Historians often study apparel and fashion to create a more comprehensive understanding of cultures throughout time. Fashion is influenced by the histories, lifestyles, religions, customs, climates, trends, and traditions of a culture, and shoes are no exception.
That is why studying shoes can offer fascinating glimpses into the fabric of societies throughout history and across the globe. For example, Japanese geisha shoes are quintessential examples of shoes that bring together art, story, and heritage. Apprentice geisha wear okobo, elevated wood sandals that create a distinct noise when walking. The straps indicate the geisha’s status and training; scarlet straps are worn by new geishas, while yellow straps are worn by senior apprentice geishas who have nearly completed their training. Shoes can also help anthropologists create a more accurate timeline of humanity.
The first ever shoes discovered were unearthed in 1938 in a cave in Oregon. Recent carbon dating technology has determined that these sagebrush bark sandals are over 9,000 years old.
Infographic by: journeys