Historic Introduction

It is difficult to precisely ascertain the period when foot-gear was first worn. Ancient writings bear evidence that some protection or covering was in use, and it is certain that the custom is at least three thousand years old. The earlier productions were no doubt confined to a protection for the sole of the foot. Sandals are in existence, of Egyptian origin, that are supposed to date back to B.C. 1500. The Romans wore shoes of various heights and shapes, according to the status of the wearer, and it is interesting and instructive to study the history of boots and shoes of the ancients, but is not within the scope of this work. Fig. 1 will give an idea of a Roman shoe, and Fig. 2 of an Anglo-Saxon shoe. Those who wish to be acquainted with the various shapes worn in earlier English periods should consult a work by Mr. W. H. Dutton, entitled, "Boots and Shoes of our Ancestors." *

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The Importance of a Knowledge of the Construction of the Foot, in the production of modern foot-gear, can be best shown by Fig. 3, where it will be noted how the foot may be malformed through improper clothing. An acquaintance with the object covered would enable the covering to be suitably adapted to its requirements, and even, in the case of fashionable boots and shoes, would assist in the designing of more comfortable productions. There are several branches of science that may be studied with advantage, such as anatomy, osteology, physiology, etc.

Historic Introduction 7Fig.3.

Fig. 3.

The anatomy of the foot is the study of the component parts of the foot - muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, etc.- parts separated one from the other by dissection, in order to examine their shapes, relations, and connections. The study may be proceeded with in various ways: (1) by seeking the resemblances and differences that exist in the pedal extremities of animals of different species; (2) by practically seeking out the arrangements of the foot; or * Published by Messrs. Chapman & Hall, Ltd,

(3) by examining the composition and position of the parts of the foot as they influence its external form. The latter form of study would appear to be the most useful to the shoemaker; but, as the foot does not remain in a position of repose during its usage, it ought to be supplemented by a knowledge of the changes of form that take place during its various movements. The causes that determine these changes should be understood, and therefore it will be of advantage to have a certain amount of information of the parts of the foot.

The shoemakers' ideas that should be sought for in the study of anatomy are the ideas of proportion of the foot, of form, and of the various attitudes and movements. This is necessary to enable intelligible modifications to be made for the various kinds of shoes used for different purposes, such as walking, running, dancing, and cycling. Form is determined by bony prominences, and sometimes by the softer parts, either muscular or tendinous. The bones alone should furnish the marks from which to take measurements, and therefore proportions cannot be defined without an exact knowledge of the skeleton of the foot. This information will prevent mistakes being made in the apparent changes of proportion when certain movements take place. The feel of the external bony parts and their relation is also useful.

The bony structure of the lower extremities will be dealt with, also the joints, ligaments, arches, mechanics, muscles, positions of standing and walking, and the lessons to be derived therefrom.

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Fig. 4