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"A shoe has so much more to offer than just to walk." - Christian Louboutin.

"A woman carries her clothes. But the shoe carries the woman." - Christian Louboutin.

"A shoe is not only a design, but it's a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you're going to move is quite dictated by your shoes." - Christian Louboutin.

"I really had no great love for shoes. I was a working First Lady; I was always in canvas shoes. I did nurture the shoes industry of the Philippines, and so every time there was a shoe fair, I would receive a pair of shoes as a token of gratitude." - Imelda Marcos.

A SHOE is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally fashion has often dictated many design elements, such as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones. Contemporary footwear varies widely in style, complexity and cost.

The earliest known shoes are sandals dating from about 8000 to 7000 BCE and found in Oregon, USA in 1938. The world's oldest leather shoe, made from a single piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams at the front and back, was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008 and is believed to date to 3,500 BCE. Ötzi the Iceman's shoes, dating to 3,300 BCE, featured brown bearskin bases, deerskin side panels, and a bark-string net, which pulled tight around the foot. However, tanned leather, the material most commonly used for making shoes, does not normally last for thousands of years, so shoes were probably in use long before this. Physical anthropologist Erik Trinkaus believes he has found evidence that the use of shoes began in the period between about 40,000 and 26,000 years ago, based on the fact that the thickness of the bones of the toes (other than the big toe) decreased during this period, on the premise that wearing shoes resulted in less bone growth, resulting in shorter, thinner toes. The earliest designs were simple affairs, often mere "foot bags" of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. Since shoes use more leather than sandals, their use was more common 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. As Europe gained in wealth and power, fancy shoes became status symbols. Toes became long and pointed, often to ridiculous proportions. Artisans created unique footwear for rich patrons, and new styles developed. Eventually the modern shoe, with a sewn-on sole, was devised. Since the 17th century, most leather shoes have used a sewn-on sole. This remains the standard for finer-quality dress shoes today. Until around 1800, shoes were made without differentiation for the left or right foot. Such shoes are now referred to as "straights". Only gradually did the modern foot-specific shoe become standard.

Since the mid-20th Century, advances in rubber, plastics, synthetic cloth, and industrial adhesives have allowed manufacturers to create shoes that stray considerably from traditional crafting techniques. Leather, which had been the primary material in earlier styles, has remained standard in expensive dress shoes, but athletic shoes often have little or no real leather. Soles, which were once laboriously hand-stitched on, are now more often machine stitched or simply glued on.

A BOOT is a type of footwear. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle and extend up the leg, sometimes as far as the knee or even the hip. Most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece. Traditionally made of leather or rubber, modern boots are made from a variety of materials. Boots are worn both for their functionality – protecting the foot and leg from water, snow, mud or hazards or providing additional ankle support for strenuous activities – and for reasons of style and fashion.

A SLIPPER or houseshoe is a semi-closed type of indoor/outdoor shoe, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by a strap running over (or between) the toes or instep. Slippers are soft and lightweight compared to other types of footwear. They are mostly made of soft or comforting materials that allow a certain level of comfort for the wearer. This can range from faux fur to leather.

Blüchers (American), Derbys (British): a style of shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are sewn on top of a single-piece vamp. This construction method, also known as "open lacing", contrasts with that of the Oxfords.

Monk-straps: a buckle and strap instead of lacing.

Oxfords (also referred as "Balmorals". In France, Oxfords are better known under the name of "Richelieu".): a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as "closed lacing".

Patent leather shoes: patent leather is a type of japanned leather that has been given a high gloss, shiny finish. It is used to make shoes, bags, and belts.

Plimsoll shoe: a type of athletic shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole, developed as beachwear in the 1830s by the Liverpool Rubber Company.

Slip-ons / Penny loafers: there are no lacings or fastenings. The popular loafers are part of this category, as well as less popular styles, such as elastic-sided shoes.

Ballet flats, 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.

Court shoes, known in the US as pumps, are typically high-heeled, slip-on dress shoes.

High-heeled footwear is footwear that raises the heels, typically 2 inches (5 cm) or more above the toes, commonly worn by women for formal occasions or social outings. Variants include kitten heels (typically 1½-2 inches high) and stilletto heels (with a very narrow heel post) and wedge heels (with a wedge-shaped sole rather than a heel post).

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.

