For shoe aficionados, the most obvious answer to this question is, “A life without shoes would be a life without joy!” All kidding aside (for now), the global footwear market is estimated to be worth 382 billion dollars. That’s about 200 times larger than the gigantic California PowerBall Lottery win in November 2022. Imagine that. And in just five years, by 2027, this is projected to grow to 508 billion dollars.
So, the next time someone dares question your penchant for purchasing shoes, you can say you’re just doing your part to help keep the global economy going!
Say Goodbye to Cinderella, Dorothy, and Maxwell Smart
What a cruel, cruel world it would be without shoes. Shoes play an important part in so many of the legends, history, and fairy tales in cultures all over the world. As far back as the first century BC, a Cinderella-like story about a Greek slave girl and a ruler of ancient Egypt included “a slipper test” as a pivotal part of the plot.
How many of the millions of children who have watched The Wizard of Oz wished they could click the heels of their ruby red shoes to get home? And even though they officially deny ever using a shoe phone to spy, the CIA features Maxwell Smart’s famous shoe phone as one of the most popular exhibits in the CIA Museum.
Say Hello to Bigger Lesser Toes
One of the clues scientists use to trace back to the earliest wearing of shoes is the appearance of smaller, more delicate bones of the lesser toes in ancient human skeletons. To explain, lesser toes are the four toes next to your big toe or greater toe.
In any case, scholars and scientists theorize that the advent of smaller, more delicate bones of the lesser toes came about circa 40,000 years ago as a result of humans wearing shoes. Just like shoes today, shoes back then provided enough stability and support to reduce the workload on these lesser toes.
It’s a safe bet that if we never had shoes, our lesser toes would be bigger, stronger, and probably more hairy. The money you would save from not buying shoes would probably be less than the money you’d have to spend on the heavy-duty power tools necessary for a weekly pedi.
Even Our Elected Leaders Prioritize the Need For Good Shoes
Tips On Buying the Right Shoe For You
- The best time of day to buy shoes: If you can, buy shoes at the end of the day. That’s when your feet are their largest. If you try a new shoe on in the morning, it might be too tight by the afternoon.
- Match your socks to your shoes: If you usually wear thick socks with boots and other outdoor activity footwear, then make sure you bring along a pair of thin socks if you’re buying dressy or formal footwear.
- Measure twice and buy once: Have the salesperson measure both feet when buying new shoes. As we age, our feet change, and one foot may be larger than the other.
- Wiggle room is key: When trying on a new pair of shoes, make sure you have enough room to wiggle your toes. This is especially important if you’re planning to be in the cold.
- Walkabout: Most shoe stores are carpeted. As long as you don’t leave the store, it’s a good idea to try on both shoes to see how they feel as you walk around.
“These Boots Are Made For Walking”
It’s almost impossible to add up all the songs and movies in which shoes provided inspiration. From “The Old Brown Shoe” by the Beatles, “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis, to the “boots with the fur” in “Low” by Flo Rida and “Hell in High Heels” by Motley Crue.
In the movie Die Hard, Bruce Willis would have traded anything for a pair of men’s shoes or even flip-flops. Tom Hanks starred in The Man With One Red Shoe, Anne Hathaway wore stiletto heels in The Devil Wears Prada, and The McFly Shoes in Back to the Future are just a few of the movies we love for the shoes
Nike shoes actually produced the Nike Air Mag
, and they were modeled after the shoes worn by Michael J. Fox. Chuck Taylor high tops are in so many movies; this one shoe keeps Converse afloat all by itself.
Shoes Throughout History
As recent as the 1900s, a lot of people wore shoes made of rope. Leather shoes were expensive, and only the well-to-do could afford them. In Europe, many wore shoes made of wood. In fact, the French word for a shoe is sabot. French resistance fighters forced to work in factories during World War 2 would throw their wooden sabots into the machinery to commit “sabotage.”
During the 19th century (the 1800s), shoes in Europe were made to be worn on either foot. There was no difference at all between the shoe you’d wear on your left foot from the shoe on your right foot.
As we go back further, it would seem logical that the quality of shoes became cruder. But that’s not the case at all. During the French revolution
, women’s shoes were lavishly embroidered and adorned with precious metals. The only shoes fancier than those were the shoes worn by the men. Each pair of shoes was a true work of art. Of course, most of the peasants had to go without shoes at all. Maybe that’s how all the trouble started.
Quality Never Goes Out Of Style
You don’t have to go back to the French revolution to get your very own custom-made shoes. And you certainly don’t have to be royalty to afford them. The art of making gorgeous and long-lasting shoes is alive and well right here in California. Before you decide on your next kicks, visit the friendly artisans at COMUNITYmade
. They’d love to show you around.
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