History of High Heels - From Prostitutes to Royals

“I don’t know who invented the high heel, but all women owe him a lot.” -Marilyn Monroe

Platform heels began to emerge during the Renaissance in Italy known as Chopines, first worn by prostitutes in Venice and then later adopted by fashionable Venetian aristocrats.

Noblewoman Catherine de Medici was a short woman born in Florence, Italy in 1519. She wore high heels to appear taller and brought the fashion into French court when she married the King of France. From then on, high heeled shoes became popular in France. Men of high class loved to use high heeled shoes during horseback riding, because of their ability to be secured in the stirrup.


Louis XIV demanded that no one may enter his court without wearing red colored high heels. Later he issued an order in 1673 declaring that only nobility could wear red colored heels, and that no one could have heels higher than his highest pair of heels, which was five inches tall. 


High heels became associated with the rich and wealthy, and with The French Revolution came a fashion ban on high heeled shoes. Heels then disappeared almost completely in the 18th century.

19th century

Heeled shoes made a comeback with Englands "Court Shoe”, which Americans would refer as "Pumps".


Stiletto heels were invented in Italy and became extremely popular in America. They became pointier in the 1960's and started to be viewed an erotic fetish item. Stilettos phased out for awhile and reemerged again in the 2000's as young women started wearing stilettos for office and casual wear.

High heels have taken on various styles such as wedges, platforms, clogs, boots, and many more. Today they are typically regarded as a feminine accessory. Here at Bouti we are focusing on supplying comfortable high heels as high heels will continue to evolve.


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