are even the
source of inspiration
for stories and songs
of shoes is not very interesting but think again! There are many customs and traditions associated with shoes.
centuries, shoes have showed a great deal about the
wearer. In Ancient
Rome, the type of
sandals worn by the soldiers revealed their
During the reign of Louis XIV of France only red shoes could be used by
the aristocracy at the King's court. In the Middle Ages in Europe
sandals were presented to the
Pope as a sign of support between the
Church and the State.
high heels are not a modern invention. High heels were first
made in the Middle Ages. Streets were narrow and very dirty since people
would throw their rubbish out into the streets.
To overcome the problem
of walking through the
rubbish, people wore high heels or
platform shoes. These shoes became so common that the English Parliament declared
that it would
annulment to any man who was
lured into marriage by
a woman wearing such frivolous footwear.
China high-ranking ladies would have their feet
bound to make them as
small as possible. Small feet were considered to be a sign of great
beauty. From a very early age, young girls would have their feet bound
up tightly. As young ladies they could
squeeze their feet into shoes
that were only 3 or 4 inches long.
Customs and Traditions
are mentioned in folk stories, old customs and traditions.
throwing an old shoe at someone was considered to be an ancient way of
bringing someone good luck. After weddings guests would throw shoes at
the bride and groom as they left their wedding. Later this was
unclean so the old shoes were tied to carriages and
later to cars instead! In Anglo-Saxon marriages, the Bride’s Father
delivered her shoe to the
bridegroom who touched the
with it to show
he owned her.
are often referred to in English proverbs. For example, to say that a
person is ‘too big for their boots’ is to suggest that they are
bigheaded and arrogant. Another proverb is
to be in another person's
shoes (= to be in a similar position) which means that you can imagine that you are that other
To be on a shoe-string
be with very little money at disposal)
is a phrase we can all identify with!
Fairy Tales and
also appear in many stories, fairytales and songs. For Cinderella a
glass slipper led her to her Prince Charming, with a little help
fairy godmother! In The Wizard of Oz, shoes carried Dorothy and
her dog home along the Yellow Brick Road. And more recently, Elvis
Presley sang about his ‘Blue Suede Shoes’.
So when you next buy a pair of shoes remember all the stories and
customs before you decide what to buy!
New English Digest
light shoes worn in the summer
rank: a person’s position in an
Pope: the head of the Roman Catholic Church
high heels: tall heels on a pair of shoes (tacones
to overcome: to deal with (para vencer, solucionar)
rubbish: trash (basura, desperdicios)
platform shoes: shoes with very thick soles (zapatos
to grant: to concede (conceder)
provoked, tempted (provocado, tentado)
bound: firmly tied (apretados, sujetados firmemente)
grip and press firmly (ajustar, ceñir)
long ago: in the past (mucho tiempo atrás)
unclean: dirty, impure (sucio, impuro)
bridegroom: a man participant in his own marriage
bride's forehead: the part of the face above the eyes
of a woman participant in her own marriage ceremony (la
frente de la novia)
he owned her: that she belonged to him (que ella
bigheaded: someone who is conceited (arrogante,
to be in another person's shoes: estar en los
zapatos del otro (en una posición o problema similar)
strings or laces used to fasten
(cordones de los zapatos)
to be on a shoe-string budget: andar, estar sin dinero
glass slipper: glass sandal shoe (zapato de
fairy godmother: a female character is some fairy
stories who has magical powers (hada madrina)
PHRASES AND VOCABULARY
REVISE THE LANGUAGE YOU MIGHT
NEED FOR BUYING SHOES:
Have you got these in size 41?
How much are these?
Have you got a larger/smaller size?
I'm not really keen on the colour. Have you got these in black?
Sorry, these are too tight/too big.
They're very nice but they're not what I wanted.
these are fine. I'll take them.
> Thanks for your help.