The Full Wiki

Shoe: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Shoe

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Today the world's most widely available shoe: hundreds of used athletic shoes for sale in a public square, Fez, Morocco, 2007

A shoe is an item of footwear evolved at first to protect the human foot and later, additionally, as an item of decoration in itself. The foot contains more bones than any other single part of the body, and has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in relation to vastly varied terrain and climatic conditions. Together with the proprioceptive system, it is what makes balance and ambulation possible.

Until recent years, shoes were not worn by most of the world's population—largely because they could not afford them. Only with the advent of mass production, making available for the first time the cheap flip-flop-type sandal, for example, has shoe-wearing become predominant.

The design of shoes has varied enormously through time, and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally fashion has often dictated whether shoes have, for example, very high heels or no heels at all. Contemporary footwear varies in style, complexity and cost, from the most basic sandal, via high fashion shoes for women sometimes costing thousands of dollars a pair, to complex boots specially designed for mountaineering or skiing. Shoes have traditionally been made from leather, wood or canvas, but are increasingly made from rubber, plastics, and other petrochemical-derived materials.



A modern reproduction of a medieval turn-shoe

The earliest known shoes date from about 8000 to 7000 BCE and were found in Oregon, USA in 1938.[1] However, tanned leather, the material most commonly used for making shoes, does not normally last for thousands of years, so shoes were probably in use long before this. Physical anthropologist Erik Trinkaus believes he has found evidence that the use of shoes began in the period between about 40,000 and 26,000 years ago, based on the fact that the thickness of the bones of the toes (other than the big toe) decreased during this period, on the premise that wearing shoes resulted in less bone growth (shorter, thinner toes.)[2][3]

English woman's shoe, circa 1670

The earliest designs were simple affairs, often mere "foot bags" of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. Since shoes use more leather than sandals, their use was more common in cold climates. By the Middle Ages, turn-shoes had been developed with toggled flaps or drawstrings to tighten the leather around the foot for a better fit. As Europe gained in wealth and power, fancy shoes became status symbols. Toes became long and pointed, often to ridiculous proportions. Artisans created unique footwear for rich patrons, and new styles developed. Eventually the modern shoe, with a sewn-on sole, was devised. Since the 17th century, most leather shoes have used a sewn-on sole. This remains the standard for finer-quality dress shoes today. Until around 1800, shoes were made without differentiation for the left or right foot. We now call such shoes, "straights". Only gradually did the modern foot-specific shoe become standard.

Since the mid-20th Century, advances in rubber, plastics, synthetic cloth, and industrial adhesives have allowed manufacturers to create shoes that stray considerably from traditional crafting techniques. Leather, which had been the primary material in earlier styles, has remained standard in expensive dress shoes, but athletic shoes often have little or no real leather. Soles, which were once laboriously hand-stitched on, are now more often machined stitched or simply glued on.


Gluing a new outsole to an athletic shoe


The bottom of a shoe is called the sole.


The insole is the interior bottom of a shoe, which sits directly beneath the foot. Many shoes have removable and replaceable insoles, and extra insoles are often added for comfort (to control the shape, moisture, or smell of the shoe) or health reasons (to help deal with defects in the natural shape of the foot or positioning of the foot during standing or walking).


The outsole is the layer in direct contact with the ground. Dress shoes have leather outsoles; casual or work-oriented shoes have outsoles made of natural rubber or a synthetic imitation. The outsole may comprise a single piece, or may comprise separate pieces of different materials. Often the heel of the sole is rubber for durability and traction, while the front is leather for style. Specialized shoes will often have modifications on this design: athletic cleats have spikes embedded in the outsole to grip the ground; many kinds of dancing shoes have much softer or harder soles.


The layer in between the outsole and the insole that is typically there for shock absorption. Some types of shoes, like running shoes, have another material for shock absorption, usually beneath the heel where one puts the most pressure down. Different companies use different materials for the midsoles of their shoes. Some shoes may not have a midsole at all.


Women's high heel pump

The bottom rear part of a shoe is the heel. Its function is to support the heel of the foot. They are often made of the same material as the sole of the shoe. This part can be high for fashion or to make the person look taller, or flat for a more practical use.


Any shoe has an upper part that helps hold the shoe onto the foot. In the simplest cases, such as sandals or flip-flops, this may be nothing more than a few straps for holding the sole in place. Closed footwear, such as boots, sneakers and most men's shoes, will have a more complex upper. This part is often decorated or is made in a certain style to look attractive.


