Seriously weird shoes from early to modern history


Shoes date back to the 7,000 or 8,000 B.C, which is a very long history indeed. Our ancestors needed shoes to shield their feet from the harsh weather, and since then the shoes have evolved over the history of humanity and they became more than protective foot coverings. Over the years all kinds of materials and styles have been used for shoes. Fashion designers tend to be very imaginative, and if we ignore the functionality, the possibilities are endless. They are constantly trying to have the most impressive collection, so we made a list of the most weird shoes ever made. These strange shoes are uncomfortable, expensive, unusual but we can not ignore the creativity of the designers. Here is our list of 7 most weird looking shoes in the world from early to modern history. Do you have the courage to wear some of these funny looking shoes?

Okobo (18th century – today)

Okobo (18th century - today)

Okobo are wooden sandals worn by Japanese maiko (apprentice geisha). These shoes are very tall and they are usually made from a block of willow wood. They are held to the foot by simple straps in colors that represent their maiko status. Yellow straps are worn by those who have nearly completed their apprenticeship, and red straps are worn by new maiko. Okobo sandals are worn for practical reasons, to prevent the kimono from touching the ground.

Lotus Shoes (10th century – 2009)

Lotus Shoes (10th century - 2009)

The ancient Chinese practice of binding women’s feet to make them appear as small as lotus bud, lasted over thousands of years. This bizarre tradition involves breaking the toes of young girls, which restricts growth and deforms the foot. The ideal size of the foot was 3 inches, and this was considered as erotic and a predisposition for a good marriage.

Padukas or Toe-knob sandals (1700′s)

Padukas or Toe-knob sandals (1700's)

Padukas or toe-knob sandals are the oldest Indian footwear. They are little more than a sole with a post and knob, situated between the big toe and second toe. They were usually made from wood, silver, iron or ivory. There are also Spiked Padukas which are used for masochism. Some masochists enjoy in aichmophilia (which is the love of needles and spikes) and after 20-40 minutes of pain, their body will begin to produce chemicals to reduce the pain. The release of these chemicals will cause anesthetic and euphoric qualities that enhance sexual sensitivity. Spiked padukas are usually worn by Hindu Sadhus (Holy men of India).

Chopines (1580 – 1620)

Chopines (1580 – 1620)

Nowadays only a few museums have examples of original chopines, which were platform overshoes that indicated higher rank among Venetian women.

Chopines were reaching heights up to 20 inches and their bases were made of metal or cork. Although very impractical, they were worn by Venetian noblewomen as status symbols.

Men’s high heels (1700s)

Men’s high heels (1700s)

Shoes became very important for men in Europe in the 1700s. Suddenly all men wanted to wear elegant high heels to accentuate their legs. King Louis XIV was also crazy for high-heeled shoes, decorated with buckles, rosettes or ribbons.

Armadillo Shoes (2010)

Armadillo Shoes (2010)

In 2010, Alexander McQueen has presented the armadillo shoes, which are one of the weirdest contemporary shoes. These outrageous 10-inch heels were popularized by Lady Gaga who wore them in her music video for “Bad Romance”.

The Ballet Boot (1980s – today)

The Ballet Boot (1980s - today)

The ballet boot is a contemporary fetish footwear, particularly popular in Japan. This shoe merges the look of the ballet slipper with an ultimate high heel. The illusion is to force the feet almost en pointe, like those of a ballerina. As you may have guessed, these shoes are more popular with fetishists and they are not intended to be worn for extended period of time.

Goran Nikolov is a content writer of Protista, a website where you can find a lot of interesting lists. He is from Macedonia and has a passion to write lists about everything that surrounds him, especially about sports, health, music, technology and history. Goran loves to play basketball in his free time, enjoys playing on his guitar and sharing his thoughts with others.