High-heeled shoes have been a part of fashion for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. Archaeologists discovered the earliest evidence of high-heeled footwear in a Tomb in Egypt, and they have estimated them to have been from a time of about 3000 years ago. It is presumed that high-heels were a status symbol at that time, and that they may have been used to enhance the wearer's sexual attractiveness, as they are in current times.
Other indications of high-heels being an indicator of status, come from a Greek play-write (Esquilo) who used platform heels of varying heights to signify the relative status of the characters in his productions. This concept has been seen in many cultures over time, which is perhaps a manifestation of the human tendency to see taller people as leaders, or as being generally superior to others. When the 124th Emperor of Japan, Michinomiya Hirohito, reigning from December 25th, 1926 to January 7th, 1989, was crowned, he is reported to have worn 12-inch getas (wooden sandals) which boosted his height from a diminutive 5' 5" tall, to a more intimidating height of 6' 5" with heels.
High heels have also long been connected to sexual attractiveness and sexuality in general. Japanese courtiers wore getas of 6 to 12 inches, Chinese concubines and Turkish odalisques also wore high-heeled footwear which, it is presumed, may have helped to prevent them from running away from the rest of the harem. And even the prostitutes of old Roman empire were known for wearing high-heels, to emphasize their sexual attraction.
During the Renaissance, European fashions incorporated high heels from the Italian "chapiney" or "chopine" style: shoes mounted on a cylindrical base of as much as 40 centimeters in height. Some of these early platform heels reached heights of even 75 cm, and the ladies who wore these extremely high-heels are known to have had to lean on canes for support in order to be able to walk.
In 1430 chopines were banned in Venice, Italy, but nothing could stop the trend. The invention of these high heels is attributed to Catherine of Medici, in Paris, in the 16th century, who used them due to increase her otherwise short stature, and soon introduced them into fashion amongst the European aristocracy.
There seems to have always been an element of sexuality or attractiveness associated with high heeled shoes. In the 1600's, the English Parliament punished, as witches, all women who used high-heels to seduce men into marrying them. Perhaps there's a connection to modern women using high-heels to bewitch and attract men as they are known to do (see what I did there?). In the biography of Casanova, the most renowned lady's man of all time, Casanova declared his love for high heels, which raised women's hoop skirts, and improved the viewing opportunities for seeing their legs.
In the 19th century, high heels were introduced to the United States. They were imported from Paris, based on the success they had in the brothels there, with the clients preferring the prostitutes who wore these heels, apparently finding them more sexually desirable.
Designer shoes weren't a thing before the 20th century. If women were to purchase them, it would be from a local shoemaker who undoubtedly wanted to encourage this sexy trend by making high-heeled shoes for women desiring to maximize their sexual allure.
The mass-production of women's shoes, and footwear in general, had its beginnings in the USA, where what began as a small-business or even a family activity of the colonists from New England, continued to develop into the the first shoe stores in the mid 1800's.
The trend of the seeking out traditionally handmade shoes, and the connection to famous designers, is mostly a European phenomenon. England, France and Italy have all had a large influence, where high-heel design was intimately connected to dressmaking and fashion. In Paris, an entire fashion industry was founded by the Englishman Charles Frederick Worth in 1858, where he became the first well-known designer in the world of fashion, dressing virtually all of the European royalty.
High-heels continue to be extremely popular among fashion-conscious women, and in fact, among almost all women in general. They continue to be seen as a sign of sexual attractiveness, and are believed by modern women to increase their sexual attractiveness by increasing the apparent length of their legs, by causing them to shift the position their hips in a way that enhances the projection of their buttocks, and by naturally increasing the feminine sway of their hips, legs, and buttocks as they walk.
From a man's perspective, modern stiletto high-heels, or pumps as they are sometimes known, not only increase a woman's sexy desirability because of how they explicitly change her appearance, but perhaps also because of the subconscious, or even conscious knowledge he has, that a woman wearing high-heels, has specifically chosen to wear a less comfortable type of footwear that is more difficult to walk in, for the sole purpose of making herself more attractive to men. It follows then, that one of the common slang terms for sexy very high-heeled shoes, particularly the slender-heeled stiletto heels, is CFM pumps. Because it is perceived that a woman wearing these flattering and alluring heels, is saying "come f*ck me" to the men around her.