History of Footwear
Footwear refers to garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Some cultures chose not to wear footwear, at least in some situations.
Socks and other hosiery are typically worn between the feet and other footwear, less often with sandals or flip flops (thongs). Footwear is sometimes the subject of sexual fetishism, such as shoe fetishism or boot fetishism.
Durable shoes are a relatively recent invention, though many ancient civilizations wore ornamental footwear. Many ancient civilizations saw no need for footwear. The Romans saw clothing and footwear as signs of power and status in society, and most Romans wore footwear, while slaves and peasants remained barefoot. The Middle Ages saw the rise of high-heeled shoes, also associated with power, and the desire to look larger than life, and artwork from that period often depicts bare feet as a symbol of poverty. Bare feet are also seen as a sign of humility and respect, and adherents of many religions worship or mourn while barefoot, or remove their shoes as a sign of respect towards someone of higher standing.
In some cultures, people remove their shoes before entering a home. Some religious communities require people to remove shoes before they enter holy buildings, such as temples.
Practitioners of the craft of shoemaking are called shoemakers, cobblers, or cordwainers.
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