Using shoes as an historical source

Primary History article

By Jules Wooding, published 3rd June 2016

There is something fascinating about what people wore in the past. From corsets to clogs, the evolution of clothing and footwear can give an insight into different periods of history, an excellent way of engaging with the past. Shoes, in some form or another, have been around from the earliest times. From Roman sandals to football trainers, footwear may have been designed for a particular activity or could be ornamental, provide protection for feet or reveal your status in society. The covering of our feet has an interesting history and provides an insight into customs and culture through the ages and across the globe.

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is home to the largest collection of shoe heritage in the world, featuring more than 12,000 shoes from Egyptian footwear to...

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