See The Surprising History of High Heels

Before you stock up on our favorite fall heel picks, make sure you’ve watched Dorian Electra’s jog through the bizarre history of teetering footwear. First invented by the Persian cavalry — they used high heels to better grip their horses’ stirrups — these beguiling shoes made their European debut in the extravagant court of Louis XIV, where aristocratic men wore them to clatter around Versailles.

Though ladies eventually claimed the agonizingly seductive high heel for themselves, the style fell out of fashion during the early 20th century, a period of marked organizing and protest that culminated in women winning the right to vote. No one would claim it’s easy to march in Louboutins.
With the proliferation of pornography, however, the heel has made an undeniable comeback, borne once more into favor by the explosive allure of the 1950s pin-up. Yet, as Electra notes in her hypnotically catchy song, the style's future seems as boundless as its height — and should be accessible for both men and women (just ask Marie Antoinette).

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