15 Things You Didn't Know About Shoes!

Published by Englin's Fine Footwear on 7th Jan 2019

15 Things You Didn't Know About Shoes!

Think you're a shoe know it all? Think again! We've compiled a list of facts that knocked our socks off when we read them. Which one were you most surprised by?

King Edward II of England first established a system of sizing shoes in 1324. This system is still used today and one shoe size is based off of the diameter of one barley corn, which equals one third of an inch or 0.85 millimeters.

On average, women walk 3 miles more than men per day.

The most popular shoe size in America has risen a full size in the last 30 years. Today, the most common shoe size for men is a 10.5 and for women is an 8.5. 

The first boot ever made for women was constructed in 1840 for Queen Victoria.

The first shoes were invented during the Ice Age, almost 5 million years ago. They were animal skins that people tied around their ankles during colder seasons.

The most expensive shoes ever sold were Dorothy's ruby red slippers worn in The Wizard of Oz. They were sold at an auction in 2000 for $660,000 US Dollars.

The only shoe museum in North America is in Toronto, Ontario. 

The first people to construct left and right shoes were the Ancient Romans. Before then, shoes were constructed to be worn on either foot. Left and right shoes didn't become the norm for everyone until the 1800's, though!

There is a reason we love to own shoes! In the book Footnotes: On Shoes, Suzanne Ferriss, PhD, explains that whether people realize it or not, shoes are a collector's item. Buying shoes triggers an area of the brain's prefrontal cortex called the collecting spot.

The average pair of shoes lasts for around 400 miles. This, of course, can vary from shoe to shoe depending on materials, type of shoe, and age of the shoe. Most people take between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day which adds up to around 115,000 miles over a lifetime...that's equivelent to walking around the earth 4 times. This means that the average person will wear out 290 shoes in their lifetime.

Wedge shoes were created in Italy in the 1940's by mistake. Popular shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo began experimenting with new materials during the trade close in Italy and created the wedge.

Men were the first to wear heels. Heels were both used for horse back riding and to indicate a high social standing rather than gender.

Shoemakers usually stop making half sizes for women after a size 10 and stop making men's half sizes after a size 12. That's why it's so rare to find a women's size 10.5 and a men's size 12.5. There are a handful of shoe makers that still make them for men and women, though!

The person with the world's largest feet wears a US size 28.5.

The average person in the USA owns 19 pairs of shoes! We may be a little biased, but we think that number is low and should increase.