Fashionable Men Are Stepping Out In Women's High Heels

It may seem like one of the perks of being a dude is that no one expects you to contort your foot into a spiky heel for hours on end, but there are some guys who long for Manolo Blahnik to start making shoes in a size 12. According to a New York Times trend piece, high heels for men are totally in right now. Well, perhaps only if you're the type of man who frequents trendy L.A. clubs, but we can't rule out the possibility that dudes will be parading through Home Depot in stillettos in a few years.

Recently the Times spoke to three men's footwear pioneers, Sean Wagner (who was wearing "eight-inch bright neon green lace-up stiletto ankle boots" in a women's size 11), and friends Coy Barton and Mark Cramer (who both sported "black leather ankle boots with peep toes that showed off their black painted toenails," by Steve Madden and Chinese Laundry, respectively). The men were among about a dozen guys who towered over other patrons at the L.A. club Mr. Black. "I never leave the house with less than eight inches on my feet," said Wagner. "It helps you see over the cattle."

Of course, drag queens have been wearing heels for years, but the latest batch of male high heel lovers remain decked out in menswear from head to ankle. "I always make it very clear that I am a man, and I'm not trying to portray an illusion to anybody," said Wagner. Historically, it isn't so odd to see a man in heels, even pre-glam rock. In the 18th century noblemen in France wore high heels until Napoleon banned them. (At 5'7" Napoleon actually wasn't particularly short compared to other men of his era, but according to legend he could have used a boost.)

Gregory Alexander, a contemporary high heel enthusiast says says they're catching on among men for the same reasons many ladies enjoy wearing them: "It's a power thing. You're higher than everybody else. You make more sound. You walk a different way. It makes your legs look better."

We're all for these guys bending gender norms, especially since greater interest in high heels for men could make life easier for ladies who wear size 10 and up. However, we have a message for any men thinking of showing off their hairy, masculine feet with a tall strappy sandal: When you develop excruciatingly painful bunions, don't say we didn't warn you.

A Tall Tale, But True: Men In Heels [NYT]

Image via KKulikov/Shutterstock.