Classic High Heels
While looking for something to add to my Shoe Photography portfolio, I came across these shoes, called Swift, by Skin Footwear. Shoes are among my favorite products to photograph, both because they can incorporate beautiful design, and because to the challenges in presenting them in an interesting way. High heels offer the best opportunities to a designer to produce beautiful curves. In this shoe the designer has excelled themselves. There is probably an optimum heel height for the best curve in the sole of the shoe, and this height is probably too great for the health of the foot. This has not stopped women (and in some periods of history, men) from wearing high heels. The slim heel in this design, close to the classical stiletto heel first seen in the 1950’s, could only be constructed with modern materials and methods.
At one time, the wealthy wore platforms under their shoes to keep them out of the mud. An elevated heel was also found to be indispensable by horse riders, as the heel prevented the foot from slipping through the stirrup. Men wore high heeled shoes in the French court following the fashion of the king, Louis XIV. This was primarily to add height and dominance to the wearer.
There is a great deal of nonsense written about heels generally and high heels in particular. Journalists, never known for the depth of their knowledge on any subject, seem to just make stuff up when writing on this subject. For some authoritative writing on the subject, see this article explaining why the French heel is no longer seen today: The American Duchess
There are a great many types of heels seen by a student of fashion over the years from the time of Louis onward. French, Cuban, and Spanish heels to mention a few were all distinct patterns of heel design. The Cuban heel is still popular, especially on riding boots and possibly Flamenco shoes. The stiletto heel is a development of the Itallian or Kitten heel. With such a variety, more shoes are going to find their way into my Shoe Photography portfolio.