Shoes have become an important part of our daily life. Shoes were originally designed to protect our feet from cold weather, sharp objects, and uncomfortable surfaces. An early version of the shoe is believed to be a sandal of some sort. As man’s knowledge of tools and the leather industry grew, so did the sophistication and quality of the average shoe. Shoes are shaped by the physical and economic environment of their surroundings. For example, the ancient Egyptians wore slippers woven from straw while the Dutch wore shoes carved from wood to protect their feet from the wet swampy lands in which they worked.
With the passage of time, shoes have become an integral part of everyday life. Shoes have gone from being a luxury item to a necessity. Fashion also played a role in the evolution of the shoe. The human soul longs for an individual and unique identity. The nobility and upper classes saw the shoes as an opportunity to fulfill this desire. Shoes are becoming more and more extravagant. Cloth, velvet and tapestries began to be used. This was the birth of the shoe industry as we know it today. Today’s shoes are categorized according to their use. They are casual, dress, work, sports and corrective.
All shoes fall into the casual shoes category due to their characteristics. The differentiating factor is the purpose of the shoe. Casual shoes are designed and meant to convey an attitude of relaxation and informality. The design of casual shoes has evolved over time. Today’s casual shoes are similar to formal shoes in many aspects. The distinguishing factor is the color of the shoe. Casual shoes range from flip flops to sneakers and boots. The materials used in manufacturing range from leather, cloth, and rubber to modern petrochemical derivatives such as plastics and xylene.
Formal dress shoes are of two types – laced and lace-less. Traditionally they are made of leather and tend to be very expensive. The use of plastic and modern manufacturing methods has led to lower prices. The upper classes still prefer leather over what they consider cheap plastic. Women’s dress shoes may be a different type of pump or sandals. The style of clothing determines the class of shoe in the case of women. Unisex shoes are a new product in the shoe market.
Athletic shoes are specialized footwear designed and built to achieve better performance in a particular sporting activity. Athletic shoes or athletic shoes are used in a number of sports such as football, basketball, cricket, and track and field events. Climbing shoes are also a niche type of shoe that is not suitable for any other sport and even for walking due to its design. It is usually worn at the base of the climb. These basketball and tennis shoes have a rubber sole for extra grip on their courts. Sports such as football, soccer, baseball, and hockey use shoes with metal studs under the sole for better grip for quick starts and stops. Hiking or trail shoes are designed to support the ankle to prevent injury and give good grip on rocky surfaces.