Today’s shoes are not a mere utensil; furthermore, they are a sign of style, fashion and differentiation, defying seasons, temperature, cultures or simple use. Why instead do we wear boots in summer or sandals with socks anytime?
But the truth is that there are evidences that the history of the shoe starts in 10,000 BC. Early times there! It was common, though, to walk barefoot and to carry the sandals using them just when necessary. Imagine that situation now? Unbelievable!
In the Egyptian funeral chambers, paintings were discovered representing the various stages of the preparation of the leather and the footwear. There we have the first traces of leather craftwork!
The Egyptian’s sandals, though, were made of straw, papyrus or of palm fiber. Already beautiful and stylish, their style has been constantly reinterpreted though history.
Boots were symbol of high social status in Mesopotamia, as common raw leather shoes tied to the feet by straps of the same material.
Did you know that the Greek first introduced different models for right and left feet?
In Rome, footwear indicated the social class. The consuls wore white, the senators wore brown moored by four leather tapes tied with two knots and the traditional footwear of the legions was the short boot that uncovered the toes.
In the middle ages, men as well as women wore leather shoes similar to ballet slippers. Men also wore high and short boots tied in the front and in the side. The most common material was the cow skin, but the upper quality boots were made of goat skin.
The standardization of shoe sizes is of English origin, thanks to King Edward (1272-1307). In 1642, Thomas Pendleton provided 4,000 pairs of shoes and 600 pairs of boots to the army. The military campaigns of this time initiated a substantial demand for boots and shoes.
In the middle of the 19th century machines started to take place in the footwear production, but only with the appearance of the sewing machine the shoe started to be more accessible.
From the fourth decade of the 20th century on, big changes in the footwear industries began to happen as the change of the leather by the rubber and synthetic materials.
But we do love history and craftwork and have plenty of time to invest in manual sewing, tanning and packing your unique shoes. Right like before. And so will always be in future.
Always yours, Andrés Sendra.