Sneaker boot or sneaker pump: a shoe that looks like an athletic shoe, but is equipped with a heel, making it a kind of novelty dress shoe.

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    Bespoke & Made-To-Measure Shoemakers
  • John Lobb Bootmaker.
  • ALAN FLUSSER BESPOKE - "Permanent Style." New York City.
  • ALDEN - custom bootmakers since 1884.
  • ALLEN EDMONDS CUSTOM - since 1922.
  • ANELLO & DAVIDE - bespoke shoes since 1922.
  • AUBERCY - since 1935.
  • BONTONI -"Fine Hand Made Italian Shoes."
  • CAROLINE GROVES - bespoke shoemaker.
  • CARVIL - Paris since 1952.
  • CROCKETT & JONES - since 1879. Men's handmade shoes.
  • DAMA MILANO - "Since 2006, we handcraft bespoke shoes employing quality materials."
  • E. VOGEL - "Custom Boots & Shoes to Measure Since 1879."
  • EDWARD GREEN - since 1890. "The finest shoes in England for the discerning few." Ready to wear & made to order.
  • FOSTER & SON - est. 1840. London's oldest established shoemakers. Known as "The shoemakers' shoemaker". Bespoke shoes.
  • GAZIANO & GIRLING - bespoke and bench made men's shoes.
  • G. J. CLEVERLEY & Co. - since 1958. "Bespoke made to measure shoes, as individual as you are."
  • HARRYS OF LONDON - hand-made bespoke shoes. "Once a customer tries on our shoes, we have a friend for life."
  • JOHN LOBB BOOTMAKER - founded in 1849. "Makers of the finest hand made to measure shoes and boots."
  • KLEMANN SHOES - since 1986. Hand-sewn, bespoke shoes.
  • MARINI - high class handmade Italian men's shoes since 1899.
  • PAKERSON - hand made in Italy since 1923. Also made-to-measure.
  • PAOLO SCAFORA NAPOLI - customized.
  • PAUL DAVIS - The London Shoemaker: "Shoes of distinction crafted by hand."
  • PIERRE CORTHAY - "Bottier à Paris." Handmade-to-measure.
  • PIRELLI - bespoke made-to-measure.
  • Scarosso - "Shoes designed by you and handcrafted in Italy by Scarosso." Men's & women's.
  • Sidonie Larizzi - women's custom-made shoes.
  • SILVANO LATTANZI - men's and women's shoes, custom shoes.
  • Stamp Shoes - bespoke made-to-measure shoes. Also maker of the 'No Place Like Home' - GPS Shoes.
  • Stefano Bemer - Florence, Italy. Bespoke and Ready to Wear shoemaker. "We offer a choice of over 40 basic styles, each of which comes in three, four or more versions. French and english calf, english suede, shark-skin, hippopotamus, elefant and camel-hyde, ostrich, crocodile, kudù, sting-ray, toad-skin, perch and tripe, are amongst the skins we use to meet even the most demanding client's desires."
  • THE LONDON SHOEMAKER - "Shoes of distinction crafted by hand."
  • TIM LITTLE SHOES - made to measure handmade bespoke men's shoes.
  • Unico - the new and exclusive made-to-measure service that offers the ANGELO GALASSO customer a new dimension in menswear – Italian traditional craftsmanship, combined with Angelo Galasso’s fastidious eye for detail. The footwear connoisseur will be delighted to learn that in the Unico room anything can come to life: monk straps, loafers or derbys shoes are available in understated plain leathers as well as bold pythons and crocodile skins.
    Shoe Care Products & Resources
  • Cedes Milano Shoe shine kit.
  • A GUIDE TO SHOE TREES - The Shoe Snob.
  • How To Polish Shoes - wikiHow.
  • John Lobb - care guide.
  • SHOE Polish - Wikipedia.
    • Top ten: Big- and small-shoe resources.
    • 10 Most Expensive Women Shoe Brands in the World - FashionLady.
    • A SUITABLE WARDROBE - shoe care.
    • Abbeyhorn Shoehorn With Stag Handle: £100.40.
    • Abbeyhorn - "Handcrafted Natural Cow Horn Shoe Horns."
    • ALDEN - custom bootmakers since 1884. Shoe care products.
    • Barefoot Tess - "Large Size Womens Shoes and Boots in Sizes 10 to 15."
    • Berluti Shoe Care Kit.
    • BERLUTI - Paris since 1895. "The ultimate expression of luxury for men."
    • BOOT - Wikipedia.
    • Casual Male XL - aside from carrying men’s clothing in sizes XL to 7XL, this big-and-tall chain also stocks more than 100 styles of shoes in size 10 to 16 from beloved brands such as Sperry Top-Sider, Unlisted by Kenneth Cole and Polo Ralph Lauren.
