fashion through history

features historical costumes from ancient world to modern age.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Shoe Design And History

A form of footgear covering the foot right up to the ankle, the shoe is intended to protect the foot from dampness, cold and rough terrain. Other forms of footwear are moccasins, slippers, sandals, mules and boots,

The moccasin is renowned for its sole that extends up around the foot to form the upper section (partly or fully) of the shoe. Due to its flexibility and greater protection against dampness, this is popular among hunters because it gives protection with a seam between the sole and uppers. The slipper is strictly intended for indoor wear. It's a soft shoe with uppers normally made of fabric, often lined for winter wear with fur or wool. The sandal generally has a flat sole of wood or leather fastened to the foot by thongs, straps or a knob between the toes. Mules are actually slippers that are designed for outdoor wear and consists of an upper that covers the toes and a sole. The boot has a sole and upper part that normally extends well above the ankle to protect the leg from wetness, the cold or dangerous conditions, like thorny plants or snakebite.

The first material for constructing shoes, leather is the most widely available and has proved to have the most suitable of quality. Theory has it that Stone Age man wasn't able to cover himself with material as vast as the skin of an animal he killed for food. It's highly likely that he wrapped pieces of hid around his feet to secure them against the perils of the cold, the rough terrain or sharp flint shards which he made is his tools.; The first effort at leather dressing was accomplished when the hide cracked and dried as primitive man softened it with fats and animal oils.

As man became more sophisticated with the advent of personal vanity, he began to use various vegetable dyes to change the color of skin clothes. A method of preserving the hide from putrefying was discovered by accident and became leather. Dressing and curing hides by vegetable dyes and natural oils were practiced until the 20th century, when tanning came to be accomplished chemically with chromium salts. In the 20th century, vulcanized rubber was increasingly used for footwear. Discovered by Waldo Semon during WWII, synthetic rubber is currently the most used shoemaking material , as it provides waterproof, hardwearing, durable sales. Especially for uppers, plastics are used as well.


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