The World's Oldest Shoes

World's Oldest Shoe

Anyone who’s ever stepped on a Lego barefoot understands the importance of shoes. Just as clothing protects us from the elements, shoes protect our feet not just from the cold, but also from things that are hard, pointy, and generally uncomfortable to step on. From felted wool slippers to canvas sneakers and leather dress shoes, our footwear keeps our toes warm in the cold, helps us exercise more efficiently, and can even tell others about our social status.

The oldest non-sandal shoe, pictured below, is over five thousand years old. Found in a cave in Armenia, the simple shoe was made of leather that was tightened around the foot with laces threaded through slits on the top of the shoe (sound familiar?).

While five thousand years old might sound impressive, archaeologists believe shoes have been around much longer. By studying the foot bones of ancient remains, these scientists noticed that humans developed shorter, thinner toes around forty thousand to twenty-six thousand years ago, possibly a direct result of wearing shoes. 

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