Man has always valued the shoes he has painstakingly crafted and developed over the course of humanity. Shoes used to be meant to be worn only for very special events and occasions. Only the very rich could afford a decent pair of shoes. Shoe makers designed shoes that were highly ornamental and often very extravagant. They were made of leather, velvet, and other luscious materials. Very little attention was made on making shoes comfortable, they were not meant to fit properly. Shoes were meant to display wealth and craftsmanship, like the peaked shoe or Crackow, and the Duckbill shoe in Elizabethan times. There were even laws written to limit its maximum width to 5 and a half inches. Until the mid-1800s shoes were made on straight lasts. Straight lasts make for shoes that have no difference between the right and the left shoe and it takes a while to break these shoes in. There were two widths to a size, one last was used to produce a “slim” shoe and another was made to for a “fat” or “stout” shoe.
A stout shoe was simply a slim shoe with a pad of leather over the cone laid over the last before forming the final shoe. Nearly the same hand tools that were used in Egypt from as far back as the 14th century B.C were used by shoe makers even to this day. The tools are the curved awl, and the chisel-like knife and the scraper. Pincers, the lapstone, the hammer and a variety of rubbing sticks used for finishing edges and heels were added later on. The next time you go out to buy a pair of shoes, keep in mind that thousands of years of craftsmanship went into the technology used in making shoes as you see them today. If you have chosen a prom dress in a neutral color (cream, off-white, white, ecru) a pair of turquoise blue shoes would be a good option for footwear. Different shades of brown, from chocolate to beige, become richer and more vibrant with dark turquoise prom shoes.