Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shoe History: The Birth and History of the Stiletto

Stilettos with the amazing tall and thin heel are synonymous with sexiness and femininity, but when was this famous shoe invented?

Ancient Greeks may have worn sandals according to History of Sandals and in the 16th and 17th centuries chopine, very high and difficult to walk in platforms, were fashionable, according to All About Shoes.

It wasn't until after World War II that the stiletto became all the rage. After the war, women left their jobs and returned to domestic life. As this shift occurred, heels became higher, according to Hilary Greenbaum and Dana Rubinstein of the New York Times.

The exact inventor of the stiletto is unknown. While Ferragamo, Roger Vivier and Perugia have all been credited with invention, the shoe was most likely designed by a mix of Italian shoemakers, potentially with French designers involved.

Although the exact inventor is unknown, the process for creating that signature heel is precise. Metal spigots are encased in plastic. Then, a heel tip is placed on the bottom. This process makes the thin heels able to withstand a person's weight.

The name for the shoes comes from an Italian knife from the 1700s.

Since the 1950s, stilettos may not have always been the most popular shoe, but they persisted. For example, while the counter culture of the 1960s rejected high-heels, they were still popular in pornography from the time, according to Hilary Greenbaum and Dana Rubinstein. In the 1980s the stiletto became more respectable as working woman thought they were a great accessory with their power suits., according to BlogHer.  "Sex and the City" helped to continue the popularity of the shoe in the 2000s.

While stilettos may not be the most comfortable shoes to walk in, woman still wear them today to look taller, thinner, and yet, curvier, according to Hilary Greenbaum and Dana Rubinstein.

Do you enjoy wearing stilettos? What do you think of their history?

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Related Posts:
Does History Explain Why Humans Love Shoes?
The Sky-high Heels of Victoria Beckham
18th Century Shoemaking at Colonial Williamsburg
5,500 year old shoe found in Armenia
Pretty toes and feet: A history of pedicures

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
Kate Middleton Judges a Shoe Design Contest

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