Footwear

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Footwear is an item of clothing made by humans that covers and protects the foot, including the soles of the feet. Footwear allows people to walk on rough surfaces such as gravel roads without hurting their feet. Some types of footwear such as boots help to keep people's feet dry, or help to keep people's feet warm in cold weather.

Types of Footwear[change | edit source]

  • Shoes are a type of footwear that protects the foot and the soles of the feet. Shoes are made of many different types of materials, such as leather, fabric, and plastic. There are several types of shoes:
    • Athletic shoes (also called "running shoes") are made of fabric, rubber, and plastic. They are made for people to wear while they are doing sports or recreational activities. Athletic shoes like spikes, give grip to sprinting on the athletic track.
    • Dress shoes are made for people to wear when they are wearing formal clothes such as a suit and tie or a tuxedo. Dress shoes are normally made from dark-colored leather that is shined using shoe polish. People working in professions such as business, law, and politics wear dress shoes. People working in restaurants or retail stores may also wear dress shoes.
    • Work shoes are designed for people who work in construction or factory jobs. Work shoes often have a steel toe cover to protect the person's toes. Work shoes are usually made of strong leather, to protect the person's foot from sharp objects or dangerous chemicals.
  • Sandals are a type of footwear that consists of a covering for the sole of the feet and straps or ties which hold the sandal onto the foot. Sandals are worn in warm countries, such as the Philippines and Cuba. Sandals are also worn indoors in some places, such as in saunas.
  • Boots are a type of footwear that protects the foot and ankle. Boots are higher and larger than shoes and sandals. Some boots are high enough to protect the calves (lower part of the leg) as well.
    • Rain boots (or rubber boots) are made from rubber or plastic. Rain boots protect a person's feet from water and rain. People who work on fishing boats and farmers wear rubber boots to keep their feet dry. People who work in chemical factories wear rubber boots to protect their feet from dangerous chemicals.
    • Winter boots are boots that keep a person's feet warm in cold weather. People in cold countries such as Canada and Sweden wear winter boots during the cold season. Winter boots can be made from many different materials, such as leather, fabric, or plastic. Winter boots are insulated with wool or fur to keep the feet warm. Most winter boots also keep people's feet dry.
    • Work boots (or "construction boots") are designed for people who work in construction or factory jobs. Work boots often have a steel toe cover to protect the person's toes. Work boots are usually made of strong leather, to protect the person's foot from sharp objects or dangerous chemicals. Some work boots have a flat piece of steel in the sole to protect the foot from sharp nails. Many countries require construction workers to wear work boots when they are on a construction site.
  • Socks are an article of clothing for the foot, ankle, and calf (the lower part of the leg, below the knee). Socks absorb perspiration (sweat) from the feet. Socks also protect the foot from chafing (rubbing) against the shoe or boot, which can cause blisters. Both men and women wear socks. Socks are usually made from cotton or synthetic fabrics. There are several types of socks:
    • Athletic socks are made of cotton or synthetic fabric. They are made for people to wear while they are doing sports or recreational activities.
    • Dress socks are made for people to wear when they are wearing dress shoes and formal clothes such as a suit and tie or a tuxedo. Dress socks are normally made from dark-colored fabric (often black or dark blue-colored). People working in professions such as business, law, and politics wear dress socks. People working in restaurants or retail stores may also wear dress socks.
    • Winter socks are designed to keep a person's feet warm in cold weather. People in cold countries such as Canada and Sweden wear winter socks during the cold season. Winter socks can be made from many different materials, but most winter socks are made with wool. Wool is a warm fabric which helps to insulate the feet and keep them warm.
    • There are also foot and leg coverings for women which are related to socks. These articles of clothing, which are made from polyester or other synthetic materials, are called pantyhose, nylons, or tights.

How footwear is made[change | edit source]

By hand[change | edit source]

People in many countries make their own footwear by hand, using simple tools. A simple pair of sandals can be made by hand cutting a foot-shaped sole out of a thick, flexible material such as rubber. Next, straps of fabric, rope or leather can be added with a needle and thread. A simple pair of boots can be made by hand by using animal hide with fur, and sewing it with strong thread.

In a factory[change | edit source]

Many people wear footwear that is made in a factory. The machines in shoe factories and boot factories can make footwear much more quickly than people who are making footwear by hand with a needle and thread.