Shoes are something that we are all familiar with. Depending on where you are reading this article you may have one on each foot right now. Shoes come in many shapes and sizes and have developed to an incredibly high level over time. Yet where did it all begin. It is time that we all learned a little bit more about the history of shoes. Read on to find out some fascinating facts that you never knew you needed to know.
The history of shoes certainly dates back a long way. The bible features shoes, the Illiad features shoes and for as long as history has been recorded shoes have been around. The oldest known book is the Epic of Gilgamesh. In it, there is one part of a poem that has an insulting line that says “You are the shoe that pinches the foot of the wearer”. This means that shoes have not only been around for a long time but ill-fitting shoes have been around for a long time too.
Until the 1800s shoes were not made for the left or right foot. Shoes were made to fit both feet and were identical copies of the other shoe. In the 1800s this all changed as the first left and right shoe was made in Philadelphia and the world has not looked back since. In the 11th to 15th centuries pointed shoes were seen as a symbol of wealth and power.
In Japan, traditional shoes are mounted on wood blocks of three to four inches. These wooden block shoes were both fashionable and functional with many purchasers testing the sound of the shoe before buying.
While collecting shoes has become a common hobby today it has been throughout history. Marie Antoinette is one of the most famous figures in history to love shoes and is rumored to have had over 500 pairs. It is another stark example of how little she understood about the plight of the poor during her time.
Many women will either celebrate or cure the year 1954. This was the year that Stiletto heels were invented. The word Stiletto comes from the Latin word meaning stake or small knife. Roger Vivier invented the shoe and in doing so caused a lot of pain for women around the world but many would argue it is a pain that is worth the joy of beautiful shoes.
If you are ever in China and pass a house with a shoe on the roof, don’t be alarmed. There is not a one shoed burglar ransacking the home. Instead, it likely means that a couple recently got married and that a bride is following tradition by throwing a shoe onto the roof to protect the happiness of the home.
If you know someone that loves collecting high heels then you know someone with altocalciphilia. However, you may be surprised at what is considered excessive in the modern age. Today the average number of shoes owned by American women is 30 and by American men is 12. The average yearly amount spent on shoes by American women is $300. Imelda Marcos is in the Guinness Book of World Records for owning 3,400 pairs of shoes.
Are your feet big or small? The average women’s foot size in America is 8.5 while for men it is 10.5. The largest feet in the world belong to a man from Morocco. Brahim Takioullah has feet that are around 18 to 20 in US sizing (58 in Europe).
These are just some of our favorite facts about shoes. While we are sure there are countless others this is certainly enough to get you started and impress when the conversation inevitably turns to shoes.