Understanding the Evolution of Men’s Shoes


    Shoes are an intriguing part of fashion. Shoes are defined by the Cambridge English dictionary as ‘a pair of covering for your feet, generally made up of a strong material like leather, thick leather or a plastic sole (= base) and generally a heel’. The combination of necessity, style, and comfort makes shoes quite an interesting phenomenon. Just like any other fashion items, shoes are broadly categorized into

    • Men’s Footwear
    • Women’s Footwear
    • Unisex Footwear

    If you are looking for more advice on modern shoe trends for men, check out Shoe Pursuits, an instant reference shoe guide.

    Men’s Shoes: How they came into being

    History states that the first recorded use of footwear was dated about 7000 to 8000 BC. Many archeological footwear artifacts are available all over the world suggesting that those ancient shoes were primarily meant to protect the feet from dangerous natural elements and harm. On a closer look, no antique shoes had any specifications whether they could be worn by men or women.

    The differentiation between men and women’s shoes practically started during the medieval era followed by the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. In medieval Europe, only the wealthy bourgeoisie communities were entitled to wear shoes. In fact, heels were part of men’s shoes to make them appear taller.

    The combination of heels and arched soles in shoes became the epitome of men’s fashion in the 17th and 18th centuries. In order to add more flamboyance to the attire, men often paired their shoes with extravagant stockings. In order to add more pomp, add-ons like bows and rosettes were generously added to men’s shoes.

    With the impending rise of the war threat in all over Europe, such flashy shoes paved the way for boots to take over. With their simple and comfortable designs, not only soldiers but also civilian men got inclined to such boots. In addition, income and living conditions saw betterment during this time, thereby leading the common masses to buy shoes.

    Modern-Day Men’s shoes

    The early part of the 19th century saw the introduction of variety in men’s footwear. The most common types of men’s shoes introduced during this era were Wellington, Blucher and Hessian boots. These boots were later adopted by women as well. 

    The later part of the 19th century saw the introduction of modern-day men’s shoes like the:

    • Oxfords: Also known by the name of Balmoral, these shoes have a slit in the vamp in the shape of ‘V’ where the lace goes through
    • Derby: The vamp has separate leathers attached to the vamp from where lace goes.

    These two major shoe types can win any man’s heart to date.  As and when the timeline proceeded to the 20th century, the purpose and therefore style of men’s shoes underwent major changes. For example, slip-on shoes like loafers, flip-flops were introduced for casual use, sports shoes for an activity, adventure, and gym along with party wear and formal wear for parties and offices respectively.You can check some of the trending footwear at boys vans shoes.


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