The Evolution of Footwear

Slippers for Women

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As time evolves, so does the people living in this world. Civilization has gone from utilizing nature at its fullest to relying on pure innovation provided by what their current society has to offer. No matter how one may perceive this notion, it is truly marvelous to look how far one has come.

There is a multitude of things that helped contribute to the change in the times – whether it be technological, scientific, literary, and all other means that are practical. Think about it; in the Ancient times, the wheel was introduced. In the mid-18th century, Benjamin Franklin introduced to the world electricity, which in turn helped a certain inventor named Thomas Edison make his invention known a decade after Franklin’s milestone, the Light Bulb. In the world of clothing, different civilizations of each time utilized different forms of techniques to produce clothing – Egyptians used loincloths made of cotton, Incas made use of garments made from wool, Indians made use of tunics made from cotton, and Aristocrats introduced the use of different kinds of different fabrics for different clothing. All this, in turn, helped in the culminating of a timeless piece of everyone’s everyday clothing: the footwear.


History of Footwear

During a time when almost everyone would go barefoot and transportation was scarce, safety was always of everyone’s concern. For this reason, footwear was introduced to meet the needs of every individual in terms of keeping themselves safe from injury. The Greeks made use of sandals to protect their feet as roads at the time were filled with sharp, jagged rocks. This was also seen by many as a standard attire for their soldiers, as they train in extreme conditions to make sure that they are fit for battle.

Depending on what social class they belong to, the sandals can be made from other materials – from leather, plastic, rope, straw, and metal. What was important at the time was to make sure that one’s body, from top to bottom, is spared from the dangers brought on by the Elements.

Going back further, there were also other ancient civilizations that made use of other forms of footwear. In fact, some historians believed that footwear dates back further from Ancient Greece as the oldest recorded form of footwear are said to be at least five thousand years old. The shoes found at the time were made from leather hide and other materials made from plant life. It was also discovered to be well-preserved in sheep dung.

As civilization evolves, so does the appearance and methodology involved in creating shoes. With the usual material like leather, other materials were introduced in due time, which in turn helped in upgrading their appearances. Besides the Greeks, Native Americans made use of a shoe known as Moccasins. These shoes were made from deer skin, giving the shoe its soft and firm texture. Other animal hides were used in other civilizations of time, further widening the diversity of footwear in the world.

In the era of the aristocrats, the use of leather in footwear was widely recognized by the elite. People of nobility favored these kinds of shoes due to their durability and flexibility when it came to motion, as well as their availability for their own doings. In fact, it was during this time where the notion of style in footwear was introduced among men and women.

It wasn’t until the dawn of industrialization when modern techniques were used in manufacturing footwear – all because of one individual.


Jan Ernst Matzeliger

With industrialization at its highest, various inventions of innovations were introduced to the public. Besides a multitude of machines designed to make life a bit easier for the working class, so were the manufacturing of footwear at the time. With one individual named Jan Ernst Matzeliger, the footwear industry gained an enormous boost in advantage.

Born in Surinam in 1852, this young man had a promising career ahead of him as he was born to an engineer father. At the time, shoes were traditionally made by hand and the distribution of the product was a bit slow, to say the least.

In addition, the process of creating a simple shoe was a bit difficult to achieve. In order to get an accurate fit for a shoe, the customer’s foot had to be duplicated in size, creating a mold of sorts to ensure the right fit for a shoe. Additionally, the art of shoemaking was only given to those who are considered as masters of the said craft.

Luckily, Matzeliger’s invention was right on time. Since his machine’s introduction to the public, his wise invention was able to produce an approximate 500-700 pairs a day – cutting the nation’s prices on shoes by 50%. Sadly, he died in 1889 due to a tragic case of tuberculosis and he never lived to see the impact of his invention. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the shoe industry wouldn’t be what it is today.


Women’s Footwear

Though the concept of shoes and other footwear were often associated with men of nobility and other classes, women also helped shape the footwear industry into what it is today. With a lot of varieties to choose from, it was certainly able to meet the many standards of beauty and power throughout the times.

In Ancient Egypt, their traditional sandals were typically made from leather and straw, both for men and women. Though going barefoot was a common practice in their everyday life, the use of footwear was made to protect themselves from the scorching heat of the climate.

In Ancient China, the notion of beauty and footwear was considered by many of the modern society as ‘painful’ – mainly because of their foot binding practice. It was believed that women of aristocracy use this since they believe that it was a symbol of nobility among women and that women at that time did not need to use their feet to work. Additionally, this was seen by many as a means of subjecting women to a life of servitude towards their husbands when it was time for them to marry. Numerous other theories were also discussed throughout time, though nonetheless, the extremes people went through when it comes to their customs is undoubtable.

