History of shoes in India- Best Explained

History of shoes in India

Food, cloth and shelter are termed as basic needs for human beings. But apart from them, footwear has emerged as one of the basic needs too. To move from one place to another we had to cross the paths full of stones, pebbles, thorns and irregularities. And the harshness of climate adds to the adversities even more. This all lead to the advancement and evolution of footwear. So, lets take you to the journey of History of shoes In India.

History of shoes In India-                                          

History of shoes in India

Well going through the archaeological facts, India was the part of Indus Valley civilization. And this civilization is  termed as the oldest civilization (arguably as Egypt is now termed that), know to us. Thus, the advancement in every sector was much evident during this era be that in construction, farming, clothing or footwear. So, around 2500 B.C. we could find the evidence of footwear. Till then the shoes made up of grass and leaves were evident.

Indian epics and tales on footware-                                         

History of shoes

Almost every Indian Hindu Literature has mentioned the presence of footwear. Some called it “ KHADAU” and some mentioned that as “ Paduka “ . Khadau’s were nothing but the sandals made up of feet shaped carved wood. It had an emerging bulge between the toe and finger to hold firmly. But since India is very close to equator the climate tends to be hot. Thus soon it became popular among the masses and everyone started wearing that. But the hilly areas in North India, as it was close to The Great Himalayas faced too cold.

History of shoes in India Paduka
credits- Wikimedia

                            So, to overcome that adversity soon people started attaching grasses and leaves to the khadau and it now became a closed footwear which was similar to the structure of shoes. Since Indians worshipped nature and animal they still were wearing the footwear made up of grass, leaves, wood, metals etc. But soon as the advancement in clothing started with thread and wools, new footwear started to be mended of clothes. These became the new trend. These footwear were light weight and comfortable to wear.

Evolution of footwear in Indian History-

               History of shoes in India    

  In the coming centuries, the sea routes started getting developed and people from different parts of the world started reaching out. India was one of the most wealthy nations in the world. During this period many foreigners came to visit India-

Magasthenes ( Greek – 302 B.C.), Chinese scholars like Fa-Hein ( 405 A.D. ) , Arabs like Al – Masaudi ( 957 A.D. ), Persian like Al – Beruni ( 1057 A.D.) , Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta  etc.

With such trade, commercial and spiritual interaction the advancement in the field of clothing and footwear too was seen. People started wearing better manufactured slippers and shoes. And with due course the Mongols, Afghans, Mughals came and thus the material of shoes too changed.

From wooden , grass , leaves, Clothes, woolen , metal embedded to now leathers.

Introduction of Leather shoes in India-

Soon after the use of leather, the footwear manufacturing in India got a huge push. As the mended shoes were much comfortable and looked way fashionable and were light weight. Even lots of design were made available.

Onset of footwear/Shoes manufacturing in India-

History of shoes in India- Evolution of Bata

Soon after the invasion of “ Dutch, Portuguese and later on British” the setup of factories started in India. As India was a good source of raw materials and again the largest market for the manufactured products, shoe Industry saw a massive growth. The first shoe factory was made in 1887 which had all modern manufacturing techniques. The biggest company “ BATA “ footwear came into existence in 1894 and this upscaled the already emerging footwear sector. But still the manufacturing and selling of shoes till 1967 was dealt by the small scale sector even long after the Independence. The basic model was still the traditional one. Then came the giants like “ liberty” . “ “Nike “, “ Adidas “, “ Paragon”, “ Action shoes “,  etc. in modern days.


 These brands have incorporated comfortably the price factor and the material used are rubber, plastic, leather, clothes etc. Each segment has a variety of options. Now shoes are not just related to necessity but is paralleled and symbolizes fashion and social status too. History of Shoes in India is too larger to incorporate in such a small article. But still this indicated the journey from barefoot to stylish shoes we wear now. Just comment below which type of shoes you prefer and what brand is best for you.

Stay tuned to BuyBestShoes for more such useful information. Till then have a nice day !!!

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