The outside part of the shoe is referred to as the lateral and the inside facing part of the shoe is the medial. This can be in reference to either the outsole or the vamp.


  • Shoehorn: can be used to insert a foot into a shoe by keeping the shoe open and providing a smooth surface for the foot to slide upon.
  • Shoe tree: placed inside the shoe when user is not wearing it, to help maintain the shoe's shape.
  • Shoe polishing equipment:
  • Shoe polish: a waxy material spread on shoes to improve appearance, glossiness, and provide protection.
  • Shoe brush and polishing cloth: used to apply polish to shoes.
  • Overshoes or galoshes: a rubber covering placed over shoes for rain and snow protection.
  • (Orthopedic) shoe insert: insert of various materials for cushioning, improved fit, or reduced abrasion. These include padding and inner linings. Inserts may also be used to correct foot problems.
  • Shoe bag: a bag that protects shoes against damage when they are not being worn.
  • Shoe stretcher: a tool for making a shoe longer or wider or for reducing discomfort in areas of a shoe.
  • Snow shoe: a wooden or leather piece which increases the area of ground covered by the shoe.
  • Shoelaces: a system used to secure shoes.


Dress and casual

Dress shoes are categorized by smooth and supple leather uppers, leather soles, and narrow sleek figure. Casual shoes are characterized by sturdy leather uppers, non-leather outsoles, and wide profile.

Some designs of dress shoes can be worn by either gender. The majority of dress shoes have an upper covering, commonly made of leather, enclosing most of the lower foot, but not covering the ankles. This upper part of the shoe is often made without apertures or openings, but may also be made with openings or even itself consist of a series of straps, e.g. an open toe featured in women's shoes. Shoes with uppers made high to cover the ankles are also available; a shoe with the upper rising above the ankle is usually considered a boot but certain styles may be referred to as high-topped shoes or high-tops. Usually, a high-topped shoe is secured by laces or zippers, although some styles have elastic inserts to ease slipping the shoe on.


This male dress shoe, known as a blucher, is distinguished by its open lacing.

Men's shoes can be categorized by how they are closed:

  • Balmorals (American English), Oxfords (British English): the vamp has a V-shaped slit to which the laces are attached; also known as "closed lacing". The word "Oxford" is used by American clothing companies to market shoes that are not Balmorals, such as Blüchers.
  • Blüchers (American), Derbys (British): the laces are tied to two pieces of leather independently attached to the vamp; also known as "open lacing".
  • Monk-straps: a buckle and strap instead of lacing
  • Slip-ons: There are no lacings or fastenings. The popular loafers are part of this category, as well as less popular styles, such as elastic-sided shoes.

Men's shoes can also be decorated in various ways:

  • Plain-toes: have a sleek appearance and no extra decorations on the vamp.
  • Cap-toes: has an extra layer of leather that "caps" the toe. This is possibly the most popular decoration.
  • Brogues (American: wing-tips): The toe of the shoe is covered with a perforated panel, the wing-tip, which extends down either side of the shoe. Brogues can be found in both balmoral and blucher styles.


Women's shoes on display in a shop window, 2005

There is a large variety of shoes available for women, in addition to most of the men's styles being more accepted as unisex. Some broad categories are:

High-heeled footwear may be shoes with heels 2 inches (5 cm) or higher. They are often seen as having more sex appeal than low heels (see article for discussion) and are thus commonly worn by women for formal occasions or social outings.

Kitten heels are low high heels from about 1.5 to 2 inches high, set in from the back of the shoe.

  • Sneaker boot and sneaker pump: a shoe that looks like an athletic shoe, but is equipped with a heel, making it a kind of novelty dress shoe.
  • Wedge Sandals are sandals but have the ankles higher as if wearing a high heels shoe.
  • Mules are shoes or slippers with no fitting around the heel (i.e. they are backless)
  • Slingbacks are shoes which are secured by a strap behind the heel, rather than over the top of the foot.
  • Espadrilles are casual flat or high-heeled fashion sandals of a style which originated in the Pyrenees. They usually have a cotton or canvas upper and a flexible sole of rope or rubber.
  • Pumps, known in the UK as ballerinas, ballet pumps or skimmers, are shoes with a very low heel and a relatively short vamp, exposing much of the instep. They are popular for warm-weather wear, and may be seen as more comfortable than shoes with a higher heel. In the US a pump is a high-heeled typically slip-on women's dress shoe.


