Why Are There So Many Types of Shoes?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 January 2020
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There are so many types of shoes because people need footwear for different reasons. In many instances, people select shoes for style and comfort, while at other times certain shoes may be required to perform work duties or match attire worn for special occasions. Manufacturers create different shoe styles in an effort to meet market demands for shoes needed to satisfy dress codes, make fashion statements and function well during exercising or participating in sports.

In studying the history of shoes, it is known that the first shoe types created were primarily intended to keep the feet warm and shielded from the elements. As time progressed, however, people began to require shoes to be more functional. Eventually, shoes also began to be used to make fashion statements.


Most people now require several different types of shoes for different occasions. For example, a person may wear hard, sturdy shoes for work, which may provide additional arch support, particularly if an individual must stand on her or his feet for long periods of time or engage in a lot of walking. If lifting heavy objects or operating sturdy equipment, special steel reinforcements may be offered in shoes or boots in an attempt to protect the foot from injury should a heavy object hit the shoe. Work shoes may also be coordinated to match work uniforms. Most people who wear these and other types of shoes for work also have other shoes that are worn for recreational activities, as well as for times when more formal attire is required.

Appealing shoe fashions also contribute to people wanting several different types of shoes. Such is true whether one is shopping for dress shoes or simply looking for a casual shoe appropriate for daily wear. Most fashion-conscious individuals will, therefore, own several different types of shoes simply because different shoes are attractive and blend with certain outfits. It is even common for some of these shoes to not be as comfortable as others, but some individuals choose style over comfort.

There are also times when different types of shoes are selected for athletic or recreational activities. Certain shoes are specially designed to allow the foot enough flexibility to engage in physical activity while still attempting to protect the foot, ankle and legs from injury. Examples of these types of shoes include walking shoes, running shoes and even rock climbing shoes. While such shoes are often advertised for active wear, many who simply prefer comfort over style select athletic shoes for this reason.


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Post 1

I'll admit that I wear the same shoes to do a lot of different things, but I appreciate the fact that I have a lot of choices now. A hiking boot really does do a better job than a regular tennis shoe whenever I'm out in the woods. I feel better when I'm wearing polished dress shoes with a suit rather than casual suede loafers. I definitely appreciated having steel toed shoes whenever I had to go out to a construction site for work.

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