Historical Overview

Shoe History

We read in an encyclopedia that on May 20, 1310 was manufactured the first pair of shoes onto separate templates for the right and left leg. Until then, we learned that people wore simple pieces of animal skins that were supported by ropes.

But why does the man decided to wear shoes?

Of course not for cosmetic reasons. Historical references teach us that the shoe has its roots in ancient Egyptian and Greek residents. Then people felt the need to protect themselves from the muddy waters and heavy cold winter, but also wild lands and poisonous plants as running to hunt their food.

Until the early Roman times the most popular genre was the leather sandal, ie pieces of animal skins that were tied with ropes around the thigh. During major combat such campaigns, the ancient Greeks had already discovered copper and other metals so they invented the first metal boots that took the form of greaves to protect them away from enemy attacks.

In ancient Rome, the inhabitants used to delve into the boots and sandals with intricate designs while the early Middle Ages presents the first sewn shoes that were a combination of leather and metal details. Historians speak of the first moccasin shoe that slowly begins adorned with velvet or fur from animals tails or even brocaded ornaments, depending on the social position of those who wore them.

This is how we arrive in the early 14th century, and more specifically in early May 1310, when a shoe craftsman from Venice proposed a pair slippers to the princess ... literally "cut and sewn" in her measures. So dazzling was the elegance of her foot in the royal dance, which shone the whole palace and the proud craftsman decided to further improve his masterpiece. Within days he built a second pair in addition to the gold buttons also had props under the heel so that shows even taller when she danced. That's how we discovered high-heeled shoes, to look even more slim and elegant were made with sharp protrusions of ivory and other rare materials brought nobles from their long jurneys.

In 1377, another highly sought after craftsman in France this time, decided to build a pair of wooden high heel insoles to protect the feet from the cold and the rain. Initially, these supports were not glued but formed separately molds could be tied up in all shoes.

The one that introduced the colorful high-heeled shoes in daring combinations were Queen Elizabeth in the late 16th century, which was known for her mania to impress her guests with eccentric combinations in the decoration of the palace. Witnesses say that the shoes she wore fit even with the curtains of the palace or the expensive silk carpets and flowers in the garden.

Since then, France became the paradise of footwear which everyone, men and women had the right to wear beautiful shoes with all sorts of textures on high heels, which sometimes were thin and pointed and sometimes again square or curved at lower altitudes.

Furthermore, with the advancement of inventions began to discover new quality shoes, such as soft slippers with rubber soles for common mortals, but also the tough boots with leather and metallic reinforcement for male warriors.

As for the other side of the Atlantic, we learn that the first American shoemaker was of European descent Thomas Byrd, who opened his studio in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629.

During the industrial revolution, small workshops of handmade shoes were replaced by large production units with modern machinery, which according to reports at the end of 1833 the annual shoe production exceeded 10,000 pairs. Today it is estimated that there are more than 180 different kinds of machines for the manufacture of shoes, while the focus of famous designer remains Italy, which holds the first position in the area of Haute Couture.

However, the art of handmade shoes did not lose a moment of glory. Even today we find family workshops with delicate designs, made of modern materials technology that blend perfectly with traditional techniques, depending on the feasibility of their use and the socio-economic position of those who ordered.