Odd facts about shoes

Grecian shoes were peculiar in reaching to the middle of the legs. The present fashion of shoes was introduced into England in 1633. In the ninth and tenth centuries the greatest princes of Europe wore wooden shoes. Slippers were in use before Shakespeare’s time, and were originally made “rights” and “lefts.” Shoes among the Jews were made of leather, linen, rush or wood; soldiers’ shoes were sometimes made of brass or iron. In the reign of William Rufus of England, in the eleventh century, a great beau, “Robert, the Horned,” used shoes with sharp points, stuffed with tow, and twisted like rams’ horns.

The Romans made use of two kinds of shoes–the solea, or sandal, which covered the sole of the foot, and was worn at home and in company, and the calceus, which covered the whole foot and was always worn with the toga when a person went abroad. In the reign of Richard II., shoes were of such absurd length as to require to be supported by being tied to the knees with chains, sometimes of gold and silver. In 1463 the English parliament took the matter in hand and passed an act forbidding shoes with spikes more than two inches in length being worn and manufactured.

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