The flip-flop sandal, worn both by men and women
  • Clog
  • Platform shoe: shoe with very thick soles and heels
  • Moccasin: originated by Native Americans, a soft shoe without a heel and usually made of leather.
  • Sandals: open shoes consisting of a sole and various straps, leaving much of the foot exposed to air. They are thus popular for warm-weather wear, because they let the foot be cooler than a closed-toed shoe would.
  • Saddle shoe: leather shoe with a contrasting saddle-shaped band over the instep, typically white uppers with black "saddle".
  • Slip-on shoe: a dress or casual shoe without laces; often with tassels, buckles, or coin-holders (penny loafers).
  • Boat shoes, also known as "deck shoes": similar to a loafer, but more casual. Laces are usually simple leather with no frills. Typically made of leather and featuring a soft white sole to avoid marring or scratching a boat deck. The first boat shoe was invented in 1935 by Paul Sperry.
  • Boots: Long shoes (covering the ankle) frequently made of leather. Some are designed to be used in times of bad weather, or simply as an alternate style of casual or dress wear. Styles include rubber boots and snow boots, as well as work boots and hiking boots.
  • Slippers: For indoor use, commonly worn with pajamas.


Today the most popular shoe globally: the sports shoe adapted for everyday use

Men's and women's athletic shoes and special function shoes often have less difference between the sexes than in dress shoes. In many cases these shoes can be worn by either sex. Emphasis tends to be more on function than style.

  • Running shoes: very similar to above, with additional emphasis on cushioning.
  • Track spikes: lightweight; often with plastic or metal cleats
  • Cleat (shoe): a type of shoe featuring molded or removable studs. Usually worn while playing sports such as rugby, football, American football, or baseball.
  • Golf shoes: with "spikes" for better grip in grass and wet ground. Originally the spikes or "cleats" were made of metal but replaceable "soft spikes" made of synthetic plastic-like materials with prongs distributed radially around the edge of each spike are much more common today (and are required on many golf courses since they cause less damage to the greens).
  • Bowling shoes: intermediate style between ordinary dress shoes and athletic shoes. They have harder rubber soles/heels so as not to damage bowling alley floors. They are often rented or loaned at bowling alleys.
  • Climbing shoes: a shoe designed for rock climbing. They typically have a close fit, little if any padding, and a smooth sticky rubber sole with an extended rubber rand.
  • Hiking shoes or boots: usually have a high somewhat stiff upper with many lace eyelets, to provide ankle support on uneven terrain, with extra large traction on the sole.
  • Walking shoes: have a more flexible sole than the running shoe, lighter in weight than the hiking boot, may have air holes, may not be water proof.
  • Skating shoes: typically called skates. They have various attachments for skating on the bottom of the shoe portion.
  • Ski boot: a large, thick plastic boot specially designed for attachment to the ski.
  • Skate shoes: specifically designed for use in Skateboarding, the shoes are manufactured with flat soles as to allow a skateboarder to have better grip when riding a skateboard. They are very wide and have extra layers of padding to protect the skateboarders feet.
  • Cycling shoes are equipped with a metal or plastic cleat to interface with clipless pedals, as well as a stiff sole to maximize power transfer and support the foot.
  • Snowshoes are special shoes for walking in thick snow. In temperate climates, snowshoes are used for mostly recreational purposes in winter.
  • Wrestling shoes are light, flexible shoes that mimic bare feet while providing additional traction and protection.


Orthopedic or "comfort" shoes are made with pedorthic and anatomically-correct comfort qualities, such as padded removable footbeds, wide toe boxes and arch support are made especially for those with problematic feet.


