It’s not a huge deal these days, but back in the day-and I mean waaaaaaay back in the day-high heels were really only worn by men!
As early as the 10th century, many horseback-riding cultures wore heels on their boots and on their shoes, because heels help you stay in the stirrups (which is why cowboy boots have heels).
The Persian cavalry wore inch-high heels, and the trend spread to Europe. Since they showed that the wearer owned and maintained horses, high heels became associated with the upper class.
Eventually, upper-class women began wearing heels, and then heels become a form of upper- and middle-class dress throughout the 17th century.
At the time, high-heeled shoes were not a signifier of gender. When Louis XIV wore heels, he was dressing like the pillar of normative aristocratic masculinity that he was.
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