Evolution of Shoes


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Imagining a time without shoes seems like an impossible thought now. Something that is now an essential fashion accessory and fundamental necessity was not always around. The invention of shoes for ladies and gents started as a protection measure to shield their feet against climate and other atrocities.

Something that began as a practical need has come a long way. The industry quickly escalated over the years to give rise to more design-oriented patterns. Even though many qualities of these shoes have changed, their main character and essence are still unchanged.

Evolution of Shoes

In the earlier times shoes for ladies, men and children were made by craftsmen who worked on them themselves. They aided stitching and different materials to make comfortable shoes. There is a massive contrast in the early day shoes to now, in terms of color, fabric, and designs.

At the onset of things, making shoes depended on cultural, economic, and political factors. Also, materials, shapes, prints, and styles made a difference. Growth in different aspects of life changed the understanding of shoes. People discovered new technologies and captured new lands which affected their perspectives.


In 1991, archaeologists unearthed a naturally mummified human named Oetzi, at the border of Australia. He was wearing shoes made from bearskin and stuffed hay. It was a crucial moment in understanding the birth of shoes. Stone age footwear is believed to revolve around fewer stitches.

The stitches were small and unreliable. No one particular shoe has pioneered the existence of shoes. Contingent on the climate, area, and available materials, the format of shoes differed. The Northern groups used thicker leather, fur, and hay.

Meanwhile, the southern regions employed palm leaves or papyrus fiber. Even if the climatic conditions were sustainable, people still needed shoes to protect them against the natural outside effects.

The migration period witnessed footwear that appeared with many changes. Egyptian sandals and pointed shoes were mostly relevant around this time. Subsequently, they discovered heels, which marked a time when western fashion was developing.

Spiritual and rigorous classes of the world still relied on social class to determine their footwear. Some of the most influential trends surfaced in Italy and Spain.

They had the strongest seaports in Europe, and artisans shops and merchants were on the rise of developments. These countries established financial centers that enabled the growth of footwear and attire fashion.

Contemporary designers are always seeking new ideas from olden times. It allows them to dwell deeper into creativity and add intricate patterns to the latest designs. Steps like production methods, sewing structures, leather washing, burning, and painting shoes have not altered since the 19th century.


The first-ever sandals appeared in ancient Egypt, and they made them using palm leaves, papyrus fiber, and raw leather. They were stretched and tied by the end of the foot. Initially, they were the only privy to clerics and Pharaohs. But eventually, sandals were worn by all Egyptians, and color distinction symbolized their social class.

Roman and Greek drawings popularised sandals that went halfway up to the knees and had many laces. They were also known as gladiators. They were unbiased to a person’s sex. More laces and a thinner sole were symbolic of a higher rank. The middle ages witnessed pointy shoes made from jute and canvas. The length of these shoes determined a person’s social status.

Before the end of the 18th century, the world perceived men’s legs as a standard of beauty. They started donning heels before women. Kings from the Renaissance period wore high heels to demonstrate their supremacy. Women wore platforms during this time. Long boots emerged as a fashion staple used for horseback riding. Baroque prints were exceedingly popular.

By 1918, fashion underwent significant breakthroughs. Hollywood stars popularised fancy and prime footwear. The Beatles familiarised the world with Chelsea shoes whereas Audrey Hepburn universalized kitten heels.

Sports shoes also became an integral part of fashion. Fashion enthusiasts marked Their invention in 1917. The word sneaker had also become popular. By mid-1940, they were a massive revolution in sport’s shoes and clothes for both sexes. People believed in comfort, improvisation, and style.


The evolution of footwear is long and detailed. It has undergone several changes to finally see it the way we do today. Practicality gave birth to an unmissable fashion accessory. It is improbable to imagine our lives without any footwear today.

Paradoxically, olden times imposed many restrictions on different classes and sexes. Thankfully, we have left those ancient times behind and are freely donning what one can desire.


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