  • Pointe shoes are designed for ballet dancing. These have a toe box that is stiffened with glue and a hardened sole so the dancer can stand on the tips of their toes. They are secured by elastic straps and ribbons that are tied to the dancer's ankles.
  • Ballet shoes are soft, highly pliable shoes made of canvas or leather, with either continuous or two-part sole (also called split-sole). The sole is typically made of leather, with thicker material under the ball and heel of the foot, and thinner and thus more flexible material under the arch so that the foot can be pointed to its utmost. Ballet slippers are usually secured by elastics that cross over the top of the foot. They are most commonly pink, white, black, or pale tan, although they may be made in specialty colours such as red or blue.
  • Ghillies are soft shoes that are used in Irish dance, Scottish country dance, and highland dance.
  • Jazz shoes typically have a two-part, rubberized sole (also called split-sole) to provide both flexibility and traction, and a low (one inch or shorter) heel. They are secured to the foot by laces or elastic inserts.
  • Tango and Flamenco shoes are used for dancing the tango or flamenco.
  • Ballroom shoes fall into two categories: Ballroom and Latin American. Both are characterised by suede soles. Mens' ballroom shoes are typically lace-ups with one-inch heels and patent leather uppers. Ladies' ballroom shoes are typically court shoes with two-inch heels, made of fabric that can be colored to match the dancer's dress. In contrast to the low Ballroom heel, which evenly distributes weight across the foot, Latin American shoes have higher heels designed to shift weight onto the toes. Latin shoes are also more flexible than ballroom shoes. Men's Latin shoes typically have 1.5- to 2-inch high, shaped heels, while Ladies' Latin shoes have 2,5-inch to 3-inch heels. Ladies shoes are typically open-toed and strapped.
  • Dance sneakers. Also known as dansneakers, these are a combination of a sneaker and a dance shoe, with a reinforced rubber toe.
  • Character shoes have a one to three inch heel, which is usually made of leather, and often have one or more straps across the instep to secure it to the foot. They may come in soft-soled (suede) or hard-soled varieties. They may be converted to tap shoes by attaching taps.
  • Foot thongs are known by various names depending on the manufacturer, including dance paws, foot undies, and foot paws. They are slip-on, partial foot covers that protect the ball of a dancer's foot from skin abrasions while executing turns. From a distance, flesh colored foot thongs give a dancer the appearance of having bare feet.
  • Tap shoes have metal plates mounted to the bottoms of the toe and heel. The metal plates, which are known as taps, make a loud sound when struck against a hard performance surface. Tap shoes, which are used in tap dancing, may be made from any style of shoe to which taps can be attached.


Work shoes are designed to stand heavy wear, to protect the wearer, and provide high traction. They are generally made from sturdy leather uppers and non-leather outsoles. Sometimes they are used for uniforms or comfort by nurses, waitresses, police, military personnel, etc. They are commonly used for protection in industrial settings, construction, mining, and other workplaces. Protective features may include steel-tipped toes and soles or ankle guards.


Footwear has been worn for tens of thousands of years. Shoes of the past include:

  • Turn-shoes: a method by which the shoe is constructed inside-out, wetted, and turned — the finished side of the leather flipped to the outside. Such footwear was common from the Middle-ages until modern shoes was developed in the Tudor era. Because of their construction, turn-shoes cannot simply be re-soled, unlike most modern shoe types.
  • Espadrilles: these sandals, which are still worn today, are found as early as the 14th century.
  • Patten: a European wooden overshoe used to keep a person's feet dry outdoors. First worn in the middle ages, they continued in use even into the early 20th century. Peoples such as the Dutch, Flemings, and some French carved similar, fully enclosed wooden shoes.
  • Poulaine: a shoe with a long-pointed toe, popular in Europe in the 1400s.
  • Moccasins: the historical shoe of many North American Indian tribes.


  • Breaking-in: Some shoes are made of hard but deformable material. After a person wears them multiple times, the material reforms to fit the wearer's feet. The person is said to have broken in the shoes.
  • Polishing: for protection, water resistance (to some extent) and appearance, especially for leather shoes and boots.
  • Heel replacement: heels periodically wear out. Not all shoes are designed to enable this.
  • Sole replacement: soles also wear out. Not all shoes can have their soles replaced.
  • Shoelace replacement.
  • When unfit for use, shoes can be treated as trash or municipal solid waste and disposed of. The exception can be with most athletic sneakers which can be recycled and turned into other raw materials. See Nike Grind as an example.

Someone who makes or repairs shoes in a shop is called a cobbler.


In most parts of the world (Asia, Eastern Europe, parts of the Middle East and Africa, much of Northern Europe and Canada, as well as Alaska) it is customary to remove shoes when entering a house. In some areas of the United States, especially the Midwest, it is expected that visitors remove their shoes unless a host specifically invites them to leave their shoes on[citation needed]. People do this to avoid bringing dirt, mud or snow into the house. In some cultures, including those in Asia, indoor footwear may be provided for guests.

