A Hit of Medieval Fashion: Long, Pointy Shoes

It's hard to believe that people in medieval Europe were obsessed with long, pointed shoes. These shoes were known as "crakows" or "poulaines". They were characterized by long, carrot-shaped toes that tapered to mischievous points. They were a symbol of wealth and status, and the longer the toe, the more extravagant and fashionable the wearer.

Wearing poulaines was a way for individuals to display their wealth and fashion sense. The extreme length of the toe was considered a bold fashion statement. Shoes with absurdly long toes were expensive and impractical for physical labor. They symbolized leisure, luxury, and not having to work.

These shoes were not a passing fad; they were worn by both men and women for over a century. Poulaines were often stuffed with soft organic material such as moss or hair to keep the toes upright. They were also designed to accentuate and lengthen the leg, adding to their appeal.

The court of England's King Edward IV finally put a stop to the absurd popularity of poulaines. In 1463, it passed a sumptuary law prohibiting shoe tips that extended more than two inches beyond the toe.