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It’s hard to imagine a life without shoes.

For many of us, yes I mean women, life would not be worth living without that final decision of which pair to wear before stepping out into the world. After all, a perfect pair of shoes can change your life, Cinderella. But women haven’t always had the comfort and luxury of that closet full of footwear to make our ensemble complete. It seems that until four thousand years ago, everyone went barefoot.

The first shoes were made of a single piece of rawhide and enveloped the entire foot. Many women may currently have that same shoe in their closet. They were worn for both warmth and protection.

Today, women rarely consider warmth and protection when making a shoe purchase. Sandals originated in warm climates where the soles of the feet needed protection, but the top of the foot needed to be cool. Did they have sandals in eighteen different colors back then? I think not.

In Europe pointed toes on shoes were fashionable from the 11th to the 15th century. Ah, the pointed toe, which brings us to another fact, that many people already know; sixty-two percent of shoe wearers say their feet hurt. The other forty-four percent must be men.

In the Middle East heels were added to shoes to lift the foot from the burning sand, which is how the love/hate relationship with high heels began. We thought this next trend started with the new millenium, but in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries heels on shoes were always red.

Throughout the world, each pair of shoes were made identical for both feet, until left and right footed shoes where first made in Philadelphia. In Europe, it wasn’t until the 18th century that women’s shoes were different from men’s.

Six-inch-high heels were worn by the upper classes in seventeenth-century Europe. Two servants, one on either side, were needed to hold up the person wearing the high heels.

Boots were first worn in cold, mountainous regions and hot, sandy deserts where horse-riding communities lived. Now we wear our boots with short-shorts and tank tops. Heels on boots kept feet secure in the stirrups.

In the Middle Ages a father passed his authority over his daughter to her husband in a shoe ceremony. At the wedding, the groom handed the bride a shoe, which she put on to show she was then his subject.

Today, in the U.S., shoes are tied to the bumper of the bridal couple’s car. This is a reminder of the days when a father gave the groom one of his daughter’s shoes as a symbol of a changing caretaker.

In China, one of the bride’s red shoes is tossed from the roof to ensure happiness for the bridal couple.

In Hungary the groom drinks a toast to his bride out of her wedding slipper. It is a possibility that this is allowed only because the bride knows she will never wear that pair of shoes again.

Fifteen percent of the female population has over thirty pairs currently in their closets, a statistic that could be contested as too low, and a fact well hidden from the significant other. Also, thirty-three percent of women have trouble finding

the room to store all of their shoes.

On average, women purchase four pairs of shoes per year, at an average cost of $277 per year. This could be another point to be contested. This leads us to another absolute fact. Ninety-seven percent of women say that their shoe shopping has never created any financial problems. However, one survey indicates that 13% have hidden at least one shoe purchase from their significant other.

Close to half of the female population

(43%) has been injured, by their shoes. Eight percent of women have experienced severe injuries such as sprains or breaks, and it is believed that 100% of these women state that it was all worth it. Unlike clothing, which is the most frequent online purchase by women, online shoe shopping has not yet caught on. Only fourteen percent of women make any of their shoe purchases online.

The average American adult woman shoe size is 8. In 1986, 12% of American women had shoe sizes 9.5 and higher, but in 1998, 30.4% of all women’s shoes sold were size 9 and above.

Current statistics may be depressing.

Either womens’ feet are getting larger, or their feet hurt so bad that they finally have to buy the correct size.

The average increase in the protrusion of a woman’s buttocks is 25% when she wears high heels.

“The perfect shoe

can change your life.”

-Cinderella S hoes

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