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 possible balance and ambulation. Shoes have traditionally been made from leather, wood or canvas, but are increasingly made from rubber, plastics, and other petrochemical-derived materials. The earliest designs were simple affairs, often mere “foot bags” of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. Since a shoe uses more leather than a sandal, their use was more common amongst people 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.
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 heels 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 womens dress shoe.
The Shoes of Salvation is a poem by Edward Monkton. It is a beautiful duet between a shoe and an admiring lady. The Shoe itself is woman’s beautiful, devoted friend who worships and admires her from below! Reversing the years where shoes have been worshipped by women, this story sees the shoe gazing admiringly up at the goddess who perches high up on her heels!
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.
# Sneakers/trainers (also called gym shoes or tennis shoes): general purpose athletic shoes; made out of rubber, cloth, and/or plastic to be lightweight, flexible, and have good traction. Special varieties are available for basketball or tennis.
# Running shoes: very similar to above, with additional emphasis on cushioning.
# Track shoes: lightweight; often with plastic or metal cleats