Shoes fascinate us. In every culture, shoes are more than utility items. We design, display and buy shoes we like. The desire to express our uniqueness through shoes is an ancient urge. Shoes also play an important role in determining social status or telling about our professions and character. Shoes also figure in language, as metaphors as also in dream interpretation.
“Three quarters of the miseries and misunderstandings in the world would finish if people were to put on the shoes of their adversaries and understood their points of view” – Mahatma Gandhi.
By wrapping them in animal hides.
The Arabs introduced tanned leather in Spain in the eighth century.
Class distinction by footwear!
In ancient Egypt (a warm climate), slaves went bare feet. Ordinary people wore simple sandals of woven papyrus. Red or yellow sandals and those with pointed toes were only for the royalty or aristocracy.
At the doorsteps, the high-ranking men would take off their shoes and put on sandals, which the slaves carried with them.
"Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
Wearing elaborate, unwieldy and impractical footwear is an indication of higher social rank by showing that the wearer cannot (does not need to) work. They can also signify a chosen profession.
What do these shoes tell you about the wearer?
Shoes with wings are an ancient theme. The Greek God Hermes as well as the Roman Mercury had winged shoes.
Papal Shoes - Rules About The Pope’s Shoes
- The American serial killer, Jerry Brudos also known as the ‘shoe-fetish slayer’
- British shoe-rapist James Lloyd, who raped women and stole their shoes are notorious shoe-criminals.
Shoe fetish in movies and Television:
- In the film ‘There’s Something about Mary’ one of Mary’s ex-boyfriends with a shoe fetish used to steal her shoes.
- The landlord character Joe Fusco Jr., in the film “While you were Sleeping” has a shoe fetish.
- The Bilingual Lover, a Spanish (1993) film is full of shoe fetishism
- While You Were Sleeping (1995) starring Sandra Bullock - the protagonist has a shoe fetish
- Family Guy TV comedy character Glen Quagmire has a shoe and foot fetish
- Musashi Miyamae, one of the main characters in the 2000 Japan Fuji-TV serial Bus Stop/Summer Destiny is obsessed with women's high heels