In the Middle East, parts of Africa, Korea and Thailand, it is considered rude to show the soles of the feet to others (even accidentally, such as by crossing the legs). Shoe throwing is a great insult in some areas in the Middle East and in India.[4] In addition, in Thailand, it is an extreme insult for the foot, socks, or shoes to touch someone's head or be placed over it.

In literature

Shoes play an important role in the fairy tales Cinderella, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Red Shoes. In literature and film, an empty shoe or a pair of shoes signifies death.[citation needed]


  • Units for shoe sizes vary widely around the world. European sizes are measured in Paris Points, which are worth two-thirds of a centimetre. The UK and American units are approximately one-quarter of an inch, starting at 8¼ inches. Men's and women's shoe sizes often have different scales. Shoes size is often measured using a Brannock Device, which can determine both the width and length of the foot.


See the category shoe companies for a list of shoe companies.


  1. ^ Fort Rock Sandals
  2. ^
  3. ^ Trinkaus E,Shang H. (2008). Anatomical evidence for the antiquity of human footwear: Tianyuan and Sunghir. Journal of Archaeological Science 35 (2008) 1928-1933. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2007.12.002
  4. ^ Hartford Courant

Further reading

  • History of footwear in Norway, Sweden and Finland : prehistory to 1950, ISBN 91-7402-323-3
  • Patrick Cox: Wit, Irony, and Footwear, Tamasin Doe (1998) ISBN 0-8230-1148-8
  • Shoes : A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More, ISBN 0-7611-0114-4
  • A Century of Shoes: Icons of Style in the 20th Century, Angela Pattison ISBN 0-7858-0835-3
  • Shoes , Elizabeth Cotton (1999) ISBN 1-55670-894-7
  • Shoes : A Lexicon of Style, Valerie Steel ISBN 0-8478-2166-8
  • Mad About Shoes, Emma Bowd ISBN 1-84172-353-3
  • Bootism : A Shoe Religion, Penina Goodman, Michael Duranko (2003) ISBN 0-7407-3832-1
  • The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say about You, Meghan Cleary, Sydney Van Dyke ISBN 0-8118-4501-X

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SHOE (a word appearing in the Teutonic languages in various forms, as Ger. Schuh, Swed. and Dan. sko, sometimes supposed to come from an unknown root ska or sku, cover), a covering for the foot. The simplest foot-protector is the sandal, which consists of a sole attached to the foot, usually by leather thongs. The use of this can be traced back to a very early period; and the sandal of plaited grass, palm fronds, leather or other material still continues to be the most common foot-covering among oriental races. Where climate demanded greater protection for the foot, the primitive races shaped a rude shoe out of a single piece of untanned hide; this was laced with a thong, and so made a complete covering. Out of these two elements - sole without upper and upper without sole - arose the perfected shoe and boot, consisting of a combination of both. The boot proper differs from the shoe in reaching up to the knee, as exemplified by such forms as jack-boots, top-boots, Hessian boots and Wellington boots, but the term is in England now commonly applied to "half-boots" or "ankle-boots" which reach only above the ankle. A collection illustrating the numerous forms and varieties of foot-covering, formed by Jules Jacquemart, is in the Cluny Museum in Paris.

Wooden Shoes

The simplest foot-covering, largely used throughout Europe, is the wooden shoe (sabot) made from a single piece of wood roughly cut into shoe form. Analogous to this is the clog of the midland counties of England. Clogs, known also as pattens, are wooden soles to which shoe or boot uppers are attached. Sole and heel are made of one piece from a block of maple or ash 2 in. thick, and a little longer and broader than the desired size of shoe. The outer side of the sole and heel is fashioned with a long chiseledged implement, called the clogger's knife or stock; a second implement, called the groover, makes a groove about one-eighth of an inch deep and wide round the side of the sole; and by means of a hollower the contour of the inner face of the sole is adapted to the shape of the foot. The uppers of heavy leather, machine sewed or riveted, are fitted closely to the groove around the sole, and a thin piece of leather-binding is nailed on all round the edges, the nails being placed very close, so as to give a firm durable fastening. These clogs are of great advantage to all who work in damp sloppy places, keeping the feet dry and comfortable in a manner impossible with either leather or india-rubber. They are consequently largely used on the continent of Europe by agricultural and forest labourers, and in England and the United States by dyers, bleachers, tanners, workers in sugar-factories, chemical works, provision packing warehouses, &c. There is also a considerable demand for expensive clogs, with finely trimmed soles and fancy uppers, for use by clogdancers on the stage.

