Originally Posted by DWFII
That's true but the same can be said today and the world has far more options available as regards inexpensive shoes that we had even 100 years ago.
The real distinction that must be made...and attached to your observation...is that not everybody could afford new
shoes. Or shoes that you
might recognize as shoes. Or shoes that had any hope of fitting their own feet.
For centuries, shoes were not much more than a shaped leather bags. For centuries, itinerant cobblers bought...or simply collected...used shoes and patched the holes and sold them to people too poor to pay the medieval equivalent of a weeks work of wages (+) for even a mass produced shoe.Then too, many people wore sandals. Many of which were made by the people who wanted them...not by makers. The Roman Empire moved on sandals, and all of western Europe, including the British Isles as far north as Scotland was conquered and occupied in sandals.
It is worth remembering as well, that many people, even today, have never worn a pair of shoes...and neither did our ancestors, time out of mind.
Originating from warm, tropical south east asia, I know exactly what you mean - as wearing sandals is sometimes even a proper night attire (FWIW, at official ceremonies in the Sultans Palace in my hometown, the Sultan is the only one wearing sandals... all other attendees are barefeet).
But since currently I'm living in good ol' socialist Germany which has its fair times of winter, I learn to appreciate tight, dry, warm shoes for the wet and cold times.
Even old man Ötzi (you know, that 6,000-year old dude found dead in the alps) was wearing proper shoes (http://www.iceman.it/en/node/274) - not Haferl, but fritzl would love this. So I'm pretty sure the Roman and bravehearts soldiers didn#t just wear sandals during the winter unless they love their frostbite.
My point is, and that is the Little socialist in me, saying that only the highest Quality of shoes have their right of existence so that those who couldN't afford it should Refrain to rags is... inhuman. Harshly speaking.
In an ideal world, of course, there is everything for everybody to choose... with only their ideals driving their choice, not the state of their wallet. Than we could say that the low Quality stuff should be banished.