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Shoes (B2)

Most of us have several pairs of shoes – but have you ever wondered where shoes came from? When did people first start wearing them? And how did they evolve from something to protect our feed to fashion statement?

History tells us that footwear was one of the first things primitive people learned to make. Footwear helped ancient peoples cross rocky terrain or hot sands without injuring themselves. The earliest footwear we know of was simply a piece of plaited grass or leather tied to the feet.

The ancient Egyptians seem to have invented the first footwear with a firm sole – sandals. In those days, footwear, or lack of it, also showed a person’s status. Egyptian royalty, for example, wore sandals that had a different style from those with lesser status.

The Greeks were the first to develop shoes with heels. Then, in the Middle Ages, shoes with long points at the toe became very chic for the nobility. These shoes were often very difficult to wear.

The father of modern athletic shoe was Adolf Dassler, who began making shoes in 1920. In 1948, he founded the Adidas company, one of the best-known makers of contemporary athletic shoes.

Clearly, shoes are no longer just foot protection. From decorative shoes that denoted nobility to the enormous popularity of celebrity shoe designers today, shoes are now more than ever an integral part of our ability to express our fashion sense and individuality.