Shoe through the Ages
Shoe are fascinating –especially the evolution in their design. Eskimos and Laplander first covered their feet with fur out of necessity – to protect their feet from the jagged terrain and the cold, unforgiving winter in the tundra and frozen regions.
Shoe through the Ages
In 1200 B.C., pharaohs and wore sandals and flats to protect from hot sands. From tall boots worn by buccaneers and pirates, to leather cowboy boots to the soft moccasins of the Native Americans, our fascination with shoe designs has not ceased. Everything from the most practical and function to the most outrageous high fashions can be seen in today’s style magazines.
Some shoes are quite entertaining, while others look like sheer barbaric torture, such as the ancient Chinese shoes that were used to bind young girl’s feet to stunt them – a cultural sign of beauty. Throughout the centuries, shoes have been designed with specific purposes in mind – they were designed to serve and protect while providing fashionable foot covering.
Shoe through the Ages, shoes were very specifically designed, for example:
- Kings and Pharaohs wore elaborate designs
- Commoners shoes were simple yet functional
- Sporting Events
- Depending on the sport, the shoe was designed accordingly
- Battle Gear
- Protective footwear was essential to those on the battlefield and for long treks
- Formal Events
- Balls and dances called for the most fashionable, elaborate and ornate shoes
- Every woman wants to be the belle of the ball at her own wedding – shoe designs are as countless as the wedding themselves
Shoe through the Ages – Shoe designs are rich in legend and folklore.
The artistic taste of the local people continues to dictate the styles that are worn, even today. While the sandal may be one of the most popular foot covering in warm climates, the ornamentation and styling is still very much localized. It was not until the shoe-rolling machine was introduced in 1845 that mass production came into existence. Up until then, there was no such thing as left foot/right foot-pads.
Now, however, with global trading, styles are transcending the globe, allowing people everywhere to experience the designs of different cultures. Anyone can now buy huaraches, Roman-style lace up sandals, Japanese thong sandals etc. More and more countries are producing shoes and shipping globally, everyone trying to gain the lion’s share of the market in this huge industry.
Some shoe styles are stunning in their design, originality, and function, while others are as absurd as they come.
From noisy metal devices to keep a woman’s shoe from getting dirty to fancy Russian leather women‘s walking boots in 1870’s, materials have also changed drastically. shoes made from wood, leather, or canvas, a host of skins, i.e. snake, alligator, kangaroo have been introduced into the market place. Even more exotic are the eel skins, ostrich, elephant, python, and caiman which used in both men’s and women’s styles. Additionally, some of the hottest styles created from plastic, rubber and other synthetics. Cinderella had glass slippers and Dorothy’s made from rubies!
Today’s shoes have their inspiration from styles from the past.
The heel heights are both amazing and outrageous, foot not designed for some of heels. With 25% of the human body’s bones found in the foot (26 to be exact), they are also the most vulnerable. Their job is to keep us upright and erect, balanced and steadfast in our gait. Wear sensible shoes at all times and wear the right shoe for the event.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of the shoe, checkout this The History of Footwear.
Frida Wolfe pays homage to shoes in her poem:
By Frida Wolfe
New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they’d let us buy?
Buckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let’s have some to try.
Bright shoes, white shoes,
Like some? So would I.
Flat shoes, fat shoes,
That’s the sort they’ll buy.