Have you ever noticed how the sound of footsteps denotes (already from afar) the quality of a shoe? An empty echo generally reveals footwear with poor quality soles and heels. A plastic clop hints at footwear with no trace of leather. Yet, in spite of the fact that the importance of ensuring feet are in contact with natural and good quality material is well known (as we have already written regarding children’s shoes), there are synthetic products on the market that draw us with their low prices and styles that imitate the latest fashion.
But what are the risks? Wearing poor quality shoes means having to suffer from pain in the feet and ankles, discomfort in the soles of the feet, blisters or even worse, allergies, risk of sprain and back pain, especially when it comes to footwear with high heels. Yet the synthetic market is growing, to the increasing dismay of Turkish footwear manufacturers, as stated in the Mdp sector newsletter, which would claim protectionist measures to prevent the closure of some companies.
A curious fact: National Geographic recently wrote of footwear found in Armenia, dating back to 5500 years ago, perfectly preserved thanks to a particularly favourable habitat, a cave and several layers of sheep dung. Made out of a single piece of cowhide, the article states, the shoe is laced both on the front as well as on the back. “The leather was cut into two layers and tanned: this must have been a rather innovative technique”, says Ron Pinhasi of the University College Cork in Ireland, co-director of the excavation.
Moral: if leather shoes have worked for thousands of years, why on earth do we prefer plastic shoes?