This small shoe dates to middle of the 17th century and was most likely made for a well-to-do boy. The fact that the wearer was male is suggested by the shape and type of heel. Stacked leather ‘polony heels’ were popular on men’s footwear at this time. That the child was well-off is indicated by the height of the heel; its marked impracticality helped to declare the wearer’s privilege. The heel is also painted red in keeping with the fashion of the day.


  • Title: French or English Shoe
  • Date Created: mid-17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 17.0 cm Width: 6.0 cm Height: 12.0 cm
  • Photographer: Ron Wood
  • Rights: Copyright © 2017 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada (photo: Ron Wood)
  • External Link: http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/
  • Medium: Leather, wood, thread, paint
  • Bbibliographic references: Semmelhack, Elizabeth. Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels. Toronto: Bata Shoe Museum Foundation, 2015

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