Shoes: The Sole Provider

Though often neglected, shoes are probably the most important accessory worn by an individual, since they carry the weight of the whole body.

Most people pay a lot of attention to their outfits, taking care to ensure that it is fashionable and comfortable. Yet they do not take enough care while selecting their shoes, though wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes can ruin the day and cause a great deal of pain. The evolutions of shoes which cushion the sole of the feet over a period of time are documented, right from the French revolution in 1792 to more than a century later. The history of the shoes worn in many parts of Europe two centuries ago are reviewed, along with their advantages and disadvantages.


Though heels are traditionally associated with shoes, there have been periods in history when shoes without heels were the norm. In particular, during the French revolution in 1792, people stopped wearing heels an indication of the basic cornerstones of the French revolution, which was equality and justice for all. By 1810s, however the heels had made their appearance again for male footwear, basically used for anchoring the pants to the feet. Women’s footwear from silk and kid with a square toe was in fashion in the 1830’s and the shoes were manufactured by workers for sale in shops.

However, though very comfortable, the silk shoes were not very durable, so for rough use both men and women had to contact their local shoe maker to have custom made leather shoes designed. In the 1840, women wore long skirts that fully covered their feet, so the footwear was rather boring, but still included machine embroidered patterns. A decade later, women wore crinoline skirts which tended to reveal their ankles, so they would switch to wearing boots. By the 1870’s it was not uncommon for women to be seen wearing hourglass shaped high heels a few inches high, to emphasize the female form, adding a touch of glamour.

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