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United Kingdom - Man's leather "Poulaine" with wooden patten - 14th Century

During the High Middle Ages, men began to wear long toed shoes called poulaines, pigaches of crackowes. Young men stuffed wool, horsehair or moss into the toe extensions to keep them erect. A popular vulgarity was to paint the upturned pikes flesh coloured and to allow them to flap with lifelike mobility. Blatantly phallic and sometimes so long that attachments with a chain to the knee were needed to prevent tripping. Small bells were often attached to the tip, indicating that the wearer was a willing partner for a sexual frolic. Youth wer chas-tised for standing on the street corners waggling their toe suggestively as the young ladies walked by.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland