back to front heel
Ed-Shoe-Cation, Walking Shoes

Step Back In Time With The World’s Weirdest and Oldest Shoes

Some things were never destined to catch on.

seventies checked shoe

Like the Sinclair C Five to Beta Max video tape.  And the footwear industry is no different.

When we trawl back through the annals of history, it’s to find quite the rogues gallery of bizarre and frankly bad footwear of yesteryear.

And believe us, there’s a lot of it!

PLATFORM 70S SHOE

It seems that the olden days were a breeding ground for nasty, uncomfortable and plain ugly footwear!

Follow our glance back at some of the more notable moments in fashion, over the last six millennia!

Spawned by Beelzebub, some of these efforts are less Doctor Marten’s but more something dreamt up by Doctor Frankenstein!

frankenstein boots

As well as the numbers that have stunned us with their designs for historic reasons, we also document the rogue brogues, freaky sneakers and cruel mules of days gone by!

First up in our chamber of horrors, the Disco Fish Heel

DISCO FISH HEELS

disco heels fish

Name: DISCO FISH HEELS

Manufacturer: UNKNOWN

Year: THE 1970S, WHEN ELSE?

Crimes: AGAINST FISH, FASHION AND POSSIBLY HUMANITY.

70s excess shoes

The disco fish shoe has now passed into legend. It seems, these heels were just so freakish that there isn’t even any surviving documentary evidence of the originals in the flesh.

This means they were just so awful that they cracked the camera lens of every photographer who tried to photograph them, or they were a collective hallucination as a result of too many bad drugs (man).

disco fish boot

However, we have it on good authority that these beasts, purported to contain live goldfish (albeit, not for long!)

Since no living soul has managed to take a photograph of these horrors and lived to tell the tale, the offending podiatric specimens are being played by actors.

BACKGROUND

white disco shoe

Giving a new twist to “murder on the dancefloor” these ‘shoes’ were a niche product that allegedly contained live fish sealed into the heel.

Although we doubt that this actually happened, the heels were touted as being mini aquariums into which objects could be stuffed.

Sadly, there were some idiots who attempted to load live fish in there. Suffice to say, any live fish did not survive long, due to the twin hazards of lack of oxygen and some really bad dancing. Where’s PETA when you need them?

A modern interpretation of the ‘classic’ Disco Fish heel can be purchased, thankfully, with replica fish inside it.


THE POULAINE

poulaine spikes

Name: POULAINES

Also know as: CRAKOWS, PIKES

Manufacturer: VARIOUS

Year: BETWEEN 13TH AND 15TH CENTURIES

Crime: BANNED IN PARIS AND LONDON AT VARIOUS TIMES FOR BEING DIFFERING REASONS. ALSO RESTRICTED TO UPPER CLASSES ONLY IN ENGLAND. NOTORIOUS FOR BEING DIFFICULT TO PRAY IN!

HISTORY

curled poulaines

Known by various names, the Poulaine, or Crakow, this style was popular in Europe from approximately 1360s to the 1480s.

poulaines

Proof positive that fashion victims existed throughout history, this popular style was worn by both women and men, but restricted to the upper classes (Lords, Esquires and Gentlemen) by Edward IV. No one else was allowed to wear the shoes with a toe length of over two inches.


HIGH TIDE HEELS

high tide heels

Name: HIGH TIDE HEELS

Manufacturer: PAUL SHIETEKAT

Year: 2006

Crimes: VIOLATING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS

BACKDROP

high tide heels red

These heeled flippers are just the ticket for that cocktail party aboard the Mary Celeste.

Designed by artist Paul Shietekat, we don’t know a whole lot about the history of these shoes, except that they can be found over at the virtual shoe museum http://www.virtualshoemuseum.com/paul-schietekat/high-tide-heels

high tide blue heels

Perfect for the selfie obsessed duck-pouting ladies in your life, we all know someone who would appreciate an attractive pair of um flippers for Christmas.

Don’t we?


MEDIEVAL ADIDAS BOOTS

medieaval adidas

Name: ANCIENT ‘ADIDAS’

Manufacturer: UNKNOWN

Year: circa 800 AD

Crimes: AGAINST THE TIME SPACE CONTINUUM

ANCIENT HISTORY

ancient adidas

We’ve all got a pair of shoes like this, disintegrating behind the sofa and stinking to high heaven.

In truth, your ancient pair of Adidas are probably considerably worse for wear than these findings, discovered in Mongolia.

They were found buried with a mummified woman in the Altai Mountains.

long ancient adidas

Considering these are over a thousand years, we cannot believe what great nick they are in!

Dubbed ‘ancient Adidas’ this surprisingly modern style boasted a black and red felt stripe.

Although we’re not sure we would want to go to the afterlife in a pair of sneakers, they certainly look comfortable enough!


THE WORLD’S OLDEST SHOE

old shoe

Name: THE WORLD’S OLDEST SHOE

Manufacturer:UNKNOWN ARMENIAN COPPER AGE SHOEMAKER

Year: circa 3500 BC

Crimes:PROBABLY WHIFF A BIT BY NOW

(REALLY) ANCIENT HISTORY

oldest shoe

Simple, functional and hardwearing, they really knew how to build things to last in Copper Age Armenia.

Amazingly still in one piece, the oldest leather shoe in history was discovered in an Armenian cave, smelling less than fragrant and covered in sheep dung – which is apparently the key to eternal life!

really old shoes

Despite looking like an old raver on an MDMA comedown, this pair of ancient shoes has weathered many miles, as well as millennia, and are still more fashionable than a pair of Uggs!

old shoe


ORIGINAL NIKE MOON SHOES

nike moon shoe

Name: NIKE MOON SHOES

Manufacturer: NIKE

Designer: BILL BOWERMAN

Year:1972

Crimes:TRADES DESCRIPTION ACT – THEY WERE NEVER WORN ON THE MOON!!

FASHIONOGRAPHY

waffle tread nike

Although sneakers go back in the annals of history to the 18th century, these specimens are slightly more recent.

Dating from 1972, perhaps these first ever pair of Nike Moon Shoes aren’t the oldest shoes in the world or even the oldest sneakers, but they are still a piece of history all the same.

Designed by the co-founder of Nike, these Moon Shoes were so called because they looked similar to the footprints left on the moon by astronauts.

Bowerman used a waffle iron to make the distinctive pattern tread of the shoe!

You may also like...