The practice of foot binding involved the breaking of a woman’s toes, hence emphasizing the painful nature of this practice. Once done, women were made to wear tiny, misshapen shoes and to take small steps when they walk. As time passed by, the practice of foot binding has fallen out of favor with the rise of modern civilization and every corporate aspect the modern world has to offer. Either way, the notions of beauty and power has indeed changed for the betterment and comfort of everyone.

Other civilizations besides Egypt and China also have their own traditions and customs they followed when it comes to women’s footwear. For example, the Indians made use of the shoe known as Paduka, the era of aristocracies, such as the French and the English made use of heels to accentuate their height, and the Japanese made use of wooden slippers with a strap to help keep it in place.


Introduction of Modern Footwear

The characteristics of footwear have helped pave the way for footwear to take a modern approach. Every sole, every shoelace, and every aglet has all contributed to something big and has impacted in the nature of the society and the civilization.

To get started, gaining inspiration from historical footwear comes a more casual approach to cater to every growing boy and girl in the world: sneakers. Not only does this footwear perfectly suit the youth of then and now, hence, it also rode the wave of the rising athleticism all over the world.

Introduced towards the end of the 19th century, these shoes were seen as the more conventional and sporty approach to the shoes of that time. While considered crude at first, it began to gain widespread recognition in the year 1923 – where a certain athlete named Chuck Taylor endorsed the shoes and led it to be named as the ‘Chuck Taylor All-Stars’.

By 1924, a year after the Chuck Taylor phenomenon, Adidas was starting to make a noise in the shoe industry. In 1936, Jessie Owens wore an Adidas sneaker for the competition. He successfully racked up four gold medals at that time. By the time the ‘50s rolled in, the youth began to wear them as fashion statements, seen by some of the stars of the era such as James Dean.

While they may have been popular in the times, the entirety of sneakers really took off in the year 1984, all because of one of the most famous NBA stars of all time – Michael Jordan. In that year, Michael Jordan signed a contract to wear the most famous sneaker brand to ever walk on Earth, the Air Jordans. Up until now, these sneakers and the entire sneaker lines of other brands as well, continue to make such a heavy impact to the youth and the young-at-heart. It is no great surprise that because of this phenomenon, today’s sneaker industry has truly risen from the ground up.

Aside from sneakers, other forms of footwear have made their mark in today’s world – especially a pair of footwear called slippers.

Slippers, especially for women, are seen as the ideal footwear for the indoors. They are generally worn indoors to prevent dirt from spreading around and to keep one’s feet clean while walking. These kinds of footwear are especially popular in countries such as China and the Philippines.

This footwear also has an identical relative – the flip flop. What makes the two of them different from one another is that while slippers are designed for indoor use, the flip flop is designed especially for outdoor environments. It has the convenience of a slipper when it comes to putting it on and the thickness of a sandal for your feet’s extra protection. Plus, both of them can come in different varieties and different designs, widening their target markets even more.

When it comes to other forms of footwear in the modern world, there have been newer variations of each shoe that have been continually introduced to meet the growing demands of the market. They each meet the demands set for quantity, quality, comfort, style, and convenience. No matter what you choose, you can never go wrong with whatever you can get, as long as you are comfortable with it.


Impact of Footwear

The footwear industry has truly turned heads in terms of inception, innovation, and style. With its rich historical background and countless values that are associated with it, this industry continues to make millions of people feel at ease on the ground that they walk on.

Think about, where would one be without footwear? Injuries and diseases would be present all the time and one’s overall hygiene wouldn’t be the ultimate concern of everyone today. Footwear has truly helped in shaping the modern human society through their numerous variations and other forms. You never know that a shoe can hold numerous stories for you to learn. All you need is to give it a try.

Key Takeaway

There is no doubt that your feet deserve only the best protection. Not only does footwear exude style, hence, it ensures the safety of one of the most beloved part of your body.

Feet are used for walking, running, and basically getting you from point A to point B at ease. Given that reason, why not find the best choice of footwear? With style and comfort a top priority, where else can you get that other than Minal Footwear?

Minal Footwear offers a wide array of footwear selections of your choice. With various styles and an ultimate level of comfort and satisfaction, what is not to love about Minal Footwear?

If you wish to know more about Minal Footwear, feel free to click here.