Only a few connoisseurs of the art of fashion know exactly where from do the pointy shoes originate and what great part they have played in the history of the footwear industry. Yes, that is true and no, it has nothing to do with gnomes, elves and whatever else fictional character and race it is that we usually see and read to be wearing this model of shoes in recent times.
The so-called pointy shoes have first appeared in Poland and that is why they are also named ‘poulaine’ (French word for Polish). Their second name is Crakow after the Polish city of Krakow where they are said to originate from during the late 14th century. When they became as huge a success and gained immense popularity in Europe, there were models that have toes as long as 45 centimetres (that’s about 18 inches)!! Such models needed to have the pointy part attached to the leg with a string, so that it would stay upwards.
When the Church became the ruling institution, though, these fashionable items became a taboo and a symbol of vanity and quickly came out of use to the people. Thus, the duck-bill shoe started a new movement and, even in Poland where the Crakow was most popular and bought, shoe width became the new ‘it’ and length was already very ‘yesterday’.