Hilly Heels

High heels are a type of shoe in which the heel, compared with the toe, is significantly higher off the ground. These shoes go beyond simply protecting the foot from the ground or improving efficiency of walking. High heels make the wearer appear taller, accentuating the calf muscle and the length of the leg overall. There are many types of high heels, which come in different styles, colors and materials, and can be found all over the world. They have significant cultural and fashionable meanings attached to them, which have been largely shaped by historical contexts over the past 1,000 years.
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High heels have a long history, dating as far back as the tenth century. The Persian cavalry, for example, wore a kind of boot with heels in order to ensure their feet stayed in the stirrups. Furthermore, research indicates that heels kept arrow-shooting riders, who stood up on galloping horses, safely on the horse. This trend has translated into the popular 21st-century cowboy boot.

Owning horses was expensive and time-consuming, so to wear heels implied the wearer had significant wealth. This practical and effective use of the heel has set the standard for most horse-back riding shoes throughout history and even into the present day. Later, in the 12th century in India, heels become visible again. The image of a statue from the Ramappa Temple proves this, showing an Indian woman's foot clad in a raised shoe. Then, during the Medieval period, both men and women wore platform shoes in order to raise themselves out of the trash and excrement filled streets. In 1430, chopines were 30 inches (76 cm) high, at times.

Venetian law then limited the height to three inches—but this regulation was widely ignored. A 17th-century law in Massachusetts announced that women would be subjected to the same treatment as witches if they lured men into marriage via the use of high-heeled shoes.

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