Created by the most expert artisans and revolutionized by the most forward-thinking designers, they made all women fall in love, from princesses to movie stars, to career women occupying an exclusive place in every woman’s wardrobe.
We are talking about pump shoes.
Its history begins around the sixteenth century when it is used in the military field as an integral part of the uniform of border soldiers, clearly without heels.
They begin to be worn by women only in the mid-eighteenth century as an alternative footwear to the discomfort of laced-up booties and loafers.
With the introduction of a patent leather, at the end of the 18 th century, men and women begin to wear that kind of shoes more frequently, especially when dancing.
Over time, these shoes became more and more popular in women’s collections and customs by acquiring heels, bows and buckles. The pump shoe symbolizes in its form, especially in the heel (spike, low, wide and high…) how the use and custom of society have changed over the years.
For example, in the 1930s, during the Prohibition Period and the spread of jazz music, pump shoes were marked by vertiginous heels. On the contrary, in the 1980s and 1990s, with the increase in employment and therefore of working women, a type of shoe with a lower and more comfortable heel did spread.
But when was the use of heels introduced? It was Catherine De’ Medici who launched the fashion on the occasion of her marriage with the Duke of Orleans, the future King of France, for whom she wanted shoes with a seven centimeter heel to live up to her future husband.
Yet, the first real pumps with spiked heels, have an Italian origin. In fact, they were introduced in Vigevano in 1953 with a wooden structure which later was modified with the addition of ferrous materials to avoid breaking them.
From that moment on, the pump shoe became an icon of femininity while changing shapes and sizes to adapt to different styles. As Marilyn Monroe said,
“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot”.
This post is also available in: Italian