I disagree with pretty much everything in this article: Why do we wear shoes? First, the author claims that people did not wear shoes earlier than 9,000 years ago and dismisses evidence that some people may have worn shoes as early as 30,000 years ago, saying, “Show me the shoes.”
Then he theorizes that the reason people started wearing shoes was to change the shape of the foot. Well, of course wearing shoes does change the shape of our feet but to say that is the reason we started wearing shoes is like saying we started driving cars because we wanted to make our butts wider.
We will never know for certain but at some point in history – maybe 9,000 years ago, maybe 30,000 – one of our early ancestors, for one reason or another, got a notion to wrap his or her feet in animal skins and discovered that covering one’s feet has certain advantages over going barefoot. I would like to think the inventor of and first person to wear any kind of foot-covering was a woman. That would be logical, wouldn’t it?
Anyway, does it matter, other than as a matter of intellectual curiosity? We like shoes. (Well, at least one half of humanity does.) I insist on comfortable shoes but I try to find shoes that are also pretty. Or at least sorta cute. Going barefoot does not feel as comfortable to me as it used to. My feet (not to mention knees and hips) crave cushioning and arch support. And yes, I like shoes because I’m a woman and women like shoes, though I do not waste money on a lot of uncomfortable shoes just for the sake of fashion or shoe craving.
By the way, for what it’s worth, my second toe is slightly longer than my big toe.