April 17, 2015: Snap-shots from the history of footwear

Snap-shots from the history of footwear

The Ancient Egyptians used to paint the picture of their enemy on the sole of their shoe so that they stamped on them when they walked.

Today in parts of the Middle East, throwing your shoe at someone is considered a gross insult.

The Romans are thought to have been the first to make left and right shoes.

Previously both had been the same, and they coloured them according to rank.

In the thirteenth century shoe/boot makers were called ‘Cordwainers’, named after the fine, hard wearing goatskins that came from Cordova in Spain.

‘Cobblers’ at this time did not make shoes.

They bought up old ones and re-made them for re-sale, the same materials being used repeatedly.

Hence the term – ‘cobble something together.’

Although now seen as a sign of femininity and glamour – a pair of high heels was once an essential accessory for men.

High heels were worn for centuries throughout the near east as a form of riding footwear.

When a soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him to secure his stance so that he could use his bow and arrow more effectively.

Some diminutive men through history also used them to make themselves appear taller, even the odd film star today.

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