12 Facts About Shoes You Didn’t Know – Until Now

Shoes are fun to own, fun to wear, and fun to shop for. Whether you’re admiring a new pair of Louboutins or are perusing the flip flop aisle for a trip to the beach, everyone enjoys a new pair of shoes. This hasn’t always been the case. When it comes to footwear, we’ve come a long way, baby!


12 Fun Facts About Shoes, Boots, and Everything In Between


1. Open-heeled slippers were originally designed for concubines in sultan harems. These slippers made it difficult for them to run away from the harem. Crusaders brought these slippers back to Europe and made them fashionable.


2. In the Roman Empire men wore black shoes and women wore white. The Emperor showed his status by wearing red boots while Senators showed theirs with black lace-up boots. Only courtesans could wear open-toed shoes. This definitely saved room in the closet.


3. In Europe only men wore high-heeled shoes to keep their feet in the stirrups while riding. Madame Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XV, changed that custom overnight when she ordered for herself a pair of high-heeled shoes. Women have been in high heels ever since.


4. In ancient Greece, the hetaerae, or prostitutes, wore sandals that left marks in the dust that read, “Follow me.” They thereby created a trail that prospective clients could follow to obtain their services.


5. Until 1818 there were no “right” and “left” shoes. All shoes could be worn on either foot. A shoemaker in Philadelphia was the first to differentiate between the feet and we all thank him today.


6. They really do wear wooden clogs, called klompens, in Holland. Much of the land there is below sea level and marshy, ruining leather shoes. Wooden clogs withstand the landscape. They are never worn in the house, however. They are lined up outside the door, ready for use.


7. The most expensive shoes ever sold are Dorothy’s ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. They sold at auction for $660,000. That’s not a bad price if you want to go home.


8. One of the most popular types of shoe on the market today, sneakers were first invented by Keds in 1917. The largest seller of sneakers and athletic shoes is the German company Adidas, named for the founder, Adi Dassler.


9. Hot designer Jimmy Choo is continuing the family business. His father was a cobbler in Malaysia and encouraged Jimmy to learn shoemaking skills. Jimmy made his first pair of shoes at age 11 and still prefers to custom make shoes by hand.


10. Neil Armstrong’s moon boots are still in space. The boots he wore when he took his “one small step for man” were discarded before returning to earth. They are floating somewhere through the universe.


11. Over their lifetime, women in the United States buy an average of 469 pairs of shoes and spend $25,000.


12. The world record for the longest shoe fits a man with feet 15 inches long. That’s a lot of leather.