Roman sandals

Where do shoes come from?

A Boot

The earliest reference to shoes are some kind of findings from about ten thousand years ago. People are, since time immemorial times, learned that the soles of the feet are sometimes good to be protected against the cold, sharp stones or other harmful effects. On the other hand, where circumstances permit, also being bare footed has always been in fashion.

Prior to year 1000 numbers of different types of sandals were used, among other things, the Greeks, for whom the use of the shoes had been a wealth and status symbol. Roman sandals, in turn, developed into simple boots. Celts at 1100’s used leather shoes, which were heated by the fur inside of them.

medieval shoe
A medieval shoe

In the Middle Ages shoes could be up to half a meter long with tapered tips. In the 1500’s came into fashion unwalkable, up to half a meter high platform soles, Chopin. In 1600’s it became more common to use shoe laces to tighten the shoes. The French Sun King Louis XIV used platform shoes and made courts wild around Europe.

Little Green Boy in platform shoes
Little Green Boy in platform shoes

Previously shoes were always handmade. Shoemakers guild was appreciated and they sewed shoes together from leather pieces. Today, cobblers, mainly fix shoes and copy keys. 1700’s the shoe industry developed and mass production began. The first shoe factories were founded, and as well the first shoe store opened in Boston. When 1900s’ approached , sports shoes were invented, among other things and manufacturing of shoes became easier thanks to the invention of the sewing machine. 

Today, most shoes are manufactured in factories in large Asian countries. Shoes might be made partly by hand, but now the factory can produces thousands of pairs of shoes a day, while the shoes entirely made by hand by the shoemaker could take a week.

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