The history of elevator shoes

September 01, 2019

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Everything has a beginning and, in this post, we will tell you how did elevator shoes became a thing. Height increasing shoes were famous before and, nowadays, you can see more and more people sporting them. This is the history of elevator shoes.


- How were elevator shoes created?

The history of height increasing shoes is strongly connected to the history of high heels. Heels were created by men and for men. Although today it’s commonly accepted that women wear visible high heels and reproachable that men do the same thing, in ancient times it was not a big surprise to see men wearing shoes with a visible heel.



Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash


The first pair of shoes with heel were not worn by famous short men, but by ancient Persian warriors in the 10th century. The purpose of these shoes were not related to fashion but to functionality: shoes with heel allowed the Persian men to fit their feet in the stirrups when riding a horse. Actually, this was a very good reason for men to wear shoes with a visible heel for a long period of time. Cowboys also wore boots that had a thick heel in order to ride their horses better and faster. The extra hold that the thick heel gave them also made it possible for them to open fire while riding.

Women started using heels in the 16th century when Catherine de Medici wore them to look taller for her wedding. But, after her death, women lost interest in the trend. In the 18th century, King Louis XIV of France sported high heels and it became a sensation for men.

Louis’ main purpose to wear this type of footwear was to enhance his height since, as the king, he was supposed to be above anyone in his kingdom and his height (around 1.62 cm) was not going to stop him from doing so. He was not a short man in history since that was the average height of the French population at the time.



credits: Pinterest


King Louis XIV of France would usually wear shoes with heels that portrayed battle scenarios and other elaborate decorations. He then used the shoe heels to determine the social status of the people in his court. He used red heels as a sign of his power and position in the social hierarchy, and court members were identified by this specific detail as well.

The trend was adopted by women and the distinction between male and female footwear was made by the thickness of the heel: men had a thicker heel and women had a thinner one. With time, this trend was classified as only for women and men started to wear more functional apparel.

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But, just as women can wear heels to enhance their height and figure, men wanted to be able to boost their height comfortably, without sacrificing design nor quality. To fit in the social norms, the shoes for men didn’t have a visible heel. That’s how elevator shoes were, finally, created.