All of my favorite philosophy professors always seemed concerned with the existence of the soul, at Stylitics we have our own spin on that all-important topic. We’re exploring the origins of the sole. Ever wondered where your fave shoe style came from? Come explore fashion history with us for a lesson sure to enlighten.

Gladiator Sandals

Origins of the Sole | The Stylitics Report

This fashionable warrior style originated in ancient Rome and originally consisted of only the highest quality leather (clearly, this sandal style was tasteful even back in the day). The sandal was named for gladiators, for whom the shoe was constructed to protect their feet on the battle-arena floors. These sandals were designed by prominent artists, and even those who weren’t gladiators tried to copy the trend by wearing a less-expensive version of the shoe. Moral of the story? Next time you’re headed out, arm yourself with a pair of these stylish bad boys.

For a modern update, try these.


Origins of the Sole | The Stylitics Report

French shoe designer André Perugia is credited with creating this dangerously high and sharp heel for Parisian music-hall icon Mistinguett. But, this stylish favorite got its name from the streets of New York; the stiletto was named after the stiletto blade, commonly used by gangsters during the turn-of-the-century. The heels first appeared in Vogue in the early Fifties, and by 1957 the trend had taken the small-town beauty and debutante world by storm.

For some perilously pretty pumps, try these.


Origins of the Sole | The Stylitics Report

Just another present from across the pond, Oxfords were named after Oxford University in England. The shoe was derived from the Oxonian: a half-boot with side slits that first started trending in 1800. Rebellious students were tired of knee-high and ankle-high boots, so they turned to a shorter style. Originally popular for men, this style first became a Women’s staple in the 1920′s.

For some school-girl cool, try these.

Ballet Flats

Origins of the Sole | The Stylitics Report

These comfortable classics first came into the style sphere in the 16th century, when men wore a similar style known as pompes. This equal opportunity shoe was popular with both men and women. It was considered high fashion until Catherine de’ Medici debuted high-heeled shoes at her wedding, creating a frenzy for heels. The frenzy ended after Marie Antoinette walked to the guillotine in a pair of heels, and functional shoes came back into style. The ballet flat trend came back to life after endorsements from fashion icons Bridgette Bardot and Audrey Hepburn.

For your next go-to shoe, try these.