A Brief History of Flats

With another fashion season comes yet another fashion transformation. Gone are the haughty heels of yesterday to be replaced with the fabulous flats of today, and maybe tomorrow. After years of derision we have finally decided that flat shoes are worth another look. However, looking is not the only thing customers are doing. They are also buying and wearing.

Not only are flats practical for everyday wear but they are now a hot button, high trend fashion necessity for all types of occasions. Today everywhere you go ladies are sporting flat shoes while leaving their heels to gather dust under the bed. Whether they are slip-on, straps, pumps or lace-ups there is a pair of flats to suit every mood. With a recent injection of creativity wearing flats no longer means feeling dowdy or inelegant. On the contrary, flats now mean flair with functionality, but what is the origin of flats and how have they developed over the years?
The well-to-do ladies of ancient Egypt wore flat sandals constructed from bejeweled papyrus leaves that gave their feet some flair.

cairo-1051386_640Of course, the flat Roman sandal was very versatile and well known throughout the world. In medieval times the flat shoe transitioned into a long and pointy invention called “poulaines”. Something that was interesting about these was that the length of the sandal announced the wearer’s social status. The longer the sandals were, the greater the standing of the wearer. The common folk were under orders to wear poulaines of no more than 6 inches in length while knights and barons wore longer versions.