13 Truly Bizarre Facts You Never Knew About Shoes

Who doesn’t love a few fun facts on a Friday—especially when shoes are involved? We recently stumbled on some strange and interesting footwear trivia that was too good not to share. From the meaning behind your shoe dreams to the origins of the wedge, keep scrolling for 13 conversation-starting facts shoes, glorious shoes! 

1. Sneaking around and sneakers go hand in hand.

According to The New York Times, in the late 1800s, people started using the word sneakers because the rubber sole allowed you to “sneak” around without making a sound. 

2. Shoe sizes began with barleycorn.


Collage Vintage

In the early 1300s, Britain established the first means to measure shoe size. King Edward II declared barleycorn as the basis for shoe measurement. He ruled that the length of three barleycorns were equivalent to one inch, making this the standard for sizing. 

3. Men were the first to wear heels.


Adam Katz Sinding of Le 21ème

For centuries, heels signified a high social standing rather than gender. It was also crucial for men riding horses to have a heel on their boot in order to stay in their stirrups. 

4. U.S. women own an average of 19 pairs of shoes.

According to this study, the average American woman has at least 19 pairs of shoes in their closet. How many do you own?

5. The most expensive shoes ever sold for $660,000.


Everett Collection

Dorothy’s iconic ruby red slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ naturally and rightfully so earn this top spot. The original pair sold at an auction in 2000. 

6. The first pair of right- and left-footed shoes was made in Philadelphia.


Stockholm Street Style 

Ouch—can you image the pain before this brilliant modification? 

7. Through an experiment, the wedge shoe was invented.


A Love Is Blind

Due to the trade close Italy experienced in the 1940s, steel was no longer available, so designer Salvatore Ferragamo experimented with new materials thus creating the wedge shoe. 

8. Most people mispronounce Teva; it’s actually Tev-AH.

Say it out loud, Tev-AH. 

Shop our top pick: Teva Original Universal Leather Diamond Sandals ($60)

9. Science can explain your shoe addiction.


Heather Telford

Yes, buying those heels is totally justified, according to Suzanne Ferriss, PhD, editor of the book Footnotes: On Shoes.

10. Shoe dreams can represent your approach to life.


Adam Katz Sinding of Le 21ème

Apparently, dreaming about shoes can signify whether you’re feeling well-grounded, or may indicate your level of self-esteem. Interesting, right? For more details about shoe dreams, head here. 

11. The first lady’s boot was created for Queen Victoria in 1840.


Camille Over the Rainbow

More than a century later and women still love the versatile style

12. Jimmy Choo constructed his first pair of shoes at age 11.

Talk about a go-getter! Head here to shop Jimmy Choo’s best sellers

13. Carrie Bradshaw’s infamous shoe collection is estimated to cost more than $40,000.


the coveteur

If we had to ballpark it, we would have guessed way higher, but this article reveals the real cost of Bradshaw’s beloved shoe collection. 

Which fun fact surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!