Friday, September 17, 2010
What’s a “Louis” heel?
Many of the shoes in the Peter Fox collection have “Louis” heels, (pronounced like Louie). We love the sculptural curve of the heel and their “artful” quality. They are elegant and have a timelessness that can have many fashion lives…they never seem to go out of style.
The name and style originated in the seventeenth century with King Louis XIV. As he was only five foot three inches tall, he commissioned heels to be made for him to increase his height. Nobody was allowed to have heels higher than his own. He declared that only nobility could wear red shoes and his shoes were often decorated with battle scenes. They eventually became popular with ladies, especially King Louis’ mistress, Madame Pompadour.
In the late 1700’s Napoleon banished high heels in an attempt to show equality. High heels were associated with opulence and wealth, which was to be avoided at the time. Despite the law, Marie Antoinette went to the guillotine defiantly in two inch heels.
Today the “Louis” term refers to heels with a concave curve and outward taper at the bottom or base of the heel. They are also very ergonomic as the heel is placed directly under the natural heel of the foot, thus creating balance and even distribution of weight which helps keep the back and legs aligned. They are very useful for outdoor wear and weddings in particular, as the heels won’t sink into the ground as they would with a stiletto heel.
We think the Louis heel is a classic example of form and function at its best!
Also known as: French heels, Pompadour heels, curved heels