When did we as humans begin wearing footwear?

Humans beings’ love affair with shoes may go back to prehistoric times, although no actual piece of footwear from that time exists. The first indirect evidence of primitive footwear dates back 40000 years when the bone structure of the fifth toe started to change indicating that something was being worn on their feet. (Choklat 2013)

Some of the earliest preserved shoes are from 9500 years ago and were discovered in Central Oregon in the United States. The earliest shoe prototypes were soft, made from wraparound leather, and resembled either sandals or moccasins. (Pocone 2013)

chalcolithic_leather_shoe_from_areni-1_cave
Source: History of Footwear. Image by Unknown

Visual references to footwear appear throughout history, from 5000  year old Spanish cave paintings to the ancient Egyption, Greek and oriental art now seen in all major museums of the world. (choklat 2013)It wasn’t until the Upper Paleolithic period that footwear was consistently worn by populations. The earliest shoe prototypes were soft, made from wraparound leather, and resembled either sandals or moccasins. (Pocone 2013)

One can see undeniable similarities of the development of shoes in different parts of the world, without any contact. While the Venetians were wearing the chopine, the Japanese balanced on high-soled wooden shoes called geta. Though the shape is slightly different, the idea remains the same. (History of Footwear. n.d)

Resources:

Aki Choklat, 2013, Footwear Design, 1st ed, Lawrence King Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom

Kiri Pocone, ‘The Fascinating History of Footwear’ 6th November 2013, Blog Post, viewed 19th of February 2017 <http://all-that-is-interesting.com/fascinating-history-footwear&gt;

‘History of Footwear’ webpage, n.d, no known author, Introduction, <www.footwearhistory.com> viewed 19th February 2017

Featured Image: saved from Pinterest. Photographer unknown, n.d <world4.eu> viewed 19 February 2017

 

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