Fashion & Style

Are we obsessed by shoes

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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women's sandals
Look in most women's closets (and some men's) and you'll probably answer with a resounding, “Yes!”
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Save big with discount men's dress shoes

For most of human history, fine footwear has been a costly luxury worn by the upper classes as a sign of status. Judging from some of the prices today for high end designer shoes, it would appear that only the wealthy could afford them. This applies to both sexes; but, that's no longer true - thanks to online catalogers and merchants who stock a variety of discount men's shoes (and women's). The latest in footwear is now yours at the click of your mouse. Their sites are a salvation to those of us who still regard shoes (designer name shoes, of course} as a status symbol. Many sites offers famous name brands in an extraordinary assortment of sizes and widths.

My, how things have changed since ancient times! It thought that first foot coverings were probably animal skins, which peoples of the Stone Age (until about 4000 BC in northern Europe and Asia tied around their ankles in cold weather. Such footwear was undoubtedly the ancestor of Bronze Age European and Native North American skin moccasins and the leather and felt boots later worn by the Persians and Mongolians. Related forms of foot coverings included leather slippers, which originated in the Middle East and are still worn there, and the traditional fabric shoes of China, where leather was scarce. Carved wooden shoes, such as European peasant sabots, and wooden clogs, worn in Japan, gave protection from wet or muddy ground. Just think of the many choices we have now for protective footwear!

During the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century), peasants wore skin wrappings, sabots, or, for men, stiff leather soles combined with loose fabric hose or leg wrappings. Members of the nobility and churchmen wore soft cloth or leather shoes related to Roman calcei or to Byzantine shoes neatly laced over a front slit. By the 12th century, as a result of contact with the East through the Crusades, men's shoes with pointed toes, worn with tight hose made of silk, velvet, or soft leather, became fashionable. Called crackows or poulaines, they featured toes as long as 24 in, shaped by whalebone and stuffing and sometimes chained to the knees. It's no wonder that painting show many from these generations grimacing. No doubt due to the discomfort caused by their shoes! Commoners wore shorter, 6-in points. (Do you think these were more comfortable?)

In the 16th century, shoe styles changed radically. Both men and women wore low-cut, square-toed slippers. The toes, rolled back and often slashed to reveal a colored lining, became enormously wide and eventually had to be limited by law. Also popular were mules, sometimes attached to high platforms to raise feet and skirts above the mud. But alas, there was no Internet and there was no place to get discount men's dress shoes! Let's face it—even with all the aggravations, all the chaos and the pressing responsibilities of today's hectic life style, aren't we lucky to live in such a technologically advanced society?

High heels, a late 16th-century innovation, characterized 17th-century shoes for both sexes. The fashion was encouraged by Louis XIV of France, who wore them to increase his modest height. A curved heel is still known as a French, or Louis, heel. These square-toed, long-tongued shoes were fastened with buckles or wide bows. Men also wore soft, wide-topped cavalier boots, which often revealed loose, lace-trimmed boothose. In the 18th century the soft boot was replaced by the stiff cowhide jackboot, which was held up by a metal frame (jack) and often cut away behind the knee. Foot soldiers wore cheaper ankle boots with side-buttoned, canvas gaiters. High-heeled, buckled shoes had pointed toes. These hardly compare with today's popular men's casual shoes like loafers, topsiders and, of course, the ever popular sneakers—all now available at online at sites like Harry's Shoes. Whatever shoe style you're looking for, you'll be able to find it online at prices that meet or beat those found in the traditional brick and motor re

In the period of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), women favored narrow, flat slippers laced around the ankle. By the mid-19th century, shoes began to be mass-produced in factories and were thus more available to the general public. Men wore laced or elastic-sided ankle boots. Women wore heeled shoes, low cut or laced or buttoned to the ankle. Canvas-topped, rubber-soled shoes (sneakers) were introduced for sports. And, shoe design was greatly influenced in the 20th-century by the emphasis on youth and informality. Men's footwear included low, laced oxfords in various leathers, slip-on loafers, ankle boots, and specialized sport shoes. According to changing fashion, women adopted high, spike, or low heels, with thin, platform, or wedge soles, in closed shoes or sandals. In the late 20th century, tight, knee-high boots became popular for day wear. With the growing interest in exercise for physical fitness, various adaptations of shoes for exercise became standard footgear for men, women, and children alike.

Today there are so many different styles of ladies shoes, sandals and boots that it is very hard to keep track of what's in and what's out; however, this task is made so much easier by perusing the many online catalogs that depict the very latest in footwear. Just let the Internet be your fashion guide to all that's new and exciting in the field of ladies shoes, sandals and boots and your feet can be well clad even if you're not well heeled!

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