We are all accustomed to our shoes being made from leather, suede, canvass sneakers or “plastic fantastics”. Whether we’re talking beach sandal, winter boots or a stylish bowling shoe the materials are generally pretty similar, but some creative geniuses have discovered the joy of making shoes out of different, rather unusual materials very often simply utilizing whatever materials were at hand.
Prepare to be amazed, astounded and impressed . . .
Shoes from Ivory
Ivory poaching has driven the majestic elephant to the brink of extinction in many areas but way back in the 17th Century it was used by some of the wealthiest people for shoes and other items. The people of India considered Ivory to be so precious that is was reserved entirely for use by members of royalty and holy men. Ivory shoes were extremely beautiful although I’m not sure about the comfort factor.
Shoes from Metal
Metal footwear has been discovered from the times when men first discovered the art of metal-smith. Metal shoes were relatively fragile and, once again beautiful although the sheer thought of it brings extremely uncomfortable thoughts to mind. Metal shoes are okay for horses, apart from that forget it.
Shoes from Fish
Fishskin shoes are common place in many locations; just think about it, fish skin is water proof making it the perfect choice for wetter climes close to rivers and the sea. Many native tribes still use fish skin to create their footwear.
|bowling shoes made of fish skin|
Shoes from Grass and Straw
Straw stalks and grass have terrific insulation properties and can be used as outdoor footwear or shoe liners. Alaskan Aleuts would typically wear grass socks on the inside of their boots to protect their feet against the moisture.
Shoes from Human Hair
Shoes made from human hair are pretty rare, it has to be said, but they are not entirely unknown. Socks made from a combination of wool, yucca fiber and human hair were discovered in Arizona from the 13th century natives. Don’t try this at home folks.
|bowling shoes made of human hair|
Shoes from Wood
Wooden shoes are not quite so unusual and are in fact quite common these days. Wood, however, is generally used for the base and sole of the shoe although it was originally carved out for the whole shoe – wooden clogs are most commonly associated with the traditions of The Netherlands. Deep wooden platforms were also extensively used in Japan as a means of protecting the hem of a delicate kimono from trailing in the dirt. There are also some extremely intricate and delicate examples of wooden bridal shoes with elaborate pointed toes found in late 19th century France.
|bowling shoes made from wood|
Shoes made from Bark
Plaited birch bark were commonly worn in early 20th century Finland to protect the wearers feet from the mud, snow and rain. Much cheaper than leather shoes they were often used with cloth wraps for added warmth and comfort. Bark shoes only last for around one week.
Shoes made from Silk
Silk shoes have a very special place throughout history from the elaborate shoes and stockings worn by men in the 1700’s to compliment their breeches and tailored coats to the brides of today. The Chinese are also famous for their silk Lotus Shoes which were used extensively from the 10th century right up to just a few short years ago when the practice of binding the women’s feet to keep them small like a lotus flower was eventually proven to be out-dated, though not mass produced any more these shoes are still available as a special order.
For a more “normal” yet extremely stylish selection of bowling shoes visit bowlingshoes.com