A Footwear History
Footwear is estimated to have started its long history of human use during the Ice Age some 5 million years ago. Unkind weather conditions are said to have created the necessity for footwear.
Other evidences show that foo Avalyne twear came to use at the end of the Paleolithic Period, at about the same time the early humans learned the art of leather tanning.
Early pieces of footwear were made of wrappings, usually made of leather or dried grasses. Later on pieces were developed from an oval piece of leather which is bound by a piece of strong leather thongs. Sandals, which are the first crafted footwear, are the successors to these wrappings.
In Egyptian funeral chambers, paintings show the different stages in the preparation of leather and footwear. The images also show that in Egypt, footwear depicted power and class.
The Pharaohs’ sandals were distinguished by the turned up toes, a characteristic which is missing in the commoners’ footwear. Egyptian sandals were crafted using straw, papyrus, or palm fiber.Later on, Egyptian women adorned their footwear with precious stones and jewels.
Material evidences showed that the Greeks loved and took good care of their feet by using different footwear for different activities. Greek women began wearing sandals to signify their social class. Their footwear signified beauty, elegance, refinement, and extravagance.
It has been said that Greek women of bad reputation attracted men by wearing elevated sandals. These sandals create a “clacking” sound when the wearer moves, and this sound was considered as a symbolic flaunting of sexual charms.
In Mesopotamia, leather wrappings are tied to the feet by a strip of the same material.
Romans, on the other hand, created durable leather thongs so their legions can travel to places on foot. It is also believed that foot fetishes began with the Romans when Senator Lucius Vitellus frequently kissed the shoe of his mistress which was hidden in his tunic.
In Rome, footwear also exhibited social class. The consuls wore white shoes, the senators wore brown shoes, and the uniform footwear for the rest of the region was a short pair of boots that uncovered the toes.
But in all of these early civilizations, footwear indicated social status. Footwear consists of garments that are worn over the feet. They are worn mainly for protection and hygiene, but also for fashion and adornment.
Footwear items come from a wide range of materials including leather, rubber, canvass, wood, and plastic. But early pieces were made from available materials like straw, leather, cowhide, and grasses.