The Road to Running Shoes

by Christine Bishop

Prehistoric humans needed foot coverings in certain climates and regions. As necessity is the mother of invention, shoes were born. Being made of materials that easily deteriorated, the earliest shoes are not known. Interestingly, cave paintings give no clues to shoes, as the cave painters drew detailed pictures of animals they hunted, but few of humans, who were drawn as crude stick figures. The first shoes discovered, dating back 13,000 years, were sandals in Fort Rock Cave in Oregon.

                        Fort Rock Sandals, 13,000 years old

The first known leather shoe, 5,500 years old, was found in Armenia in a cave in astonishingly good condition, preserved by sheep dung and the dryness of the cave.

             Oldest leather  shoe, found in Armenia in a cave

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