Manufacture of Leather Shoes

There are two main divisions of work comprised in ordinary shoemaking. The minor division - the making of "turn shoes" - embraces all work in which there is only one thin flexible sole, which is sewed to the upper while outside in and turned over when completed. Slippers and ladies' thin house boots are examples of this class of work. In the other division the upper is united to an insole and at least one outsole, with a raised heel. In this are comprised all classes, shapes and qualities of goods, from shoes up to long-top or riding boots which reach to the knee, with all their variations of lacing, buttoning, elastic-web side gussets, &c. The accompanying cuts (figs. I and 2) show the parts and trade names of a boot.

Shoemaking was formerly a pure handicraft; but now machinery effects almost every operation in the art. On the factory system all human feet are treated alike; in the handicraft, the shoemaker deals with the individual foot, and he should produce a boot which for fit, comfort, flexibility and strength cannot be approached by the product of machinery.

The shoemaker after measuring the feet, cuts out upper leather according to the size and pattern. These parts are fitted and stitched together by the "boot-closers," but little of this closing is now done by hand. The sole "stuff" is next cut out and assembled, consisting of a pair of inner soles of soft leather, a pair of outer soles of firmer texture, a pair of welts or bands Boot. about I in. broad, of flexible leather, and lifts and top-pieces for the heels. These the "maker" mellows by steep b, The side seam. ing in water. He attaches the insoles c, The back. to the bottom of a pair of wooden d, The strap. lasts, which are blocks the form and e, The instep. size of the boots to be made, fastens f, The vamp or front. the leather down with lasting tacks, g, The quarter or counter. and, when it is dried, draws it out h, The rand. with pincers till it takes the exact i, The heel - the front is form of the last bottom. Then he the breast, the bottom "rounds the soles," by paring down the face. the edges close to the last, and forms j, The lifts of the heel. round these edges a small channel or k, The shank or waist. feather cut about one-eighth of an inch 1, The welt. in the leather. Next he pierces the in m, The sole. soles all round with a bent awl, which bites into, but not through, the leather, and comes out at the channel or feather. The boots ' are then "lasted," by placing the uppers on the lasts, drawing their edges tightly round the edge of the insoles, and fastening them in position with lasting tacks. Lasting is a crucial operation, for, unless the upper is drawn smoothly and equally over XXIV. 32 the last, leaving neither crease nor wrinkle, the form of the boot will be bad. The welt, having one edge pared or chamfered, is put in position round the sides, up to the heel or "seat," and the maker proceeds to "inseam," by passing his awl through the holes already made in the insole, catching with it the edge of the upper and the thin edge of the welt, and sewing all three together in one flat seam, with a waxed thread. He then pares off inequalities and "levels the bottoms," by filling up the depressed part in the centre with a piece of tarred felt; and, that done, the boots are ready for the outsoles. After the leather for them has been thoroughly compressed by hammering on the "lap-stone," they are fastened through the insole with steel tacks, their sides are pared, and a narrow channel is cut round their edges; and through this channel they are stitched to the welt, about twelve stitches of strong waxed thread being made to the inch. The soles are now hammered into shape; the heel lifts are put on and attached with wooden pegs, then sewed through the stitches of the insole; and the top-pieces, similar to the outsoles, are put on and nailed down to the lifts. The finishing operations embrace pinning up the edge of the heel, paring, rasping, scraping, smoothing, blacking and burnishing the edges of soles and heels, scraping, sandpapering and burnishing the soles, withdrawing the lasts, and cleaning out any pegs which may have pierced through the inner sole. Of course, there are numerous minor operations connected with forwarding and finishing in various materials, such as punching lace-holes, inserting eyelets, applying heel and toe irons, hob-nailing, &c. To make a pair of common stout lacing boots occupies an expert workman from fourteen to eighteen hours.

