History of a Designed Object – A Pair of Shoes

History of the Shoe

The object of choice for this paper is a pair of shoes. Shoes are objects of footwear which are meant to safeguard the feet of humans while they are going about their daily errands. The first pair of shoes to be made were sandals, dated back between 7000 - 8000 BC. They were found in 1938 at FortRockCave in Oregon, USA. The oldest leather shoes in the world are said to have been made from a distinct section of laced cowhide containing a leather cord alongside the front and the back parts. These shoes are believed to have been found in Armenia in 3500 BC. Meanwhile, Roman sandals contained metal sheets on the soles to prevent them from bending, helping them maintain their original shape. In the Middle Age, shoes were considered as a symbol of status, exhibiting the person’s social standing and affluence. Besides, shoes have also been valued as an object of adornment. In our days, there are varied designs of shoes depending on culture, time, and functionality. Moreover, the very notion of fashion always focuses on several elements of design simultaneously, including shoes. For instance, shoes can be designed to be flat or high-heeled. In the present day society, footwear widely differs in style, cost, and complexity. Simple sandals can comprise just a tiny sole as well as a basic strap. More sophisticated shoes, on the other hand, can be made of exorbitant materials in a multifaceted design.

 

Formal Analysis

Every pair of shoes comprises the upper part made of rich pebbled leather. The leather provides warmth as its softness increases comfort of the feet. Besides, the upper part has three-eyelet lace constructions where the laces are fastened. The reduced number of the eyelet makes it time-conscious, as one will not waste a lot of time while fixing the laces. Additionally, the laces are adjustable to fit the foot and the prevailing weather conditions. Finally, the shoe has a synthetic sole that is twistable, so that the foot within the shoe could move in a proper manner. The sole has a heel that prevents dust from getting to the ankles while walking.

The parts of the shoe are interconnected by the use of a cobbler’s glue or the thread specifically for the sole and the upper part. This prevents dust and water from affecting the foot and reduces the chances of the shoe being worn out. The parts are well connected for efficiency and effectiveness of the shoes. The dome shape of the shoe allows it to maintain the form of the foot. The oval rear part of the shoe enables the shoe to fit well. The flat base of the sole allows the foot to rest comfortably on the floor and increases the grip by providing a large surface, thereby reducing chances of falling.

Furthermore, the size of the shoe plays a big part in deciding which pair is perfect for the individual. The right size fits the feet and ensures that the shoe does not fall off when the person is walking or running. Additionally, the size provides room that allows feet to have enough air, and so wearing a shoe would not lead to the unpleasant smell. It also protects feet from contracting diseases. The shoe depicted on the chosen photograph is light because of the materials that were used to make it. The synthetic sole makes it easy to move without getting tired or getting blisters. On the inner part of the shoe there is a leather sock lining with cushioned insole. The material increases comfort while at the same time reducing pressure on the foot from wearing the pair of socks. The synthetic sole is twistable so that it responds to the movements made by the feet without getting broken. Additionally, the synthetic sole is versatile to all terrains whether it is an off-road kind of shoes or the one for running on roads. At the same time, the sole is also light enough to reduce foot strain.

The shoes depicted on the picture are black. This color blends well with any other color, thus ensuring modesty and decency. The color is easy to clean from dirt and dust. The leather upper part and the sole are polished by use of a brush and shoe polish, so that they could be reused. The texture on the inside of the shoe is smooth and has a leather insole. This increases the feeling of comfort and retains warmth.

Functional Analysis

There are several functional requirements which every shoe is supposed to meet. First, the shoe must be comfortable — it has to have a twistable sole that allows proper motion of the feet. Additionally, the leather cushioned insole provides warmth and comfort to the feet because of its soft texture. Furthermore, it must be durable — and the synthetic sole is a durable material that can last for almost three years. Besides, the upper part of the shoe is made of pebbled leather that is also durable. Besides, it can be used in all seasons — the sole is coarse and water resistant, which enables it to be used in every season since it keeps a firm grip on the ground and water does not infiltrate the inside of the shoe. The shoes must also be easy to clean, and this is why they are made of leather. Similarly, they have to prevent dirt and dust from getting to the foot. The raised heels that provide a safe distance between the floor and the ankle enable this. Shoes also have social functions, as people must wear them when attending social events. In most cases, shoes are used all the time, helping people in different kinds of situations. Finally, they are made by particular producers and designers who have their specific patent rights, which makes their shoes recognizable and distinguishable.

Description of the Users

Ordinary shoes can be used by anyone: babies, children, teenagers, adults, as well as the aged people for a minimum of three years and therefore, are cost-effective. Users prefer specific shoes depending on the purpose, cost, functionality, durability, as well as environmental and climatic conditions. In fact, for proper functionality and increased comfort, the pair of shoes must be polished by using a shoe brush and polish. A pair of shoes is packed in a box with two items of the same color. There can also be the unintended users, such as newly born babies and even the dead people. They wear the shoes without knowing it.

