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10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT FOOTWEAR!

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT FOOTWEAR!

Shoes are a never-ending topic. Never-ending for us and never-ending for every fashion lover. Style, the variety of models, materials, textures, the history of footwear, statistics, and many other topics that haven’t even been spoken of yet. So we’ve gathered some fascinating and unheard-of facts about your feet and their footwear.

#1 SNEAKING IN SNEAKERS

Advertising agent Henry Nelson McKinney from the company N. W. Ayer & Son was the one to create the word sneakers. It was an excellent marketing idea to name the newly emerging shoes with rubber soles sneakers, making this the perfect wordplay. When walking in sneakers, the rubber soles don’t make a sound, so the name sneakers fit perfectly! And the saying “Sneak around with sneakers” ideally describes how walking in these shoes feels. According to Henry Nelson McKinney, the rubber soles make the shoes undetectable. So you can quietly sneak in somewhere or sneak up on someone without being noticed. So, this makes the word sneakers the perfect wordplay.

The first sneakers

HIDNANDER 

RBRSL

PRIMABASE

HIDNANDER

THE ANTIPODE

VOILE BLANCHE

#2 THE MEASUREMENT OF SHOE SIZES STARTED WITH A GRAIN OF BARLEY

It’s historically known that during the Roman civilization, shoe masters used grain to measure the foot when making sandals. However, this tactic did not spread worldwide, and it’s not considered a Roman invention. It was in the early Middle Ages that the British validated such a measurement method. During the reign of King Edward II, a royal order was issued in 1324, which pointed out that a grain of barley was an official measurement standard in footwear production. His order indicated that the length of 3 grains was equal to one inch. So, this is how the grain measurement system started to spread throughout the world. It is still an official measurement unit in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

A grain of barley measurement system and VITTORIO VIRGILI loafers 

MARA BINI

PREMIATA

#3 MEN WERE THE FIRST TO START WEARING HIGH HEELS

You’re wrong If you think that women invented high heels! Do you think men didn’t know how to wear them? They certainly did, as they were the ones to start the fashion of high heels.

Knights were the first to wear high heels to securely keep their feet in the saddle. And horses were a symbol of wealth, so high heels quickly became a symbol of aristocracy and high social status rather than a symbol of gender.

The kings of Renaissance Europe liked to wear shoes with especially high heels to show their supremacy, and they could calmly step through puddles as the height of their heels were as high as 30 cm. King Louis XIV of France, also known as Sun King, played an important role in spreading the popularity of high heels. As a result, fashion historians still refer to men’s high heels as French shoes.

King Louis XIV

PREMIATA

IXOS

#4 IN 1883 JAN ERNST MATZELIGER INVENTED THE LASTING MACHINE

The most significant breakthrough in the shoe industry was during the Industrial Revolution when in Great Britain and Northern America, inventors and artisans built modern footwear sewing machines and started mass production of footwear. The invention of an African-American man Jan Ernst Matzeliger completely surpassed the work of his predecessors, who tried to create a powerful, automated machine capable of changing hands-on work. The patented Jan Ernst Matzeliger’s lasting machine produced about 700 pairs of shoes per day, i.e., ten times more than a skilled footwear master could have made. Thanks to this wonderful invention, footwear became accessible to everyone.

Patented Jan Ernst Matzeliger machine

ALBERTO FASCIANI

THE ANTIPODE

GREEN GEORGE

#5 HIGH HEELS THAT ARE TOO HIGH. IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?

It's no secret that years ago, cities without drainage, plumbing, and garbage collection systems were filthy. So it's not surprising that the practical use of platformed shoes was to protect against dirt.

3JUIN

MATTIA CAPEZZANI

ELENA IACHI

Well, they became a true fashion icon in the 14th century in Venice, where they were called chopines. Their height grew until some chopines had a wooden platform as high as 70 cm. In the 16th century, most cork materials made in Spain were used for manufacturing chopine platforms. A person wearing these shoes needed two servants to assist them at all times, so obviously, only the rich could wear such footwear. After all, the poor didn't have servants or helpers to help them walk through the dirt and puddles. So platformed shoes quickly became a symbol of luxury and wealth.

Chopines

ELENA IACHI

MATTIA CAPEZZANI

Later, noblemen distanced themselves from this trend, and only courtesans wore high heels. Finally, the heels became so high that eventually, a French law established the maximum height of high heels/platforms. Today, women don't wear extremely high heels because of their health and the increased risk of injury.

Armadillo heels

Armadillo heels

#6 MARIE ANTOINETTE HAD ABOUT 500 PAIRS OF SHOES 

The famous and scandalous queen Mary Antoinette loved fashion, and according to historians, had about 500 pairs of shoes. Although, according to some researchers, this number is not surprising, as Versailles was so dirty that noble aristocrats threw them away after a few days instead of cleaning the shoes. So at that time, the French spent a lot of money on shoes and didn’t even care for them.

Marie Antoinette and a fragment of her shoes. In 2012 they were sold at auction for 43,225 Eur.

Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst in 2006, the movie about Marie Antoinette

Interestingly, after Marie Antoinette was guillotined wearing high heels, they became a symbol of pride and wealth. Hence, women stopped wearing high heels to avoid being identified as fun, careless and prideful queens.

KALLISTÉ

3JUIN

#7 THE FIRST BOOTS FOR WOMEN WERE MADE FOR QUEEN VICTORIA IN 1840

The uncomfortable way of putting on shoes with buttons and laces encouraged London footwear master Joseph Sparkes to create footwear with elastane and cotton. Boots with no buttons, laces, or heels were so comfortable that they quickly became popular among men and women of different social classes. Footwear master Joseph Sparkes patented this successful model in 1840.

VIC MATIE

POMME D'OR

PREMIATA

MOMA

#8 LOTUS FEET

It’s also worth mentioning China’s fashion, which seems strange and hard to understand in many Western countries. In China, the canon and tradition of beauty for many decades was golden lotus feet. Most prevalent in the 10th-11th centuries - the feet and toes were broken to fit into special boots. A small foot was the true idol of beauty in the Eastern world.

ELENA IACHI 

MOMA

#9 6 OUT OF 10 PAIRS OF SHOES IN THE WORLD ARE MADE IN CHINA

Oh yeah, the number is huge! Why is it precisely that China puts shoes on people worldwide? The Asian market was the fastest growing one during the Industrial Revolution when capitalism was established. That’s why factories in these countries satisfy the needs of millions of people. In Asia, there are huge factories, whereas the European footwear market comprises many small firms with only 10-15 employees with an average income of slightly over 1 million euros. In Europe, family businesses that are passed on to different generations are dominant. Within these businesses, all attention is given to footwear and the excellent quality of materials and footwear. So, this is why we value Italian handmade work, quality, and style!

ALBERTO FASCIANI

MOMA

#10 WOMEN WITH RECORD AMOUNTS OF SHOES

The statistic woman has 21 pairs of shoes, and the statistic man - has 12. And only three pairs of them are worn constantly! Although many women worldwide are addicted to shoes, the record breakers are Danielle Steels with her 6000 pairs, Imelda Marcos with 3400 shoes in her collection, and famous singer Celine Dion with 3000 pairs of shoes.

Part of the book writer Daniele Steel's shoe rack

Part of Imelda Marcos's shoe rack

Part of singer Celine Dion shoe rack

And how many pairs of shoes do you have? :) Choose a new pair in DOLITA Stores and Online. Collection for women and men

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