    • Cedes Milano Shoe shine kit.
    • Cedes Milano - shoe shining glovesand sets, shoe polishing aprons and travelling shoe cases.
    • Cinderella of Boston - "Women's Petite Shoes." Since 1939, this family-run California store and e-tailer has been producing feminine footwear for ladies size 2 to 5.5.
    • COLE HAAN - shoe care products.
    • CORDOVAN SHOES - Wikipedia.
    • COWBOY BOOT - Wikipedia.
    • espadrille - definition & explanation.
    • FOOTWEAR - Wikipedia.
    • Galoshes - Wikipedia.
    • GLOSSARY - shoe, leather and accessory glossary.
    • GPS Shoes by Stamp Shoes.
    • GPS Shoes - 'No Place Like Home' by Stamp Shoes. The shoes feature integrated GPS technology to guide the wearer home (or to where ever they want to go) from any where in the world using a sequence of LED lights on the toes.
    • Greenson Shoe Care Kit Case: £140.
    • Greenson - since 1866. Shoe care kit case.
    • Harry's Shoes - ladies and gents looking for comfortable footwear up to size 13 women’s and 18 men’s should hit up this family-owned store—nearly half of its stock comes in large sizes.
    • Jildor - since 1949. Women's designer shoes. Carry nearly 100 trendy labels, including Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, Brian Atwood and Marc by Marc Jacobs, in sizes 4 to 12 for both narrow and wide widths.
    • J.M. Weston shoe tree.
    • J.M. WESTON - boot & shoe trees.
    • John Lobb - shoe care products.
    • Kalorik Shoe Electric Polish Brush Machine.
    • Kalorik Shoe Electric Polish Brush Machine - foot activated on-off button; ith one cleaning brush + 2 big polish brush (for different shoe colors, or one to use with shoe polish and one for shine-up finishing); powerful motor.
    • Kicking Cannes: High heels really do lead to foot, back problems if worn too often - New York Daily News.
    • Kitten heel - short, slender heel, usually from 3.5 centimeters (1.5 inches) to 4.75 centimeters (1.75 inches) high with a slight curve setting the heel in from the edge of the shoe. The style was popularized by Audrey Hepburn.
    • KIWI shoe polish.
    • Kiwi - "Let Your Shoes Be Your Signature." Brand name of a shoe polish, first launched and sold in Australia in 1906 and as of 2005 sold in almost 180 countries. It is the dominant shoe polish in some countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, where it has about two-thirds of the market.
    • Korchmar PALMER - R1206 - Shoe Bag: US$185.
    • Korchmar - since 1917. "Exclusive Leather Goods and More."
    • La Coordonnerie Anglaise Paris Rose wood Groom box.
    • La Coordonnerie Anglaise Paris - shoe care kits & products: brushes, leather aprons, polish gloves, shoe horns, shoe trees.
    • Loro Piana 'My Shoes Care Set': €310.
    • LORO PIANA - since 1924. "My Shoes Care Set".
    • LUDWIG REITER - since 1885. Travel shoe care bag.
    • Marmi Shoes - "Shoes that fit you and your lifestyle." 25,000-plus shoes available in sizes 4 to 13 (both in wide and slim widths)
    • Moccasin - Wikipedia.
    • Odd Blog - "The blog about big shoes, the people who weare them & anything else we think is funny." E-commerce site for dress shoes and kicks up to size 18.
    • PASOTTI - since 1956. Luxury shoehorns.
    • PATENT LEATHER SHOE - Wikipedia.
    • Rancourt & Co. - shoe care products.
    • ROLAND ITEN - the RF 82 Mk. II "Fou Lace" mechanical shoe tips.
    • Saphir Shoe Polish Pate De Luxe.
    • SAPHIR SHOE CARE PRODUCTS - "Médaille d'or 1925 Paris."
    • Scarosso - shoe trees.
    • Scheer handmade shoe care kit. Scheer handmade shoe care kit.
    • Scheer - since 1816. Handmade shoe care kit.
    • Science Weighs In on High-Heels - The New York Times.
    • SHOE - Wikipedia.
    • SHOES OR NO SHOES - 39 amazing postcards available.
    • SHOEBUY.COM - "The World's Largest Site For Shoes."
    • Shoepassion' shoe care products.
    • Shoepassion - shoe polish, shoe care products, shoe brushes, shoe trees, shoe horns, shoe accessories, shoe cleaning kits, shoe polisher.
