The invention and design of the first shoes were necessitated by the rough terrain and climate that early humans had to endure. It was therefore made to protect the human foot and later, especially today, as an item of decoration. The foot contains more bones than any other single part of the body, and together with the proprioceptive system, it is what makes balance and ambulation possible
Some maintain that sandals were the most common footwear in most early civilizations. Others say that the first shoes, called Pampooties, were made from a single piece of rawhide folded around the foot. It was kept in place by stitches of twine or leather strips. The pampooties were ingeniously cut to have the hair roots facing the toes to help grip the ground. They were worn by the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, the mountain people who lived on the border of modern day Iran (c. 1600-1200 BC).
Then came the sock. The first real knit socks were discovered in the Egyptian tombs of the 3rd-6th centuries A.D. in Antinoe. In Europe, socks were strips of cloth or hide that were wrapped around the legs and feet. They were called "leggings." The main purpose of early socks was of course to protect the legs and warm the feet. The name is derived from the Latin term soccus, the Old English word socc and the Middle English word socke. Roman actors wore soccus, which were loosely fitted for fast and easy removal. Roman's sometimes wore soccus with sandals and then removed their sandals indoors whilst the soccus remained on their feet. Only from the fifteen hundreds onwards were socks used to enhance personal style.
When William Lee invented the loom in England in 1589, the evolution of the sock accelerated subs ...