If you shop in the women’s section, chances are you don’t have much trouble finding a pair of heels in your size. But for men interested in growing a few inches (in height, obviously), heeled footwear is nearly nonexistent.
That’s why designer Henry Bae created Syro, a line of boots and shoes in large sizes meant to satisfy male shoppers.
“It dawned on me that ‘men’ with large feet like mine had very limited (read: nonexistent) choice in regards to femme footwear,” Bae said in an interview with Refinery29. “When the time came that we decided to create these shoes for ourselves, it was clear that our very existence would be our mission.”
Why the hell not?
While men in heels raises eyebrows in 2017 (“I will get attention [when I wear a pair.] Some inquisitive stares. Some teenage boys laughing. Some teenage girls yaaassssing,” says Bae), adding extra height was all rage in the 17th century. At the time, a taller stature was a sign of prestige and a way to express power. The more uncomfortable, the better, right?
“One of the best ways that status can be conveyed is through impracticality,” Elizabeth Semmelhack, who works at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, said in an interview with the BBC. “They aren’t in the fields working and they don’t have to walk far.” Pain is beauty… and status.
Not to mention, women are genetically programmed to desire taller men. In a 2013 study, Dutch researchers confirmed that women preferred to be in a relationship with a suitor who was above her own height. So for heterosexual men scoffing at the idea of heels, maybe your lady friend would approve of the added inches?
For Bae, however, his line of heels isn’t about impressing others; it’s meant to empower the wearer.
“European tourists gawked at me while I was sitting on the train. Instead of hiding my heels, I extended them. And as the train approached my station, I got up, walked as fiercely as I could, twirled, and exited the train with my head held high,” he said. Slay, Bae!
The collection is full of beautiful silhouettes and finished, with varying heel heights, like a caramel-hued pointy-toe bootie with a three-inch lift, listed for $185USD, and the entire line is shoppable on Syro’s online retail shop.
Gender aside, if someone wants to sport a pair of sky-highs, they should be able to do so without being scrutinized. And Bae’s collection is hopefully a huge step (yes, a foot pun) in that direction.