I’ve read, heard said, and come to believe…woman or man…our shoes speak loudly to our personality. So…whether you are dining, dancing, or gardening…take a close look at those shoes…if they spark a wild thought….
Some fun shoe facts~
Shoe sizes were first established in the year 1324! in England by King Edward II. He declared in 1324 that the diameter of one barley corn (one third of an inch) would represent one full shoe size. This this standard of measure is still used today!!
Ancient Romans were the first to construct distinct left and right shoes. Before that shoes could be worn on either foot.
- 4,000 years ago the first shoes were made of a single piece of rawhide that enveloped the foot for both warmth and protection.
- Sturdy shoes first came into widespread use between 40,000 and 26,000 years ago, according to a US scientist. Humans’ small toes became weaker during this time, says physical anthropologist Erik Trinkaus, who has studied scores of early human foot bones. He attributes this anatomical change to the invention of rugged shoes, that reduced our need for strong, flexible toes to grip and balance.
- The first known images of footwear are boots depicted in 15,000 year old Spanish cave paintings.
- In Europe pointed toes on shoes were fashionable from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries.
- In the Middle East heels were added to shoes to lift the foot from the burning sand.
- In Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries heels on shoes were always colored red.
7. Shoes all over the world were identical until the nineteenth century, when left- and right-footed shoes were first made in Philadelphia.
8. In Europe it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that women’s shoes were different from men’s.
9. The first lady’s boot was designed for Queen Victoria in 1840.
10. Six-inch-high heels were worn by the upper classes in seventeenth-century Europe. Two servants, one on either side, were needed to hold up the person wearing the high heels.
11. Grecian shoes were peculiar in reaching to the middle of the legs.
12. The present fashion of shoes was introduced into England in 1633
13. Up to 1850 all shoes were made with practically the same hand tools that were used in Egypt as early as the 14th century B.C. as a part of a sandal maker’s equipment. To the curved awl, the chisel-like knife and the scraper, the shoemakers of the thirty-three intervening centuries had added only a few simple tools such as the pincers, the lapstone, the hammer and a variety of rubbing sticks used for finishing edges and heels.
14. In 1845 the first machine to find a permanent place in the shoe industry came into use. It was the Rolling Machine, which replaced the lapstone and hammer previously used by hand shoemakers for pounding sole leather, a method of increasing wear by compacting the fibres.
15. In 1858, Lyman R.Blake, a shoemaker, invented a machine for sewing the soles of shoes to the uppers.His patents were purchased by Gordon McKay, who improved upon Blake’s invention. The shoes made on this machine came to be called “McKays.”
16. In 1875 a machine for making a different type of shoe was developed. Later known as the Goodyear Welt Sewing Machine, it was used for making both Welt and Turn shoes. These machines became successful under the management of Charles Goodyear, Jr., the son of the famous inventor of the process of vulcanizing rubber.
17. High heels for women are believed to have originated with Catherine de Medici, a 16th century Italian noblewoman who was short in stature and wanted to make a bigger impression when she arrived in France to marry the future King Henry.
19. In 18th century legislation designed to create paved walkways within cities allowed women to wear less practical shoes with higher heels
20. Sneakers were first made in America in 1916. They were originally called keds.
21. The open-toed shoe became fashionable in the 1930s as a result of the new vogue for sunbathing.
22. Roger-Henri Vivier is credited with inventing (or at least re-popularizing) the stiletto heel in the 1950s.
23. Despite all of cutbacks during World War II, high shoes were very in style. Designers created tall, uplifting heels using materials that weren’t rationed, like wood straw and snakeskin.
24. The boots Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in are still floating around in space.
And now you know….