I’m Just Curious: Shoe facts to keep you on your toes

by Debbie Walker

The kid’s books and magazines give me some different things to write about! Some of this column is from a World Magazine. I believe it is an off shoot of National Geographic World.

So we are going to start out with information about shoes:


A few years ago there was a ship carrying about 40,000 pairs of sneakers in the Pacific Ocean, headed for the United States. A storm struck and the sneakers went overboard. Sometime later beach-goers from British Columbia to Oregon saw hundreds of sneakers had washed up on the shores – “they were the ‘sole’ survivors”!


Shoes were symbols of ownership years ago. At European weddings, the bride’s parents threw shoes to ‘say’ they didn’t own the bride any longer. Shoes became a symbol of good luck. Sometimes all the wedding guests threw shoes at the happy couple. “Maybe throwing shoes helped a marriage start out on the right foot”.

Right or Wrong

Eighteenth century people didn’t have to worry about right or left shoe. Both shoes were exactly alike. Both shoes in a pair were identical!

Someone Else’s

Napoleon I didn’t have to get blisters. His servants wore his boots to break them in for him. “They spared his imperial tootsies a royal pain.”


About 500 years ago in Europe men wore shoes with extremely long pointy toes. Some were so long that the wearer had to fasten them to his knees – or he’d trip.

“Walks of Life”

People give shoes a real workout. Each day most people take about 9,000 steps. And over our entire lifetime we may walk far enough to circle the Earth three and a half times. That’s enough to make your feet sore!”

Altitude Footwear

Platform shoes are not new to fashion. Years and years ago in Europe decorated platform shoes were a status symbol for wealthy women. The style “peak” was called the chopine (shah-PEEN). Sometimes rising more than two feet high, this was a shoe with a view!

Okay, I guess that is enough shoe business for one day. Although I could add that my Dad used to tell Mom to take me shoes shopping. He said they would throw away the shoes and I could wear the boxes. I have big flat feet with bunions! Used to have bunions but those were taken off, yehaw! Me and shoes still don’t get along really well. And, NO, it was not my mother’s fault. She always made sure our shoes fit well.

As usual I am just curious if you have any great “shoe” stories. For questions or comments you can contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com . Thanks for reading!


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