They were astoundingly popular in the 18th Century. They were clunky and not at all comfortable, I'll bet, those shoes. But that's not the point. The point is, what is this type of heel called?

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    How did you find the image? You can search images on Google. The answer is here with the same picture: allaboutshoes.ca/en/heights_of_fashion/high_court/index_2.php
    – ermanen
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 2:51
  • Thank you. When I'm looking for images, I normally don't go into sights. I just key in my search criteria and hit "images." As in "shoes 18th Century."
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 2:55
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    I meant that you can search the image that you have (you can paste the URL or upload the image) and find the sites with that picture and voila! your answer will be in one of those sites. The term is also mentioned in Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heel_(shoe)
    – ermanen
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 2:58
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    It's commonly called a cuban heel, I have never heard of a "Louis heel" before today.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 6:09

3 Answers 3


This was the ordinary form for high heels from the end of the 16th to the end of the 19th century (except during the Revolutionary/Romantic era, when heeled shoes went out of fashion); at the time they were simply called "high heels" or occasionally (by those who disparaged their use as effete and foreign) "French heels".

This basic shape, with a recurve profile and flared base, was challenged starting about the 1890s by shapes with single curves and straight profile, narrowest at the base. This shape then came to be referred to as a "French" or "Louis" or "Louis XV" heel (with no disparagement intended), contrasted with "military" heels (straight-sided at both back and breast), "Cuban" heels (straight at the breast, with a tapering curved back, like cowboy boots today), and "spike" heels (tapering at both back and breast to a very narrow base). The French heel finally disappeared in the early 1920s, in part because it was far more expensive to mass-produce.

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    +1 Your head must be absolutely enormous. How do you keep all that different stuff in there? It's like a taaaaarddiiis. Drumming, proofreading, copywriting, theatering, historian and fashionista? You've got to be a Mekon. Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 4:20
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    @Araucaria But that's theatre. I've worn those shoes. Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 6:08

My first answer was:

"kitten heel" is the closes we have to modern equivalent, but the only thing in common is the height of the heel, not the shape itself (which can vary)


But then I found this: Spool heels: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spool_heel


It is known as a flaired heel or a Regency heel https://janeausten.co.uk/blogs/regency-accessories/what-makes-a-historically-accurate-regency-shoe

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