high heels

Why men are more confident about wearing high heels today

Fashion is truly the most restricting thing. Or at least it was in the past. Girls wear shirts and heals, and boys wear shirts and walk flat on their heels. These days, more and more men are breaking out of socially accepted fashion trends. They are getting comfortable with items of clothing that were once considered for women only. The clothes we humans wear are a symbol of our personality, so why are men now so comfortable in heels when it was deeply frowned upon not so long ago?

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high heels for men and women

Since the 18th century, men were not seen as suitable candidates for high heel fashion. It was only considered “normal” for women to raise their height a few inches. Men’s fashion has reached a plateau, especially in the shoe department. Although, it seems there is some change on the horizon, as male fashion designers and social media influencers alike are stepping into a new era of high heel fashion.

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“They are sexy as well

Marc Bryan is an engineer and influencer. He gave his insight on wearing high heels to Vogue magazine, explaining why they give him all the good feels. “I’ve always liked the way women looked in heels—not in a sexual way, but in a fashionable way,” said Marc. “Of course, they are sexy as well. But what draws me in is the confidence they give you when you can wear them well. I feel very good when wearing a 10-centimeter heel, because I don’t struggle walking in a heel that high.

Plus, I think I have the figure that gets complimented when wearing a pair of heels, and that just adds to the confidence. It feels right because heels should be able to be worn by anyone that wants to, and currently people are more tolerant to things out of what is considered ‘normal’ these days.

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March Bryan sporting a pair of stilettos
Image credit: Vogue/ Marc Bryan

Andrew Groves, a fashion design professor at the University of Westminster said that high heels are more than just a shoe. They are a symbol of strength and confidence. He spoke about the high boots that Marc Jacobs has been posting about. “I think there is something incredibly refreshing about a male designer such as Marc Jacobs embracing wearing high heels. High heels have become a potent symbol of both power and status, and paradoxically both dominance and submission.”

Read: It’s Official: Men Are Shopping for Skirts More Than Ever Before

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“I like to weaponize my fashion”

A study was done over the sales on men’s high heels. According to the records, the sales have increased by 30% since 2017. Shaobo Han, the co-founder of Syro, gave his insight on how they make him feel while wearing them. “I wear heels because I can! Because I like to weaponize my fashion. Because it makes me feel powerful, it does wonders for my legs, and it’s quintessential to my existence to ‘terrorize’ gender norms. Wearing heels allows me to claim my femininity on my own terms, which was something that was used against me growing up. So, in many ways, being connected to my femininity is healing to my damaged inner child.

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Shaobo Han wearing black heeled boots.
Image credit: Vogue / Shaobo Han

Men and heels

In truth, high heels were once highly fashionable footwear not only for women, but for men too. In actuality, men started the trend, and women only started wearing them well after men first stepped into them. Over the last few centuries, they became a thing of the past for men. Soon, they were deemed only worthy of a woman’s foot, and any man who wore them was scrutinized by society.

Most people would never have guessed the true reason behind the design of heeled shoes. Originally, they were not designed to give the illusion of lengthy legs and a perky butt. In contrast, men first started wearing them as horse riding gear. The heel would help them keep their feet in the stirrups. This can be dated back to the 10th century. They only became unfashionable for men around the 18th century.

Keep Reading: 20 Photos That Explain Why 70s Men’s Fashion Should Never Make a Comeback

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Sources

  1. 5 Shoe Lovers on Where They Shop for Heels, and Why Wearing Them Is Empowering.Vogue. Christian Allaire. August 12, 2021
  2. These Men Are Wearing High Heels and We’re Here for It.” Vice. Romano Santos. September 21, 2021
  3. High fashion: the rise of heels for men.The Guardian. Priya Elan. Fri 3 Jan 2020
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