Greg • Link
The year 1660, with Louis XIV making at his maturity Paris the capital of the western world, marks the beginning of French leadership in fashion, which preferred shoes for men rather than boots. The boots still worn in the 1660s were an exaggerated version of the 1630s soft wide boots. Only as late as in the 1690s a heavy boot entered fashion again, which by then has become rigid, and was worn mainly as a riding or military boot, not any longer as a dress boot. The reasons for this development might be as such: first of all France rose in its power, while Charles II in England had a French background (he was exiled there), and furthermore boots were a reminder of Civil War in England, and therefore disappeared as fashion, but continued for riding. Charles II had lived much of his life in France and he was 30 when he was crowned King of England. Therefore his taste was French.