Shoe Facts
Shoe Facts

23 Shoe Facts That'll Knock Your Socks Off

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published August 27, 2022
  • Sneakers were originally called "sneaks" because the wearer could walk in them without making noise. The name eventually evolved into "sneakers."[15]
  • Men were the first to wear high heels, as a form of horse-riding footwear. When a soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him stabilize so he could shoot a bow and arrow more effectively.[4]
  • The most expensive shoes in the world are Antonio Vietri's Moon Star shoes, valued at nearly $20 million.[14]
  • The highchair heel is among the strangest shoes in the world. As the name implies, each shoe looks like a modern highchair, and they make the wearer about 6 inches taller.[16]
  • One of the strangest shoes invented is the rat shoe. They are shoes that resemble dead rats.[16]
  • Tarantula Shoe Fact
    Would you wear these?
  • The tarantula shoe is one of the most dangerous shoes. Not only is it tall, it also houses a live tarantula in the bottom of the shoe.[16]
  • The oldest shoes known are sagebrush bark sandals from about 7,000 to 8,000 BC. They were found in Oregon in the Fort Rock Cave in 1938.[13]
  • The world's oldest leather shoe is made from a single piece of cowhide. Dating to 3,500 BC, the ancient pair of shoes was found in the Areni-1 cave complex in Armenia in 2008.[9]
  • The word "stiletto" means "little dagger."[15]
  • The ancient Greeks viewed footwear as unnecessary and even self-indulgent. Even Olympic athletes participated barefoot, not to mention naked. Alexander the Great and his armies largely went shoe-less.[2]
  • Lotus shoes are shoes for women in China who bound their feet. The shoes were cone-shaped, or in the shape of a lotus bud.[8]
  • Flip-flops originally appeared in ancient Egypt. Possibly called "thebet" because of its use in the city of Thebes, this "thong footwear" dates as far back as 4,000 years ago, and possibly even farther.[10]
  • Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.

    - Marilyn Monroe

  • In the Wizard of Oz, the famous red slippers symbolize the little person's ability to triumph over powerful forces.[1][5]
  • The ancient Roman name for horseshoes was "hippsandals."[15]
  • Scientists suggest leaving shoes outside to avoid tracking in pathogenic chemicals, bacteria, and other health hazards.[12]
  • Altocalciphilia is the medical term for a shoe addiction.[4]
  • Altocalciphilia Fact
    Do you have a shoe addiction?

  • The tallest man ever recorded, Robert Wadlow, wore a US size 37AA, making his the largest shoe size ever. This is equivalent to 18.5 inches (47 cm) long.[6]
  • By studying the evolution of foot bones, archeologists have deduced that wearing shoes led to less bone growth and ultimately thinner toes.[3]
  • Scholars believe that the word "shoe" could be possibly related to the Proto-Indo-European root word *skeu-, meaning "cover," which is also the source of "obscure."[11]
  • While the ancient Greeks thought shoes were unnecessary, the ancient Romans viewed shoes as a sign of a civilized society. Only the slaves and poor went barefoot.[2]
  • Archeologists discovered an ornate pair of flip-flops in King Tut's tomb. Their craftsmanship is unmatched, even today.[10]
  • Flip-flops expose your feet to bacteria as well as viral and fungal infections. There are over 18,000 bacteria on just one pair of flip-flops.[7]
  • Flip Flop Facts
    Flip-flops are notoriously dirty

  • It wasn't until 1818 that cobblers began to make shoes for both the left and right foot. Before then, shoes were identical and much less comfortable.[7]

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