Before the French Revolution, courtly culture and the fashions that went along with it were intricately tied up with the ballet. Performed by aristocrats and nobles, ballet was an important aspect of courtly entertainment and contemporary dress and footwear carried over into these performances. Fashionable shoe, both male and female, sported a heel, which bespoke the wearer’s noble standing. Originally contrived to keep feet firmly fixed in stirrups, heels became extremely vogue, adding height and grandness to upper-class men and women (Lee 1999). To lend support to the foot and to keep the instep of the shoe from breaking under the weight of the wearer, the leather soles of these shoes were relatively think and rigid, spanning the entire base of the foot (Personal Observations). These shoes tended to be elaborately decorated and, in any case, would have been in the performance of courtly ballets, which were danced before and by the aristocracy (and occasionally the king, himself).