On a recent browse through a Toronto vintage shop, I came across a pair of fine, pointy Brazilian leather boots with steep Cuban heels. They fit me perfectly - and also hoisted me about four centimetres higher than I normally stand in shoes.
I had hardly ever seen men's footwear with heels like these. The elegant high pumps worn by Louis XIV in a famous portrait came to mind, along with a type of boots I encountered often while growing up in Alberta. Yes, I mean cowboy boots, with which these Brazilians had a few features in common, including the shape of the toe and the side decoration (in braided leather, not stitching). But these were shorter, sleeker and more urban-looking than cowboy boots, and the all-leather heel was about a centimetre higher.