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16

Leather was probably the most common material. The most basic transportation technology of the medieval era was the foot ... Those who did not go barefoot ... wore simple shoes. These shoes were made from leather, including the flat sole. - Wigelsworth, Jeffrey R. Science and Technology in Medieval European Life. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ...


11

One kind of shoe not mentioned in the other answers are those using bast soles. "Bast" is fiber from tree bark. Bast shoes or lapti, were once worn by poorer members of Northern European cultures. These were usually made from birch or linden. They are woven like a basket, and so are quite distinct from the wooden clog or hard wooden-soled shoes mentioned in ...


9

In Europe, different demands were placed on shoes based on different climates. People around the Mediterranean tended to wear sandals with wooden soles and leather thongs due to the warmer climate. If complete coverage was required, the entire foot might be encased in leather. In some places or situations, a clog would be worn, particularly if one was ...


4

As others have mentioned, leather has been to preferred choice of material for the soles of footwear for thousands of years. An interesting fact is that one of the technologies that gave the Romans such an advantage was their hardened leather sandals which allowed them to march 20 miles a day, every day. Untreated leather and animal skins would wear out ...


2

Leather for sure. My boots are all leather except for a piece of rubber at the bottom of the heel. "Tough, firm, resistant to wear" exactly describes traditional leather use. The soles and any other parts are replaced as needed; my "cheap" boots as a teen lasted 10 years, and my current Ostrich ropers are 15 years old and "like new". Nylon/rubber/synthetic ...



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