    • Slip-on shoe - typically low, lace-less shoes. The style most commonly seen, known as a loafer or slippers in American culture, has a moccasin construction.
    • SLIPPER - Wikipedia.
    • STILETTO HEEL - Wikipedia.
    • Swims men's galoshes.
    • Swims - men's galoshes.
    • The Little Shoe Store - "Grown Up Shoes For Petite Feet." Shop for women’s footwear in sizes 3 to 5.5.
    • The Odd Slipper - "Shoe Space for Petite Sizes." This girly brand allows small-footed ladies (sizes 3 to 6) to vote on their favorite shoes from a rotation of preselected styles. Once the shoe gets enough love, it goes into production.
    • THE SHOE BUFF - the definitive online resource for Men’s Contemporary Shoes and Sneakers, providing daily release/collection updates, and in-depth looks at the men’s contemporary footwear industry.
    • Top 10 Most Expensive Shoes in the World -
    • TSZUJI - "The shoe storage specialists."
    • UGG BOOTS - definition & explanation.
    • WELLINGTON BOOTS - definition & explanation.
    • Wildsmith - since 1847. Shoe trees.
    • ZAPPOS.COM - "Powered by Service." The biggest online shoe store.
    • Y TRENDS - footwear forecasting.
    Shoe Museums
  • Marikina Shoe Museum.
  • Shoe museums - Wikipedia.
    • BATA SHOE MUSEUM - world’s largest - and best - shoe museum (Toronto, Canada). At any one time around 10,000 shoes and shoe-related objects are on display here.
    • DUTCH SHOE MUSEUM - Waalwijk, The Netherlands. "In the Dutch Leather & Shoe Museum the shoe industry, contemporary design and technology are brought together. In addition to a permanent collection, the museum also showcases changing exhibits. A visit to the museum will leave you amazed at the versatility of designs and styles of such an everyday item as the shoe."
    • GERMAN SHOE MUSEUM - Offenbach, Germany. Over 15,000 artefacts.
    • GIANT SHOE MUSEUM - Seattle, WA, U.S.A. Actual real GIANT SHOES on display.
    • International Wooden Shoe Museum Eelde - museum in Eelde, the Netherlands, for clogs, clog-making equipment and machinery. It has the largest collection of wooden footwear in the world.
    • MARIKINA SHOE MUSEUM - City of Marikina, island of Luzon, Philippines. "Home of the World's Largest Shoe" and recipient of more than 800 pairs of shoes donated by former first lady Imelda Marcos.
    • Museo Rossimoda della calzatura - (Rossimoda Museum of the Shoe) is located in the town of Stra in the Province of Venice, Italy.
    • Northampton Museum and Art Gallery - Northampton, England. The museum has the largest collection of historical footwear in the world, designated as being of international importance. The ground floor is given over to the display of some of the museum's 12,000 shoes, spanning the period from the Ancient Egyptians to the present day.
    • Salvatore Ferragamo Museum - Florence, Italy. Fashion museum dedicated to the life and work of Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo and his eponymous company. The museum contains 10,000 models of shoes created and owned by Ferragamo from the 1920s until his death in 1960.
    • SONS | SHOES OR NO SHOES - Kruishoutem, Belgium. Specializes in ethnographic shoes, or shoes with special cultural significance.
    • THE SHOE MUSEUM - Street, Somerset, England. Exhibits shoes dating from the Roman era to the present day. The museum includes the first clogs worn by Gracie Fields and the wedding shoes of Diana, Princess of Wales.
    • TUSPM SHOE MUSEUM - since 1976. At Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Includes roughly 900 pairs of shoes, 250 of which are on display on the sixth floor of the TUSPM main building. The displays focus on the question of why people wear shoes.
    • VIRTUAL SHOE MUSEUM - Den Haag, Netherlands. Initiated by Liza Snook in 2004. "The VirtualShoeMuseum aims to present Shoes and its designers in a new and fresh environment, focused on exploration, surprise and awe."
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