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All About Shoes

by Kerry Cordy

If you are working on your Shoes Badge through either the Frontier Girls or Quest Program or just love a great pair of shoes, read on.

The History of Shoes

Shoes change over time as technology advances and fashion taste evolve. You won’t believe some the of crazy styles that have been popular throughout the world over the centuries. While many shoes were developed for practical uses, just as many are pure fashion!  Check out the blog post from that not only teaches you the history of shoes, but has some amazing photos of shoes over the centuries as well.

Find out the history of your favorite shoes and create a timeline of how they have changed over time.  For example the two articles below show the history of Vans and Nike.  What is your favorite shoe brand?

Great history and timeline of Vans sneakers

Timeline of Nike shoes

Maybe you don’t have a favorite brand, but are interested in the history of a particular style like high heels.  Did you know high heels were originally designed for men to make them taller and more formidable?

A yellow silk heel from England, circa 1760-1765, with a 'Louis' heel, named for the style worn at the court of Louis XIV.(Wikimedia Commons)
A yellow silk heel from England, circa 1760-1765, with a ‘Louis’ heel, named for the style worn at the court of Louis XIV.(Wikimedia Commons)

How Are Shoes Made?

How are shoes made? Making an athletic shoe is much different than making a pair of wingtips or a pair of high heels. The following Youtube videos are great virtual field trips for finding out how different types of shoes are made. See the difference in how a Vans sneaker is made compared to a custom pair of Italian leather dress shoes.

How Vans Makes Its Iconic Sneakers

How Bespoke Italian Leather Shoes Are Made

How to make your own shoes using your feet as the forms.


Design Your Own Shoes

Now that you have learned a bit about different types of shoes, their history and how they are made, try designing a pair of your own. Will you design fancy heels? Custom sneakers or athletic shoes? Maybe a comfy pair of slippers? Get creative.  Visit the Virtual Shoe Museum  to get inspiration. As you can see from the COVID 19 shoes, you can be inspired by just about anything around you. These shoes are wearable and made from recycled telephone wires.

Virtual Shoe Museum: Covid-19 Bebe Kuhr

How Many Different Types of Shoes Are There?

Why do we wear shoes and why are there so many different types? Look through your shoes and describe what each pair is for. Learn to identify as many types of shoes as you can.  7ESL has a great illustrated chart of of different types of shoes.

Enchanted Learning has put together a huge vocabulary list of shoe types. How many can you identify?


How Do Shoes Effect Your Health?

Learn about good foot health and what shoes do to your feet (how they can help or hinder). Find out how to choose good shoes for your feet. Every Day Health has a great article on tips to help keep your feet healthy.  Better Health from Australia explains how shoes affect you, and how to pick the right ones.

How To Make Your Own Shoes

Try making a pair of shoes from items you find around the house. Can you make a basic flip flop? A pair of slippers? Try making a pair of shoes out of scrap cardboard.   Instrucables has a fabulous article on making different types of shoes out of scrap cardboard laying around the house.  The instructions are quite thorough and easy to understand.

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