The earliest known footwear dates back to 8,000 to 7,000 BC. These shoes were found in Oregon, USA in 1938. It is believed that the use of shoes began in the period between 40,000 and 26,000 BC. This theory is based on the fact that the thickness of the bones of the toes (other than the big toe) decreased during this period. It's been a couple of thousands of years since then and footwear hasn't stopped evolving. Where at one point of time footwear changed according to the weather, we now have all-weather shoes! Footwear is no longer meant to protect our feet from the hot, cold and wet environment, it is now looked upon as a fashion accessory.
PARTS OF A SHOE
Sole: The bottom of a shoe is called the sole.
Insole: The insole is the interior bottom of a shoe on which sits the foot. Some shoes have removable and replaceable insoles and extra insoles for comfort or health reasons.
Outsole: The outsole is the layer of the sole that is in direct contact with the ground. Dress shoes have leather outsoles and casual or work-oriented shoes have outsoles made of natural rubber or a synthetic imitation. Specialised shoes will have modifications on this design like spikes on shoes used in cricket.
Midsole: This is the layer in between the outsole and the insole that aids in shock absorption.
Heel: The bottom rear part of a shoe is the heel. It's main function is to support the heel of the foot but many shoe manufacturers use different kinds of heels to make their shoes appear fashionable.
Upper: All shoes have an upper part that helps hold the shoe onto the foot. In the simplest cases such as sandals this may be nothing more than a few straps. Closed footwear such as boots, sneakers and most men's shoes have a more complex upper. This part is often decorated or is made in a certain style to look
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHOES
Ancients: It is said that these shoes were worn by the wealthy and powerful people in the ancient period. These were made of bark, leaves, grass and animal skins.
Sandals: These are the world's first crafted foot-coverings. Sandals were used by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. They were famous in warm areas like Africa, Asia and America.
Dancing Shoes: Often worn during special dance performances like ballet or tap. While initially shoes were built only for ballet, they gradually moved to creating specific shoes for various dances like tango boots and tap dancing shoes.
Sports Shoes: Used for games like running, skating and tennis. They are made out of rubber, cloth or plastic and tend to be lightweight, flexible and with good traction. Platforms, slippers and moccasins are versions of shoe designs created to suit practicality
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF SHOES
- To prevent shoes from accumulating dirt, they should be cleaned regularly
- Leather shoes need to be polished regularly to maintain colour and flexibility
- Wet shoes should be dried at normal temperature
- A shoe tree or a ball of newspaper can keep the shape of your shoes and soak up moisture.
- The use of a shoe tree can extend the life of leather shoes
- Shoes should be dried and stored in muslin bags
DID YOU KNOW?
In the olden times people used to inhale the smoke of a burning sandal to get relief from headaches!
Bata Shoes is one of the largest companies that manufactures shoes. They have sold 14 billion pairs of shoes. The owner of the Bata Shoes Company, Thomas Bata died at the age of 93. He was born in Czechoslovakia and died on September 1, 2008. Bata was established by his father Mr. Thomas Bata in Zlin in Czechoslovakia on August 24, 1894.