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These leather shoes date from the end of the 17th century. They show how the heel, which developed in the 16th century, had come to be adopted for ordinary wear. The leather-covered version here would give sturdy support on uneven, cobbled, dirty London streets. The wearer's stockings would show through the small gap left where the latchets to tie the shoe meet the high tongue. Stitching along the edges reinforces the shape. Fashionable wear added large ribbon rosettes or other decoration to this fastening. The heels may have originally been red, adding another note of fashion.
© Museum of London