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February 01, 2013

High heeled

High heeled shoes began as a riding aid to the mounted archers of Persia, allowing them to stand up in their stirrups.

At the end of the 16th Century, Persia's Shah Abbas I had the largest cavalry in the world. He was keen to forge links with rulers in Western Europe to help him defeat his great enemy, the Ottoman Empire. So in 1599, Abbas sent the first Persian diplomatic mission to Europe - it called on the courts of Russia, Germany and Spain.

A wave of interest in all things Persian passed through Western Europe. Persian style shoes were enthusiastically adopted by aristocrats, who sought to give their appearance a virile, masculine edge that, it suddenly seemed, only heeled shoes could supply.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 1, 2013 10:07 AM