When were Shoes invented? Historians agree that shoes of some description have been used since time immemorial as a covering and for the protection of feet. The invention of the shoes was made by prehistoric man during the Stone Age (3000 - 1800 BC). The oldest shoes, dated 3,300 BCE, were discovered, preserved  on an ancient mummy, in the Otztal Alps known as Otzi the Iceman.

Who invented Shoes? The name of the man most closely associated with the development of modern shoes is Jan Ernst Matzeliger who invented the 'Lasting Machine' in 1883. A Lasting Machine is an automated shoemaking device that quickly attached the top of the shoe to the sole, a process called "lasting".

Definition of Shoes: Shoes are defined as footwear shaped to fit the human foot below the ankle with a light, flexible upper of leather or plastic and a stiff sole and heel of heavier material.


Facts about who invented Shoes


 Inventions and Inventors Index


Fact 1: Who invented Shoes? Prior to the invention of Shoes in c. 1600 BC, humans wore a form of shoes during Prehistoric period of the Stone Age and the Ice Age. At first shoes were a makeshift affair made from the skins and fur of animals as warmth and protection from injury to the feet. The waterproof properties of leather would not have gone unnoticed and foot coverings were developed made from leather tied with the sinew of animals.

Fact 2: Who invented Shoes? Otzi the Iceman is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man found in an Alpine glacier in the in the Otztal Alps who lived around 3,300 BCE. The clothes and shoes of the mummy were preserved in ice.

Fact 3: Who invented Shoes? The shoes worn by Otzi the Iceman were waterproof and wide, designed for walking across the snow. They shoes were constructed using bearskin for the soles and a deer hide for the top panels, and a fibre made from tree bark. Otzi the Iceman feet were encased in soft grass inside the shoe that functioned as a modern-day sock. 

Fact 4: Who invented Shoes? Wooden foot-shaped blocks, called lasts, for shaping shoes have been found in other Neolithic excavations.

Fact 5: Who invented Shoes? The invention of shoes and their ability to shield the feet from severe conditions enabled Prehistoric to hunt and to travel long distances to trade.

Fact 6: Who invented Shoes? The ancient Native American Indian tribes dating as far back as the Stone Age invented Moccasins, and forms of the shoe were adopted and adapted by various tribes to suit the climate of their lands. There were generally two distinct types of Moccasin; those with hard soles and those with soft soles.

Fact 7: Who invented Shoes? Soft soled Moccasins were generally made from a single piece of leather with a center or side seam often with a puckered toe. Hard soled Moccasins were generally made from two pieces of leather with a side seam. Moccasins were sewn and secured by strong buckskin or sinew and holes were punched with a bone tool called an awl.

Fact 8: Who invented Shoes? As time passed the Moccasin was embellished with a variety of decorations including fringes, beads, quills and painted designs.

Fact 9: Who invented Shoes? The ancient civilizations of the Mesopotamians and the Ancient Egyptians c. 4000 BC invented three basic types of footwear; the sandal, the shoe and the boot.

Fact 10: Who invented Shoes? The sandal worn by Ancient Egyptians was a simple shoe comprising of a sole and straps. Ancient Egyptian sandals were made of leather, woven straw, strips of papyrus leaves or reed rushes. The Pharaohs of Egypt wore sandals made of gold.

Fact 11: Who invented Shoes? The north of Mesopotamia was the original home of the ancestors of the Hebrews and the first  written evidence of shoes can be found in the Bible and confirms the Near Eastern origin of sandals from earliest antiquity.

Fact 12: Who invented Shoes?  In Mesopotamia, raised-tipped shoes are depicted on Mesopotamian seals of the Akkadian era around 2600 BC. 

Fact 13: Who invented Shoes? The boots, worn by the Assyrians and Babylonians that emerged from the first Mesopotamians were long, covering the leg and the type of footwear associated with horsemen.

Fact 14: Who invented Shoes? The Ancient Greeks and then the Romans adopted all of these early forms of footwear. The Ancient Greeks also wore a type of slipper called a soccus, with a raised tip and identical for both feet, which was apparently of Persian origin.

Fact 15: Who invented Shoes? Roman citizens wore sandals, called soleae, for wearing indoors and shoes or boots, called calcei or calceus, outdoors. High status Patricians wore expensive red dyed sandals and boots. Roman soldiers wore Hobnail boots that were enforced with iron nails through the soles of boots to keep the footwear together and to prevent the soles of the boots from wearing out.

Fact 16: Who invented Shoes? During the Middle Ages overshoes made from leather or cork, called Pattens, were frequently worn outdoors over medieval shoes to protect them from wet and dirty city streets. During the Medieval era, extremely long-toed, pointed shoes, known as a 'poulaine' or Crakows, were highly fashionable and worn by both men and women.

Fact 17: Who invented Shoes? Wooden clogs were worn by Dutch workers and a French equivalent called the sabbot were worn in both France and Belgium.

Fact 18: Who invented Shoes? Backless shoes with high platform soles, called Chopines, became popular throughout the Renaissance period. In the 17th and 18th century high heels, called Aristocrat heels, were worn by both men and women as an indicator of status and wealth.

Fact 19: Who invented Shoes? Riding boots became fashionable for the elite who enjoyed hunting. The cowboy boots worn in the Wildwest were originally a type of riding boot with a low cuban heel. Cowboy boots continue to be popular to the present day, often worn as fashion statements.

Fact 20: Who invented Shoes? In 1883 Jan Ernst Matzeliger (September 15, 1852 August 24, 1889) invented the 'Lasting Machine', patent number 274,207, an automated shoemaking device that quickly attached the top of the shoe to the sole, a process called "lasting". Jan Ernst Matzeliger's 'Lasting Machine' made footwear more affordable, increasing the availability of shoes and decreasing the price of footwear. (A 'last' is a wooden model of a human foot used by shoemakers. The word derives from the Old High German word 'leist' meaning "track, footprint"). In 1991, the United States government issued a "Black Heritage" postage stamp in honor of Jan Ernst Matzeliger.

Fact 21: Who invented Shoes? In 1917 sneakers  made with a canvas top design and a rubber sole) started to become popular with tennis players and kids.  Sneakers received their name because of their lightness and the silent footsteps that were provided by soft rubber. Sales of sneakers exploded in 1984, when Michael Jordan signed a contract to wear a pair of  Nike shoes called 'Air Jordans'.

Fact 22: Who invented Shoes? In 1955 "stiletto" heels were invented by the French fashion designer Roger Vivier. Stiletto shoes became extremely popular with women across the world and led to the ruination of lino floor coverings!

Fact 23: Who invented Shoes? Shoes are not only worn as practical foot covering they are now viewed as fashion statements. The most famous footwear designers of the modern age are Manolo Blahnik shoes, Jimmy Choo shoes, Liam Fahy shoes, Christian Louboutin shoes, Roger Vivier and Giuseppe Zanotti shoes.

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