Our early ancestors didnt concern themselves with stilettos or the spring collection of Manolos. In all likelihood, they went barefoot. Fashion cheap Slingbacks Shoes in the form of sandals emerged around 9,000 years ago as a means of protecting bare feet from the elements (specifically, frostbite) (3). The Greeks viewed shoes as an indulgencea means of increasing status, though it was a Greek, Aeschylus, who created the first high heel, calledkorthonos for theatrical purposes. His intent was to add majesty to the heroes of his plays so that they would stand out from the lesser players and be more easily recognized (4). Greek women adopted the trend, taking the wedge heel to new heights that the late Alexander McQueen would have likely applauded, although being unshod was the norm in Grecian culture. The adoption of shoes, and the heel, for Greeks appears to coincide with Roman influence, and ultimately Roman conquest. Roman fashion was viewed as a sign of power and status, and shoes represented a state of civilization. In Europe, it was common for women to use a patten to help keep their skirts and soft slipper shoes clean as the streets werent paved. Pattens were slightly elevated platforms that were worn over the slipper-type shoes that were common at the time. Heels served a functional purpose. However this begins to shift during the High Renaissance, when the Venetian courtesans began to wear chopines: extremely high platform shoes. Chopines could add 30(!) inches to a womans height, and were quickly adopted by the wealthy as a means of showing statusthe higher ones chopines, the higher ones place in society. Fashions cheap Boots Sandals They were so difficult to walk in that women often needed a female servant to help keep them upright, and were ultimately banned for pregnant women as a number of women in Venice suffered miscarriages after falling (5). Chopines remained in vogue, however, because they proved effective at keeping clothes (and feet) clear of the muck that covered the streets. The widespread popularity of the heel is credited to Catherine de Medici who wore heels to make her look taller. When she wore them to her wedding to Henry II of France, they became a status symbol for the wealthy. Commoners were banned from wearing themthough its doubtful that they would have been able to afford them anyway. Later, the French heelpredecessor to the narrow, tall heel of todaywould be made popular by Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV. These shoes initially required women to use walking sticks to keep their balance until the height of the heel was reduced. In the US, the French heel was popularized in the late 19th-century by a brothel, Madam Kathys, where the proprietor noted that business boomed after she employed a French woman who wore high-heels. So she ordered shoes for all of her girlsit seemed the the leggy look and mobile torso derived from wearing high heels was of considerable interest to patrons, Fashions Bow Satin d’Orsay who then ordered these French heeled shoes for their wives (6). Heel height would fall and rise again through the subsequent decades leading ultimately to the various options available today, As we turn our attention to the next section, it should not escape the Readers notice that heels have been linked to professional women as well as the aristocracy. Hold onto this thought, Readers, as we will come back to it.