminine side, so why not learn a bit about the womens heels as well. There are a range of styles with a whole heap of history to uncover, so keep on reading if you want to know more, sis!


Style 1 – Block Heels


Block heels - ahh, the joy of wearing comfortable shoes, right?! These pump heels date back to the 17th century, where one-inch heeled shoes were the go-to style of footwear to wear. These were common amongst Persian horse riders who needed footwear for their horse-riding expeditions.


Back in those days, having a horse was considered a symbol of wealth, which meant these wide fit block heels were also the statement heels that could signify money and power. How cool is that?! Nowadays, a pair of wide fit block heels get freely worn by anyone who wants to flaunt their super cute pair of pump heel.


There is a whole range of styles and colours that you can wear, and these pump heels go well with just about any outfit. These pump heels are perfect for your everyday wear because of how comfortable they are. So, if it is a day in the office or a night out for cocktails with the girls, you are sure to be feeling your very best in these bad boys.


Style 2 – Platform Heels


Towards the end of the 17th century, Persian soldiers were sent to Russia, Germany, and Spain to forge relations with foreign leaders. This process included a wide range of soldiers which therefore ended up being named “Persiamania”.


This look was fashionable amongst European aristocrats and made wearing or owning a pair of heeled shoes a symbol of virility and military prowess. Some men who believed that they matched this category walked around in heeled shoes all day and night. They thought that this added layer of power meant that they could highlight their legs.


This process occurred when men would pose in a stance that proudly showed off their legs and heeled sandals. Fast-forward to the 21st century, where heeled shoes are still a symbol of power and attraction, but for much better reasons.


A pair of platform heels can help achieve this exact look and vibe, so you know that you will look flawless every time you wear these pump heels. Platform heels are the ultimate go-to shoe if you are looking to make a statement with your outfit. Slay all day, girl!


Style 3 – Stilettos


Travelling back to the 1600s will show you the very first pair of red bottom heeled sandals. Louis XIV was one of the most famous wearers of pump heel in history. Why, may you ask? Louis was the first to bring in a set of rules for other men wearing a pair of pump heels.


He made the rule that the higher and redder the womens heels were, the more powerful the wearer would be. It was a serious ordeal and resulted in a rule that only nobility could wear a pair of heeled sandals. Louis made the red heeled sandals a symbolic feature of everyday fashion.


If you were seen in red-bottom womens heels, you were known to be rich enough within society. This look meant that you would not dirty your shoes and that the wearer was powerful to crush enemies under their feet.


We could not imagine doing this in the 21st century, but it is cool to reflect on history. If you are familiar with the Louis Vuitton red bottom heeled shoes, then you will know about the backstory of making these pump heels.


You can now find every girl wearing a pair of red-bottom stilettos and whether they are real or not. These stilettos are a classy and sophisticated style of shoe that can be hard to pull off with your outfit. These pump heels are the main feature, so flaunt what you have got, babe!


Style 4 – Kitten Heels


By the 18th century, men’s heeled sandals were slowly becoming a trend of the past. This issue was because women of the world were now wearing a pair of pump heels in their daily lives. This shoe became highly gendered throughout this era and resulted in men not wearing womens heels anymore as a reaction against their perceived level of feminisation.However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. 


Finally, women were able to show off their feminine sides and flaunt their latest pair of heeled sandals. This look was a piece of history in the making. Fast-forward to today, and you can see women nearly everywhere you go rocking a pair of heeled shoes. In particular, a set of kitten heels.


This shoe style is simple, classy, and comfortable so, you can wear them straight from the office to after-work dinner with ease. The kitten-heeled sandals design took inspiration from the men who enjoyed wearing heeled sandals even when other men did not.


The sole was much smaller than a woman’s shoe, but it did not stop them from wearing these pump heel. So now you will remember this piece of history when you throw on your next pair of kitten pump heels.


Style 5 – Boots


Have you ever heard of cowboy boots? Well, guess what! They were a super trendy footwear style for men back in the day and can date back to the 10th century. Persian soldiers were the first group of men to wear a pair of these knee high boots.


This was because the heeled shoes helped keep their feet in place when they needed to shoot their bow and arrows. These cowboy boots are also known as heeled boots for men. These kicks have since evolved and transformed into the funkiest and exciting pairs of heeled sandals.


Nowadays, a set of cowboy boots can get worn by both males and females. However, the women’s cowboy boots like knee-high boots and ankle boots are much more stylish and come in a range of colour pop. In addition, you get the freedom of choosing your new go-to pair of cowboy boots from a wide selection of designs and colour pop, so select wisely!   


Are You Feeling Inspired?


Our history lesson on how womens heels were originally for men may have inspired you and your girl. We are surprised. It is super fascinating to know how the style of womens heels have grown and evolved over the years. 


We are truly grateful for these pump heels to come into fashion and cannot wait to see you style them with your next look. If you are looking for low heels, mid heeled and high heels, get yourself a pair that fits your shoe size with the help of our size guide. 


So head to the heels online store, Wildfire website today to discover your next pair!