The Men’s Heel Renaissance

Heels have been in menswear for centuries, but now they’re seeing a resurgence on runways.

Contrasted by today’s norms, women were forbidden to wear heels in the shoe’s earliest days, as they were strictly for men. Since then, the heel has gone through thousands of transformations and various versions, and nowadays is seen again on some of the most fashion forward males like Harry Styles and Kanye West. Garments and accessories today are seeing less and less gender normativity, and the male heel is certainly part of that notion.

In the past decade, the runways of Dsquared2, Thom Browne, Balenciaga, and countless others have had male models in heels, creating a renaissance of the shoe in menswear.

J.W. Anderson Fall/Winter 2014

Courtesy J.W. Anderson

While subtle, J.W. Anderson’s platform loafers could pair well with suits of any nature.

Saint Laurent Fall 2015

Courtesy Saint Laurent

Pointed toe boots like the ones from Saint Laurent’s Fall 2015 Men’s show are seeing more and more popularity for their modernity and ease.

Hood By Air Spring 2016

Courtesy Hood By Air

The laces and stiletto lift in these Hood By Air heels diminish the boundaries between women’s and men’s footwear.

Balenciaga Spring 2017 

Courtesy Getty Images

Another subtle take on men’s heels, Balenciaga paired these heeled boots with a bold suit, creating a powerfully feminine look for menswear.

Dsquared2 Spring 2017

Courtesy Dsquared2

Once again gender norms were blurred as camouflage, acid wash denim, and sequin-covered platform boots took the Dsquared2 men’s runway.

Vetements Fall 2017

Courtesy Getty Images

One must never forget the Vetements and Manolo Blahnik collaboration that gave waist high boots a sense of androgyny.

Kim Gush Fall/Winter 2017

Courtesy Kim Gush

South African label Kim Gush also focuses on androgyny, and the patent leather thigh high platform boots seen above prove it.

Thom Browne Spring 2018

Courtesy Shutterstock

For their Spring 2018 Men’s collection, Them Browne used a Victorian-esque heel in the majority of the looks.

Rick Owens Spring 2020

Courtesy Rick Owens

Rick Owens 2020 collections have put an emphasis on men’s heels and dressing for the future.

Rick Owens Fall 2020

Courtesy Rick Owens

Channeling David Bowie for Fall 2020 Men’s, Rick Owens drove home the idea of androgyny and made it clear that gender in clothing is, simply put, unnecessary.

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