You can often see the shoes that people describe as “no back or constraint around the foot's heel” on fashion shows or street snaps these years. And it’s called “Mule,” the vintage shoes from Ancient Rome.
The shoe Mule has been popular since 3500 years ago. The word “Mule” came from the 16th century Europe and France, the Latin root word "mule" was used to refer to both backless shoes and slippers. In the very beginning, the shoe Mule was designed to be the bedroom or boudoir slippers worn inside.


▲We can the Mules from some paintings during the yesteryear. (CREDIT:DFM)

Mule started to get popular with the women and prostitutes in the 15th century due to the long lengths of the contemporary petticoats. After that, designers put their own touch on the mule and it started to get popular again in the 17th century. Mule became iconic celebrity shoes that rich ladies wear in the dance parties.


▲The Mule for women from 1765. (CREDIT:Swiss National Museum)


We must talk about the sexy superstar Marilyn Monroe when we talk about how Mule became one of our daily shoes. Marilyn Monroe loved to match her outfits with Springolator Mules, and her image was widely spread to all the newspapers and magazines between the 1920s to the 1950s. Springolator Mule has a square shoe last and thick heels. It adds some masculinity to the women shoes. When Springolator first came out, people didn’t like it and some even said it’s very ugly. But it did bring up a new page of women shoes, and let women able to walk comfortable and beautiful.


▲Marilyn Monroe wearing her favorite Springolator. (CREDIT: IMDB)


▲Marilyn Monroe wearing her favorite Springolator. (CREDIT: IMDB)

1. Not too Flat and not too Tall

Before Marilyn Monroe started to wear the Springolator, most of the Mules are designed to cover the toes. And after Springolator came out, people started to embrace all the different design of Mules. Pointy-toe, open toe, kitten heels, lace-up or even flat, designers came up with all the different styles for Mules. Many of those are very popular recently. They may change the design of Mules, but the only thing that never changes is the high comfort level.

High heels are beautiful, but the heels are very thin and the last of the shoe are much tighter so they are not good for standing or walking for a long time. How it looks and how it feels are both not so close to people’s daily life. And the flats are just completely the opposite of high heels. It’s very comfortable but not as beautiful as other shoes. Flats are the items that people always ignore in the outfits. Compare to the ones upon, Mules has all the advantages from both. The heels design of Mule makes your legs look much longer no matter you choose a flat one or a taller one. At the same time, by showing a bit of skin of your ankle, you will look even slimmer. And you can wear them for a whole day at work or shopping!





▲The GUCCI Princetown leather slipper makes a great match with pants and skirts. It’s so popular for KOL recently.

2. Mules and Wide Pants

The appearance of shoes is very important, but how they can match the outfits is even more crucial. And what a coincident that Mules and the world famous wide pants are such a great match! The wide pants are not made to show the body lines, it’s more about to create a smooth feeling. So when you put on a pair of wide pants, it’s not too prudish. The look is more laid-back and relaxing. The past few years, some KOL and celebrities match the wide pants with pointed height heel to create the conflicting style in the fashion shows. But recently you can see many people match the pants with Mules to have an effortless head to toe outfit.


▲By adjusting how much area to show around the ankles can make different looks with wide pants with different length


3. The Slightly Formal Theory of Mules

There are some outfits that can fit all the different people, but at the same time, you no longer see their status and background, even their own personalities. “Formal wear” as to the office worker is like a uniform. You can see lots of people wearing white T-shirt and suit in the cabins during the rush hour. The all look the same: serious and boring. At this point, we can take Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and City as a reference to choose some items from the formal outfits and swap them into something with your own personality. For example, putting on a pair of Mules that made of a more formal material instead of a pair of leather shoes is a great idea. Showing a little bit of foot’s heels breaks the perfect image of professional, but provides a relaxing touch to the outfit. I guess matching the formal wear with a pair of Mules can showcase the confidence of a woman. Mule is maybe an item for women in the workplace to create the charm of themselves.


▲Carrie Bradshaw, the main role of Sex and City, matches her formal outfits with different kinds of Mules. She created some unforgettable outfits. (CREDIT: Sex and City)


After reading the history of Mule, I guess you can understand why it can be popular over 3500 years. They are so easy to mix and match, and they are good for both casual and formal. In the yesteryears, Mule was the iconic shoes for the nobility. And nowadays, it’s for everyone. So please don’t judge the slippers with no back of the foot’s heels sloppy again! This is FASHION!

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