This Persian riding boot in shagreen leather features a upturned toe and a heel neatly wrapped in thin metal wire. Heeled footwear had been worn in Western Asia for many centuries and inspired the appearance of the high heel in Europe around the turn of the seventeenth century. Evidence for early heels in West Asia suggests a strong relationship to horseback riding and the stirrup: the heel kept the foot in the stirrup, giving the rider greater security. Shagreen, typically dyed green, was an important Persian equine leather. The dimpled appearance was achieved by pressing mustard seeds into the leather when wet. The metal banding on the heel, typical of Persian design, was not adopted by European shoemakers.


  • Title: Persian Boot
  • Creator: Creator Unknown
  • Date Created: 1500/1599
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 23 cm Width: 9.4 cm Height: 52.5 cm
  • Rights: Copyright © 2016 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada (photo: Ron Wood)
  • External Link: http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/
  • Medium: Leather, metal, silk, cotton

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