I was reading Shoeflyer yesterday and stumbled upon a little history lesson about some of the first platform shoes: chopines. Extreme shoes have always been a sign of wealth, and in the 1400s, only Venetian Courtesans could afford them. Some chopines reached as tall as 20 inches!!! These unique shoes were originally a protective solution to protect the wearer from street mud, but they quickly became a fashion statement for wealthy divas of the time. Chopines are not an extinct footwear style, as some enthusiasts still build them! Check out Francis Classe’s site to learn how to build chopines.