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DID YOU KNOW: Shoe Facts

  • The term ‘Sneakers’ was created because you could walk around without being heard when wearing a rubber sole.

The rubber-soled shoe became known as ‘sneaks’ in the late 1800s because they made no noise and people were able to walk around quietly. The term then later became ‘sneakers’.

  • Men were the first people to wear heels.

In ancient Persia, heels were worn by the cavalry during battle. The heels on their riding boots meant they could stay secure and stable in their stirrups. This trend later spread throughout Europe and became very popular amongst upper class Europeans which gave them a social status. Many years later both men and women adopted this look but then heels became known as a more feminine style of footwear.

  • Queen Victoria wore the first ever elastic-sided boot.

In 1837 the innovative boot was designed and created by Joseph Sparkes Hall, who was a shoemaker from London. The purpose of the elastic was to get rid of the difficulties of fastening boots with laces and buttons. The queen had them made at the time she ascended to the throne.

  • The most expensive shoes sold at auction were $660,000.

The ruby red slippers featured in the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz, worn by Judy Garland who played Dorothy, sold for over $660,000 at an auction in 2000. It is known that there are only 4 pairs of the pretty glittery shoes, made from red silk faille, overlaid with a sequined georgette.

  • Ferragamo invented the wedge heel.

Salvatore Ferragamo came up with the idea of a wedge shoe due to being unable to purchase steel used for heels as there were economic sanctions against Italy in the 1940s. He experimented with Sardinian cork, gluing, trimming, and fixing pieces of it to the sole, which then created the wedge design.

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