The principal difficulties to be overcome in applying machinery to shoemaking were encountered in the operation of fastening together the soles and uppers. The first success in this important operation was effected when means other than sewing were devised. In 1809 David Meade Randolph obtained a patent for fastening the soles and heels to the inner soles by means of little nails, brads, sprigs or tacks. The lasts he used were covered at the bottom with plates of metal, and the nails, when driven through the inner soles, were turned and clinched by coming against the metal plates. To fix the soles to the lasts during the operation the metal plates were each perforated with three holes, in which wooden plugs were inserted, and to these the insoles were nailed. This invention may be said to have laid the foundation of machine boot-making. In 1810 M. I. Brunel patented a range of machinery for fastening soles to uppers by means of metallic pins or nails, and the use of screws and staples was patented by Richard Woodman in the same year.

Apart from sewing by machine or hand, three principal methods of attaching soles to uppers have been used. The first is "pegging" with small wooden pins or pegs driven through outsole and insole, catching between them the edges of the upper. The points of the pegs which project through the insole are cut away and smoothed level with the leather either by hand or by a machine pegging rasp. The second is the system of "riveting or clinching" with iron or brass nails, the points of the nails being turned or clinched by coming in contact with the iron last used. The third method, screwing, has come into extensive use since the standard screwing machine was introduced in America by the McKay Sewing-Machine Association, of Boston, Massachusetts, and in Europe by the Blake and Goodyear Company, of London. The standard screw machine, which is an American invention, though the idea was anticipated by a Frenchman named Blanchon in 1856, is provided with a reel of stout screw-threaded brass wire, which by the revolution of the reel is inserted into and screwed through outsole, upper edge and insole. Within the upper a head presses against the insole directly opposite the point of the screw, and the instant screw and head touch the wire is cut level with the outsole. The screw, making its own hole, fits tightly in the leather, and the two soles, being both compressed and screwed firmly together, make a perfectly water-tight and solid shoe. The surface of the insole is quite level and even, and as the work is really screwed, the screws are steady in their position, and they add materially to the durability of the soles. The principal disadvantage in the use of standard screwed soles is the great difficulty met with in removing and levelling down the remains of an old sole when repairs are necessary.

Missing image

The various forms of sewing-machine by which uppers are closed, and their important modifications for uniting soles and uppers, are also principally of American origin. But the first suggestion of machine sewing was an English idea. The patent secured by Thomas Saint in the English Patent Office in 1790, while it foreshadowed the most important features of the modern sewingmachine, indicated more particularly the devices now adopted in the sewing of leather. After the introduction of the sewing-machine for cloth work its adaptation to stitching leather both with plain ?1??????????????I;?

FIG. 2. - Section of Boot.

a, The upper.

b, The insole.

c, The outsole.

d, The welt.

e, The stitching of the sole to the welt.

f, The stitching of the upper to the welt.

Missing image

FIG. 1. - Parts of a aa, The extension. a, The front.

