Shoes were created by man to be a covering that would protect the foot. They were also for comfort when engaged in various activities. At first the design of shoes was mainly concerned with function, but later fashion came into play. Contemporary footwear differs greatly in style, how they are made, and of course in cost. You can have a basic, simple sandal all the way to high fashion shoes that are costly and use expensive materials. Then there are the shoes that are made for a single purpose such as dance shoes, steel-toes work boots, mountain-climbing boots, and skiing boots.
For many years shoes were constructed of leather, wood, or some type of fabric. Now they can be made from rubber, plastics, or other newly derived materials. Cost has been a major factor as to who wore shoes. Some populations of the world could not afford them. However, mass production has enabled the shoe to be sold more cheaply and now the majority of the world can afford to wear shoes. Looking through the periods of history we come upon some very quaint traditions and developments as man utilized the shoe to fit his style of living
Earliest designs of shoes were like "foot-bags" of leather. This was common in the colder climates. During the middle Ages "turn-shoes" were developed. The shoe was constructed inside out, wetted and then turned so the finished side of the leather was on the outside. A shoe from the 14th century that is still worn today is the "espadrille".
The "chopine" was another shoe that had a raised sole. It was worn more by the wealthy starting in Venice and then spreading across Europe. These overshoes were on a raised platform and worn over the shoe. This gave height to the person sometimes adding up to 30". Because this would make it difficult to walk ladies would take their maidservants along to help them keep their balance. The church surprisingly approved of the "chopines" since you couldn't really dance in them and that would reduce the opportunities to sin.
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