The History of Chinese Shoes

We need to wear shoes to protect our feet every day.Do you know something interesting histories about Chinese shoes?Follow me,Let’s learn something about it.

Foot Clothing: the earliest shoes and socks

The earliest shoes in China were made by tanned animal hide. They are the ancestor of leather boots.

In the ancient script engraved on bone and tortoise shell it depicts a whole animal hide was trimmed and stretched out. This would indicate that, at the time written Chinese was being formulated, socks and shoes were both related to leather. In ancient times there was no distinction between shoes and socks. The ancients would protect their feet by cutting out pieces of animal hide, wrapping them around their feet, and securing them with leather thongs. According to archaeologists, this kind of foot wrapping first appeared in the Old Stone Age.

Straw Shoes

People in the east and south of China were making straw shoes using bamboo needles and flax thread. Archaeological finds show that as early as 7,000 years ago, ancient Chinese had learned to make articles of daily use from plant fibers.

Many kinds of grass can be used to make shoes. In ancient times, almost all people across China wore straw shoes, excepting nomadic tribes. The main difference in mode of this footwear was that people in the frigid north wore thick straw boots, while those in the hot, humid south wore straw sandals. Straw footwear was worn by all, whether they were nobles, men of letters or farmers. Even today, local farmers still weave straw shoes for daily use and export.

Wooden Sandals

Ancient Chinese also made wooden sandals by attaching straw ropes to wooden soles.

Silk Shoes

Silkworm breeding started about 5,000 years ago in China. In the Shang Dynasty, some 3,000 years ago, people learned how to weave silk cloth and color it with mineral and plant dyes. The development of sericulture greatly influenced Chinese shoe making, and colorful silk shoes gradually replaced straw shoes.

High Heel Shoes in old times

Manchu women’s high heel shoes (from 18th to 20th century) had a concave heel of 10 to 15 cm in the center of the instep. The vamp was made of silk and embroidered with designed of flowers, birds, and fruits. These shoes are inconvenient to walk in, but they encourage the swaying gait of the wearer which was regarded as beautiful and also made the wearer tower over the others.

The picture on the right shows the Empress Dowager Cixi’s splendidly decorated shoes dripping with strings of pearls.

Traditional Cotton Shoes

Traditional black cotton shoes with white cotton padded soles have been very popular since a hundred years ago and continued to be popular in rural areas of China today.

Sturdy cotton shoes (the vamp can be made of silk, velvet, or quilted cotton for winter days to keep feet warm) go with any fabric in any season, dressy or casual. They suits for teenage girls, middle age, and old ladies. They fit any type of foot because they simply take the shape of the foot they are on.

When I was a child I worn quilted cotton shoes quite often in winter. My mother made the sole, sewed with linen, stitched together with many layers of cloth. She bought the vamp from open markets and stitched it with the sole using a big needle. I miss the soft and cosy feeling of those handmade quilted cotton shoes. However, they are not suitable for rainy days due to the material used. Certainly they won’t be much of use in England’s wet winter except wearing them as indoor slippers.

Buy Some Clothes and Help a Cause

Do you like to help a cause you believe in? Do you feel like you want to do more to help? You can help and it is easy to do too!

There are various brands out there for cyclists to choose from. You have Pearl Izumi, Desente, Canari, Nike, Shebeest, Primal Wear and several others. Let us take a closer look at what Nike has to offer. Nike’s line of cycling products is not as extensive as some of the other brands. They do however have a good variety. Several of their products came about because of Lance Armstrong. You will appreciate the fact when you buy a Lance Armstrong inspired article of clothing, a portion of your purchase will go to help fight cancer. This is a very worthy cause to support.

Nike products give you the same great benefits you have come to expect from other brands. Plus you get the good feeling of knowing you are helping out a great cause. What could possibly be better! Some of the benefits you are used to are moisture absorbing short chamois and jersey fabric. These benefits are there to help keep you drier for longer during those intense rides.

Nike has products to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You can also purchase some sunglasses to protect your eyes. You could also get a pair of lighter cycling shoes. They have all the basics when it comes to apparel and shoes. You can improve your performance and keep your self drier! You can’t go wrong with Nike cycling products!