Stranger than fiction: ancient shoes

Did you know that the world’s oldest evidence for shoe use comes not from preserved footwear but from human toe bones?

Well, it’s true.

Preserved sandals or other ancient footwear don’t appear in the archaeological record until around 9,000 years ago (from a site in California).  This is because biodegradable materials tend to preserve poorly.  Recently, though, physical anthropologists have speculated that we may be able to determine when humans began wearing shoes indirectly by examining their toe bones.

Shod? Look at the Toes

People who go barefoot develop stronger, more robust toes than those who wear supportive footwear.  Archaeologists have found a decrease in the size and strength of toe bones among Homo sapiens in Europe and the Middle East around 30,000 years ago, suggesting it was at this time that they began to innovate new footwear technologies.

Eat your heart out Christian Louboutin!

Here’s the article from National Geographic if you want to know more.

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