Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Ups and Downs of Shoes






Do you ever look at what shoes people are wearing? I have found myself staring at people's shoes recently, and have become fascinated at what I have seen. Only the other day I watched a young girl wearing a pair of very narrow tipped high heels, and  the concentration that she needed for staying upright created one of the most amusing walks I have ever seen. (eat your heart out John Cleese). I had the perfect seat in a cafe to observe all of this whilst waiting for a friend to arrive.


It was the click clack click followed by a scraping noise that drew my attention at first, on first look I thought she had been drinking and then realised that the swaying was part of her strategy to remain upright and at the same time trying to advance forward. It was one of the funniest things truly I have seen in awhile, and so because shoes are much more than simply an item of clothing - they can be objects of fantasy and desire, they can make us feel good or they can be instruments of torture and abuse. Let's just have a look at some.  Never even knew that there was such a thing as shoes for crushing walnuts!  Ouch to the nails below. And as for the binding of feet can only say I am glad that that era is over.
Did you know! Edward II originated shoe sizes in 1324. He decreed that 3 barley corns, placed end to end, equaled one inch. 36 barleycorns, end to end, were the actual length of his own foot. Each barleycorn was one third on an inch, which added up to 12 inches or one "foot." The longest normal foot measured 39 barleycorns, or 13 inches, and was called size 13. Smaller sizes were graded down from this number, each by a third of an inch.

Thanks to a stray comment by Confucius, mothers in 10th century China bound their daughters’ feet, hoping to achieve a “golden lotus,” a foot measuring just 3 inches. The "lotus" feet looked like tiny hooves and almost immobilized a woman. A symbol of high status, they were also considered powerfully erotic. In 1911 the practice was banned, and in 1949 Mao made it apenal offense to bind girls' feet, which was out of favor by then anyway. (The two paragraphs above are from  http://www.shoeme.com/history.htm)



Image credits: Bata Shoe Museum Photos' by David Stevenson and Eva Tkaczuk, South Shields Museum, The Stockholmtown Blog, urbanupdater.wordpress.

8 comments:

PoetessWug said...

All I can say...as a shoe LOVER!...is Oooooo and OUCH!!! LOL

Tara Breanne (Tarapparel) said...

You found some great interesting shoes! Great post!

PussDaddy said...

The ones with the dice, and the ones below that were pretty neat. I am an athletic shoe, lug sole, stacked heel type of person myself. I don't wear heels much. If I ever decide to be a hooker tho I am going to get me some dice shoes.

PussDaddy

Jenn/Neico's Knots said...

OMG those nail ones... I'd kill myself for sure in those things. Yikes!

Krishenka said...

Puss maybe we should both get a pair then and go strut our stuff! I think you would be more likely to kill someone with the nails Jenn. I'm still trying to figure out what the B stands for.

Gremlina said...

great shoes! you won my giveaway! http://turtlestostart.blogspot.com

Charlotte said...

I am a huge shoes fanatic, so this was a brilliant post to read! There's just something about a nice stiletto that makes me fill my wardrobe with shoes I probably only wear once U_U

(Miss Cristal)

Krishenka said...

Glad you liked it Charlotte I have a girlfriend who now has 58 pairs of shoes, she broke her ankle a few months ago whilst wearing a pair of stilletto's and now she has been told never to wear them again, not a happy bunny!

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