History of Shoes
Manchu Woman’s Platform Shoe
|Around 1876, America's
first cowboy boot was made by boot makers in Kansas. They were very
practical for riding horses in big cattle drives from Texas to Kansas.
The pointed toe slipped easily into the sturrups,and the heels helped
the feet stay in the sturrups if the horse stopped suddenly. Also,
the tall boot tops protected against chafing,cactus, and rattlesnakes. The
earliest boots were made in either black or dark brown.
Woman's Bound Foot Shoes
1880 and 1900 in Manchuria, North East China, platform shoes were made
for Manchu women who were forbidden from binding their feet like other
Chinese women. The tapering sole wsa designed to give the impression
of small feet like women would get from binding them. The shoes even
caused women to walk like they had very small feet.
|According to a legend, lotus
or lily foot slippers date back to the 11th century in China when Empress
Taki was born with deformed feet. So she wouldn't be embarrassed, her
father announced that only women with very small feet were feminine and
desirable. Women began to bind girls feet at age 5 to 7 years old.
It was painful, but in 2 to 3 years the size of the foot was gradually reduced.
The goal was having a foot only 3 inches long.
|This is probably the earliest
type of footwear made from a single piece of rawhide folded around the foot.
It was stitched with twine or leather thong. The shoe was cut so the
hair lay with the roots toward the heel and the ends at the toe to help grip
Men's Leather Sandals
|Sandals are ideal for the
hot regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The firm soles
protect the feet, while the straps let air in and sand fall out. For
this reason, they have been the dominant footwear for centuries.
Pictures and information from http://www.northhampton.gov.uk
Background curtsy of GRSites.com