History: Origin of Shoes

Facts and history of shoes from around the world.

  • Until around the beginning of the 20th century, Chinese culture regarded small feet as beautiful, and it was a common practice to bind women’s feet from an early age to keep their feet small.   This practice was limited to the wealthy, however, as the feet of women who underwent this procedure were so deformed that they had difficulty walking.
  • In Arab culture, shoes are considered dirty because they touch the ground and cover the lowest part of the body, the foot. It is considered offensive to show one’s shoe sole, and throwing your shoe at someone is an extremely grave insult.
  • There was a period, when Christian Louboutin shoes were available with baby blue soles. These were related with an intention to enable “something blue” for brides-to-be and were very short-lived.
  • Sneakers were first produced in 1800. They had a simple rubber sole design and the name sneaker comes from the fact that their soles are smooth, that they hardly make a sound on the ground. “Keds” was the first company to produce sneakers followed by “Converse” in the year 1917.
  • The earliest known shoes are sandals that date back to approximately 7,000 B.C. However, bone analysis of early humans suggest humans began wearing shoes as early as 40,000 years ago.
  • A Sneakerhead is someone who collects shoes.



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