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Men Wearing Heels Isn’t New: Fashion Arbitrary & Legacy

men wearing heels

Men wearing heels have a deep-rooted history in time. For centuries it has been a way to impart authority and manliness.

This historic trend is now back in the game in the 21st century and for all the right reasons. From the men in the street having an exclusive taste of fashion to the celebrities walking down the red carpet in the met gala. Everyone is head over heels for this new fashion rage.

If you are also a man who loves to wear high heels, then you are at the right place. So, let’s dig deep into how and when this trend caught fire and emerged as the trending fashion of the century.

History Of High Heels  

History Of High Heels  

Around the early 10th century, when horses and cattle carts were the only means of transportation and a primary element of military exercises, heels were an official part of the horse riding gear and served practical purposes. These heeled shoes were helpful to keep the feet intact in stirrups and created balance during the ride.

It was the 16th century, after the European Persian military alliance against the Ottomans. When elite European men started wearing aesthetic high heels associated with the Persian cavalry force, as a symbol of masculinity and power.

Who Invented High Heel Shoes?

Who Invented High Heel Shoes?

In the timeline of high heel shoes, there is no particular individual who could be credited for the discovery of high heels. In order to have a better idea about its invention, we have to look into the cultures and civilizations that were said to be pioneers of using high heels for men namely; the Persian, Greeks, and Romans.

1. Persian Heels 

The most ancient traces of men wearing heels were found in Persia, from the era of the Persian monarch, Shah Abbas. Which was, later on, adopted by the people in western Europe. 

The ancient Persian heels were made from shagreen (a type of horse leather) and painted with natural colors from plants. The people from a higher class used embroidery and other embellishments to make them look more aesthetically appealing.

2. Greek Heels 

Greek heels or kothorni were designed as a part of the theater costume around 200 B.C. These men’s platform heels were initially carved out of cork measuring around somewhere between 8 to 10 cm, for giving an elevated edge to the significant characters in the theatrical production. 

During that time, the theatrical cast was usually men wearing high heels and skirts in and out of the shows, and women were not allowed to take part in performing arts.

3. Roman Heels 

Roman heel design was inspired by the ancient bushkin boots (mid-calf boots for men, made out of leather or cloth) and were primarily adorned by the prostitutes in the country to embrace their identity and profession.

The design of these shoes was identical to modern gladiator sandals. According to popular belief, the greek Egyptian and Roman sex workers advertised their services by embossing them under the soles of their heels; leaving stamps in the sand wherever they go.   

Why Were High Heels Invented?

Why Were High Heels Invented?

High heels,  the trendiest fashion that helps you look more feminine and tall by toning the muscle posture, were not originally designed for women. They were initially invented for men as riding gear for horse riders back in the sixteenth century.

However, with time these practical shoes gained popularity in Europe and emerged as an elite fashion trend for men. 

High Heels For Men: A Modern Day Fashion

High Heels For Men: A  Modern Day Fashion

Were high heels made for guys? The sure short answer is yes. But, will it be wise for men to wear high heel shoes in today’s fashion?

Despite the fact men in heels had become an obsolete fashion trend in the eighteenth century, the numbers show that men’s heel shoes were back in business and sales started uproaring in 2017. These statistics made the fashion gurus predict men’s heel shoes, an upcoming fashion rage.

Although, men in heels are still not widely accepted by the general public, as being associated with women’s fashion for a long time. But, thanks to celebrities and other fashion icons, those who are embracing their unique personality and style by keeping this trend alive.

Seeing men in stilettos walking down the ramp in style and the surprisingly increased heel variety in the men’s footwear section is a breath of fresh air. Big fashion giants are taking this drift as an opportunity to make a business.

So next time, when you feel like wearing high heel boots or shoes with your casual jeans outfit, go for it and create a style statement with your fashion game in check!

FAQs – Men Wearing Heels

Why Did Men Stop Wearing High Heels?

For centuries men wearing high heels were seen as powerful and masculine. But, with the passage of time when women started wearing heels, they became a symbol of glamor and feminine grace. Which made this trend a social taboo for men and they stopped wearing heels altogether.

Were High Heels Invented For A Man?

Yes, high heels were initially invented for men, primarily for practical uses. The Persian troopers used to wear heeled shoes to help maintain balance during horse riding. Which later got popular among the elite class men of western Europe, as fashion footwear to express superiority and manliness.

Is It Normal For Men To Wear High Heels?

A few years ago guys in heels were seen as foolish but now it is a high-end fashion. Although you will not witness men wearing heels often; this trend has somehow normalized in men’s fashion. In fact, celebrities like David Bowie in heels endorsed this trend in their public appearances. 

Can Men Wear Block Heels?

Yes, block heels are among the most popular styles of heels in men’s fashion. Men can wear block heel boots and dress shoes without thinking twice, as they are the trendiest fashion with the right amount of masculine vibe among all the other men’s heel shoes. 


Men wearing heels is a fashion trend deep-rooted in history. Initially, these high heels for men were invented as practical footwear to help Persian troopers maintain balance on the strip-ups while horse riding, which later on became a high-end fashion.

Men wearing high heels is a modern-day trend. From big brands to celebrities, everyone is head over heels in this new rage.

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