"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Men and High Heels

Photo of a men's heel from the Bata Shoe Museum

I'm not quite sure when I realized that men wore dresses long before women did. I know it came up when I studied Spanish and realized that a dress (un vestido) is a masculine noun. I guess long before studying Spanish, while I studying the Romans in high school, I remember that the men wore a sort of tunic or dress. But today, I read an article that totally floored me. Did you know that men wore high heels before women did? In this fascinating article, Why did men stop wearing high heels? it is revealed that high heels were originally designed so that men could shoot better while balanced on foot from the saddle. I have to believe that this information is a little known fact.

Men's 17th century Persian shoe from the Bata Shoe Museum

The article goes on to explain that women adopted men's shoes, heels, in about 1630, when they also cut their hair and began to smoke pipes. Who knew all this? If I only realized back then that I could have learned all this fascinating stuff, I would have paid way more attention in history class.

You've got to read this article, and now I want to go visit the Bata Shoe Musuem. It is in Toronto. More info on the Bata Shoe Museum can be found here.

Mongolian boot from the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto

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