It is nearly impossible to come across barefooted people on the streets today. Shoes now constitute a vital part of our everyday attires. The most basic importance of shoes is that they protect your feet from being harmed by sharp objects and from being bruised by hot surfaces and hard ground.
But because there is now a wide range of fashions, shoes can protect the feet while also bringing out a sense of style, occasion and personality to the wearer. In fact, shoes have become such an important of a person’s attire that some psychologists have said that shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you.
Shoes have been in existence for a very long time, going as far back as 40,000 years ago based on archeological excavations.This is according to the article “The Fascinating History of Footwear” by Kiri Picone, a contributing writer for All That Is Interesting, a knowledge-dissemination platform.
Before the existence of shoes, in Bronze Age (2500BC to 800BC), people sowed bark, large leaves and grass together to protect their feet. This is discussed in the article “The History of Shoes written by Southampton Borough Council.
However, in the article “The History of Shoes” Mary Bellis, a writer for ThoughtCo, a knowledge dissemination platform says that by 1200BC shoes were in existence. According to Bellis, some Mesopotamians of that era wore wraparound leather, similar to a moccasin.
Shoes were originally designed only for the purpose of protecting feet. Thus at the beginning there was no distinction between men and women’s shoes. It was in the 1800s that designs started having distinct style, colour, heels and toe shape for men and women. This is according to Bellis.
It was also during this time, particularly in 1850 that there was a change from making straight shoes to shoes that were tailored for specific feet. Tim Lambert an English historian makes this assertion in the article “A brief history of boots and shoes.”
Because shoes were initially made by hand, they were in scarcity. That was until 1883 when Jan Ernst Matzeliger a mixed race Dutch inventor whose mother was a slave developed an automated method for making shoes. This is according to Biography, a platform for stories about famous people.
Matzeliger’s invention, according to a number of studies, is the reason why we have a lot of shoes in circulation today.
Since shoes came into use up to this day, leather continues to be the most popular material for shoes. This is because leather is comfortable and long-lasting. But continuous design has seen leather combined with other materials such as wood, rubber and metal. Sometimes rubber is used alone for making shoes.
Much as shoes are ordinary,they are a timeless invention because as long as human beings continue to walk, they will always be in need of shoes.