thread and with heated waxed thread was a comparatively simple task. The first important step in the more difficult problem of sewing together soles and uppers by a machine was taken in the United States by Lyman R. Blake in 1858. Blake's machine was ultimately perfected as the McKay sole-sewing machine - one of the most successful and lucrative inventions of modern times. Blake secured his first English patent in 1859, his invention being thus described: "This machine is a chain-stitch sewing-machine. The hooked needle works through a rest or supporting surface of the upper part of a long curved arm which projects upwards from the table of the machine. This arm should have such a form as to be capable of entering a shoe so as to carry the rest into the toe part as well as any other part of the interior of it; it carries at its front end and directly under the rest a looper, which is supported within the end of the arm so as to be capable of rotating or partially rotating round the needle, while the said needle may extend into and through the eye of the looper, such eye being placed in the path of the needle. The thread is led from a bobbin by suitable guides along in the curved arm, thence through a tension spring applied to the arm, and thence upwards through the notch of the looper. The needle carrier extends upwards with a cylindrical block which can be turned round concentrically with it by means of a handle. The feed wheel by which the shoe is moved along the curved arm during the process of sewing is supported by a slider extending downwards from the block, and applied thereto so as to be capable of sliding up and down therein. The shoe is placed on the arm with the sole upwards. The feed wheel is made to rest on the sole." Blake's original machine was very imperfect and was incapable of sewing round the toe of a shoe; but a principal interest in it coming into the hands of Gordon McKay (1821-1903), he in conjunction with Blake effected most important improvements in the mechanism, and they jointly in 1860 procured United States patents which secured to them the monopoly of wholly machine-made boots and shoes for twenty-one years. On the outbreak of the Civil War in America a great demand arose for boots, and, there being simultaneously much labour withdrawn from the market, a profitable field was opened for the use of the machine, which was now capable of sewing a sole right round. Machines were leased out to manufacturers by the McKay Company at a royalty of from a to 3 cents on every pair of soles sewed, the machines themselves registering the work done. The income of the association from royalties in the United States alone increased from $38,746 in 1863 to $589,973 in 1873, and continued to rise till the main patents expired in 1881, when there were in use in the United States about 1800 BlakeMcKay machines sewing 50,000,000 pairs of boots and shoes yearly. The monopoly secured by the McKay Company barred for the time the progress of invention, but still many other sole-sewing machines were patented. Among the most important of these is the Goodyear welt machine - the first mechanism adapted for sewing soles on lasted boots and shoes. This machine originated in a patent obtained in 1862 in the United States by August Destory for a curved-needle machine for sewing outsoles to welts, but was not successful till taken in hand by Charles Goodyear, son of the wellknown inventor in indiarubber fabrics. This device was first applied in a machine for sewing turn shoes. Later it was used in a machine which sewed with a chain-stitch from the channel of the insole through the welt and upper, and a little later still it was followed by the "rapid outsole lock-stitch machine," which united the outsole to the welt with lock-stitching. Improvements have been continually effected in the Goodyear system and numerous accessory mechanisms have been brought out, until there is now not a single operation necessary in shoemaking, however insignificant, for which machinery has not been devised. In consequence the range of machines employed in a modern shoe factory is very extensive, the various operations being highly specialized, and there being minute subdivision of labour. Through the fundamental principles were not in all cases of American origin, American inventors were foremost in developing such machinery, and America took the lead in employing it to the supersession of handwork in shoemaking. When English makers, in about the seventh or eighth decade * of the 19th century, were forced by the pressure of economic necessity to do the same, they found that the suitable machinery was controlled by American makers, from whom therefore they had to hire it on the payment of royalties and under stringent conditions which rendered it difficult for them to use machines of any other maker, even if available, on pain of the whole plant being stripped from their factories. The British United Shoe Machinery Company, the English branch of the United Shoe Machinery Company, of Boston, Mass., thus maintained a practical monopoly of the supply of shoemaking machinery in Great Britain. However, by the beginning of the 10th century English makers began to assert themselves and to show that they could produce machines able to compete effectively with those from America. The loosening of the American monopoly thus begun was aided by the Patent Act of 1907, section 27 of which provided that a patent may be revoked if the article is not manufactured "to an adequate extent" in Great Britain (most of the shoe machinery in question having been manu_factured in America), while section 38 prohibits the insertion in a lease of conditions excluding the lessee from using articles or processes not supplied or owned by the lessor.

Rubber Shoes

The manufacture of indiarubber galoshes,' shoes, fishing boots, &c., forms an important branch of the indiarubber industry, especially in America, where rubber overshoes, colloquially known as "rubbers," are extensively worn, and where fully 1000 different shapes and sizes are said to be produced. So far back as 1833 the Roxbury India Rubber Company was constituted to work the discovery that indiarubber dissolved in turpentine and mixed with lampblack formed a varnish which gave a hard waterproof surface when applied to leather, but the process failed because the varnish melted with heat and cracked with cold. This defect was remedied by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), who found that when sulphur was combined with the rubber by the aid of heat the product ("vulcanized rubber") was not only stronger but retained its elasticity through a wide range of temperature. His patent, taken out in 1844, was the foundation of various American rubber industries including that of rubber boots and shoes. Guttapercha has also been used instead of leather for the outer soles of boots.

<< Shoddy

Shoe-bill >>

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Of various forms, from the mere sandal (q.v.) to the complete covering of the foot. The word so rendered (A.V.) in Deut. 33:25, min'al, "a bar," is derived from a root meaning "to bolt" or "shut fast," and hence a fastness or fortress. The verse has accordingly been rendered "iron and brass shall be thy fortress," or, as in the Revised Version, "thy bars [marg., "shoes"] shall be iron and brass."

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

Simple English

A shoe is a type of footwear. Shoes come in pairs, with one shoe for each foot. A shoe is also an item of clothing.

There are many different types of shoes. One type of shoe is Trainers. Their main purpose is to make running, walking, or jogging easier by making the weight of the shoe lighter and the sole of the shoe softer. Slippers are a kind of indoor shoe. They are often worn when it is cold.

People usually wear shoes in public. They are worn for hygiene, style, and comfort.

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address