It’s easy to go about life without ever giving a second thought to the shoes on our feet, but if you’ve ever stopped to trace their lineage, you will find that the history of iconic fashion shoes is rife with meaning and importance.

From ancient Egyptian sandals made from papyrus reeds to the squared-toe ballet flats popularized by Audrey Hepburn, each era’s signature shoe style has reflected its social and cultural mores, reflecting shifts in attitudes towards gender roles and class as well as changing aesthetics. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating story behind some of our favorite footwear designs – examining how they’ve evolved into symbols of elegance and beauty.

What is the history of shoes?

Shoes have been around since pre-historic times, and archeologists have discovered moccasins and sandals worn by the people of Ancient Egypt. Historically, shoes were initially used to protect from the elements or dangerous terrain. Still, as societies became more refined, they began to be used as a status symbol or a way to make a fashion statement.

In the Middle Ages, kings and queens wore elaborately decorated shoes showing their wealth and power. Even today, specific shoes, such as Manolo Blahniks and Louboutins, exude extravagance and are often associated with luxury. Shoes certainly aren’t just practical garments anymore, they are a reflection of both our culture and our style.

What are some of the most iconic fashion shoes?

One of the most iconic fashion shoes is undoubtedly the stiletto heel. This daring style, first popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, allowed women to create an alluring silhouette that was previously impossible. Stilettos remain a popular choice for formal occasions – from red carpet events to black tie weddings – as they are a statement piece that adds glamour and sophistication.

The wedge also made its mark on shoe history when Salvatore Ferragamo introduced it in the 1940s. The design was initially created as medical support for his female clientele; however, it quickly became a fashion favorite due to its modern look and comfort compared to high heels. Wedges are worn today and often come with unique materials and embellishments.

Flare jeans also have a long history in fashion shoes, with the platforms of the 1970s providing an extra boost of height and that all-important mod flair. These days, what shoes to wear with flare jeans is once again on trend – from kitten heel sling backs to embellished sandals, there’s a style to suit everyone.

Ultimately, what we wear on our feet speaks volumes about our era and how its values are reflected in what is fashionable. The history of iconic fashion shoes is fascinating and inspiring – one that deserves to be celebrated for its enduring beauty and importance.

What do iconic shoe styles say about the time they were created?

Iconic shoe styles can be seen as a reflection of the time they were created. From Ancient Egyptian sandals to modern-day stilettos, each style has offered something that suited its era’s fashion aesthetic and represented something more profound – an idea or value that spoke to people at the time.

For example, the wedge was popularized by Salvatore Ferragamo in the 1940s due to its comfort and practicality. It reflected a newfound appreciation for simplicity and convenience among women who wanted more freedom from constrictive clothing and footwear. Additionally, the stiletto heel of the 50s and 60s symbolized empowerment – an assertion of female sexuality during an era when gender roles were still rigidly defined.

In the same way, today’s fashion shoes capture the values and attitudes of our present age. From sneakers that champion comfort and practicality to sandals that celebrate individuality, it is clear that our footwear choices express who we are at any given time.

How have iconic shoe styles evolved?

The evolution of iconic shoe styles has been driven by fashion trends and shifting societal values. In Ancient Egypt, for example, sandals were made from papyrus reeds and plant fibers due to the limited technology at the time. As craftsmanship improved, so did the materials used; leather became increasingly popular during the Middle Ages, while synthetic materials such as rubber have been used since the 19th century.

Regarding style changes, platform shoes have grown in popularity throughout recent decades – having first appeared in Greek and Roman cultures before becoming a symbol of rebellion among hippies and punk rockers in the 70s. The wedge continues to be reinvented season after season with everything from cork soles to espadrille designs.

The stiletto, meanwhile, has gone from being considered outrageous to a staple in women’s wardrobes globally. Its pointed toe and thin heel have become synonymous with femininity, power, and glamour – making it a timeless classic that continues to be reinvented for each new generation.

Tips for finding the perfect iconic shoe style for your wardrobe

Finding the perfect iconic shoe style for your wardrobe doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your shoe choice is both fashionable and comfortable:

The main tip is to choose a style that fits your personality and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a shoe that will last, invest in leather or canvas – these materials are known for their durability. Additionally, look for shoes with supportive features such as arch support and cushioning to ensure your feet stay comfortable all day.


Try on the shoes before buying them to get a real sense of how they fit and feel. Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks in fashion – mix different styles and colors to create unique combinations that reflect who you are. By following these tips, you’ll find the perfect iconic shoe style for your wardrobe in no time.