Where Will This Shoe Take You?: A Walk Through the History of Footwear

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From the first simple creations of bark and skin to the high-tech wizardry of Air Jordans, shoes always tell stories about the people who make and wear them.Laurie Lawlor has chosen shoes from every era and from all over the world to create a fascinating and provocative social history. Illustrated with more than ninety photographs and drawings, Where Will This Shoe Take You? Will satisfy the curiosity of anyone with a passion for shoes or a yen for history.

A history...

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First Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Walker & Co Pub Date: 1/1/1996 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 132.

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Overview

From the first simple creations of bark and skin to the high-tech wizardry of Air Jordans, shoes always tell stories about the people who make and wear them.Laurie Lawlor has chosen shoes from every era and from all over the world to create a fascinating and provocative social history. Illustrated with more than ninety photographs and drawings, Where Will This Shoe Take You? Will satisfy the curiosity of anyone with a passion for shoes or a yen for history.

A history of fashion in footwear through the ages.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
This history of footwear is liberally illustrated with photographs and drawings, from the outrageous, pointed shoes of medieval times to Chinese lily foot slippers to Elton John's rhinestone-encrusted platform shoes. We learn that there are only seven basic shoe types, despite the variety of fashions. Fashion often follows function; for instance, cowboy boots have pointed toes so that they slip more easily into the stirrups, the cantilevered heel stays in the stirrup better, and the high tops protect the wearer from cactus thorns. The book is an enjoyable essay and may provide some help as a reference but is best read as a whole.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Lawlor begins this exceptionally well-designed and illustrated book by walking readers down the many paths of footwear history and leading them through the byways of societies and cultures in which shoes have played a significant role. She details the importance of footgear in work, play, fashion, myth and literature, and as symbols of authority and status. Each well-researched chapter is full of interesting facts that support the straightforward, simply written text. Anecdotes are set off by a different font and attractive border designs. Readers are invited to slip their feet into a particular boot or clog and imagine what the original owner's life was like. The numerous black-and-white photographs and reproductions feature various persons throughout history and their shoes, as well as actual, and in some cases, unique, footwear. Helpful captions describe the pictures, which are sharp enough to show details. The impressive list of photography credits indicates the extensive research that was involved in locating examples of footwear discussed in the text. The glossy paper, layout, type design, and open margins all add to the book's appeal. An annotated bibliography is included. The index is useful, although the book will probably be read more as a whole than used for specific questions.Wendy D. Caldiero, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Subtitled "A Walk Through the History of Footwear," this is an extensive and sometimes funky history of shoes. Lawlor (George on His Own, 1993, etc.) states, "More than any other personal belonging, shoes reveal a great deal about how each of us lives, works, and plays." She describes seven traditional styles (sandal, boot, oxford, pump, clog, mule, and moccasin) and all sorts of uses (protection, show of authority, status, fashion, milestones). In addition, shoes have always played an important role in myth and literature—from Cinderella's glass slippers and Dorothy's ruby-red shoes to the old woman who lived in a shoe. Readers will learn not only about the first shoes that ever existed, but also other tidbits: Michael Jordan wears a different pair of shoes every evening, and the brand name "Keds" is a combination of "kids" and "peds." The black-and-white drawings, photographs, and reproductions will interest readers, especially shots of Elton John's five-inch rhinestone platform shoes and an Austrian orphan's joy over the new pair of shoes that arrived as part of a post-war relief effort.

Whimsical and informative.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802784353
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.56 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.61 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Information....

    This book is more of a hop or jump through the history of footwear than a walk. Lawlor groups her information by the type or purpose of the shoe, and while this allows for sharing interesting facts and anecdotes about shoes, I'd really been hoping for more of a chronological exploration of the subject. How and why did footwear evolve in different civilizations? If I were to drop into 9th century China or Peru in B.C. 600, what would everyone be wearing? While I have a better understanding of some of the roles shoes have played at moments in their history, my grasp of the whole of that history is still rather shaky.

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