Friday, June 18, 2010

5,500 year old shoe found in Armenia

Archeologists discovered the world’s oldest leather shoe. It was found in a cave in Armenia.

Interestingly, this shoe helps us to understand the connection between humans and shoes, through the lens of history. (For previous discussion on the history of humans and shoes, see 

Does History Explain Why Humans Love Shoes?)

Surprisingly, the shoe has some similarities to modern shoes. Like most sneakers, it has eyelets and laces. It is a flat shoe, and “the shoe more closely resembles an L. L.Bean-type soft-soled walking shoe than anything by Jimmy Choo” (Belluck, 2010). Despite over 5,000 years, shoe styles have not changed that much.

The shoe was carefully placed in the cave. It was found in a clay-lined pit and was stuffed with grass so the shoe would hold its shape. This suggests that it owner placed importance on it, which further suggests that even ancient humans thought shoes were important.

The shoe was worn and has the imprints of the toes of the wearer in it. This is just like the imprints on today’s flip-flops. It connects people today to those who live 5,500 years before us. Humans are connected in their care for shoes.


Belluck, P. (2010). This shoe had Prada beat by 5,500 years. New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2010 from

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