Description of the Designer

The renowned designer of ordinary shoes is Kris K. There are distinct styles that this designer offers, which entail platforms, flat soles, wedges, bridal shoes, as well as different brands of boots. Presently, this designer makes a great emphasis on the sexuality of footwear that mainly consists of shoes with heels as compared to ones with flat soil. Also, all the shoes that are sold on his site are handmade. They are made in North Hollywood footwear factory, in California, in the United States. Normally, the makers prepare several pairs of shoes from scratch, starting with the time when an order for some particular shoes has been placed. In the modern world, high-heeled footwear has become a part of the modern women fashion all over the world.

After the shoes have been designed, the customer can purchase them guided by one’s taste and preference. Similarly, an individual is not limited to the designs discussed earlier. They are at liberty to choose the personalized and customized shoes with a unique design. Furthermore, personalization and customization can be done in the various aspects of the shoes. The shoes can be individualized regardless of their type, or even the material used while making the shoes. There are several things that an individual who wishes to customize their shoes should do. Initially, the individual should make a specific choice of shoes, whether they are high heeled or flat shoes. The individual can then choose from the customization possibilities that are offered in order to enhance the shoes to an individual’s level of preference and satisfaction.

In most cases, the shoes are personalized according to size. For instance, in the United States, women's sizes range between sizes 4-10. However, this does not imply that those who wear shoes above size ten should despair. There exists a large and special segment that comprises various styles and sizes of shoes above 10 — specifically, sizes 11-14 can be easily made. Shoes can also be made in assorted materials and different colors. People always want to look different and special, their things to be deeply individual. Designers have ventured into unique models following the affinity of people wearing distinct outfits with matching footwear. Designers who are also producers choose from a wide range of colors which are exceptional and amazing. The designers also choose from colors of different accents, like studs or crystals. In some occasions, after selecting the height of the heel, an individual can choose the color of the heel as well and make a request for extra embellishments. Many people also tend to design and customize shoes according to width. The said shoes are either wide, medium, or narrow. The width is adjustable, style of the shoes notwithstanding.

Description of Production

Shoes are made in assorted designs depending on the functionality, cost, and the environment. Contemporary footwear is made of leather or rubber, with plastic and leather being among the original materials employed in the production of the initial types of shoes. The soles can either be made of plastic or rubber with a metal sheet included inside in some instances. Currently, footwear suppliers — for example, Nike, have been using ecologically friendly resources for the production of their shoes.

Almost every individual who feels fanatical about footwear has contemplated coming up with their own shoe designs. There is always unimaginable delight realizing that one can bring into existence something that no one else had ever thought of and attract attention of the public. Several shoe designers, such as ShoesUSA.com, offer fabulous selections of shoes from which a myriad of consumers can choose. Sometimes some people customize the available shoe designs to their preference once they find the pairs they like from the choices provided. During the production process, the manufacturer pays for the raw materials, the processing costs, and the labor costs. Usually shoes are made of assorted leather products, some being natural and others synthetic. There is usually minimal or no constraints associated with production, either legal or political, as long as the manufacturer complies with the existing regulations.

Description of Alternatives and What Came Before and After

There are varied prices for shoes around the globe. For instance, in the U.S.A, the cost of shoes ranges from about $109 to over $400. Several factors, particularly customization choices, contribute to this difference in the prices. Other aspect that can add to the price of the shoes is the use of express shipping which is obtainable at a higher charge. Consequently, materials used in the manufacturing of the shoe have an enormous impact on the price of the shoe. Shoes made of leather — particularly genuine leather or suede — are more expensive than those made from other fabrics. Likewise, the price tag is even higher when special insoles are incorporated for added sophistication and coziness. These additions cost between 10-15 U.S dollars. However, a person who does not intend to incur these additional costs has an option of purchasing footwear with insoles made of basic latex foam, which is inclusive and therefore, without charge. Even though the idea of adorning shoes has been greatly embraced all over the world, the footwear business has been declining in the recent years. In Europe, for instance, the industry consisted of about 27,000 companies, but the number dropped to about 24,000 businesses in the year 2008. This decrease in the number of firms has led to less demand for workforce, consequently leading to a decline in hiring the workers. This decrease in the footwear firms and the consequent drop in revenue have been highly attributed to the escalating numbers of imports.

Designers should be intensively involved in the process of shoe production. The designers should devise ways of improving the shoes by making them prettier and more functional. The use of customers’ insights makes this process easier for the designers as they are made aware of what aspects to incorporate when designing the shoes. Industry owners also have a key role to play in the process of the production. It is their responsibility to ensure that there is steady value additions during production. The most important way of staying afloat in the shoe market is to establish the existence of the niche marketplaces. To guarantee safety and high quality of footwear, producers must ensure that all the merchandises conform to the relevant and prevailing standards. Prospective threats can be minimalized by manufacturing footwear that complies with the nationwide and global regulations. This way, the interests of buyers are protected.

Comparison of the Shoes to Objects with Similar Functions

The functions and specifications of a shoe are compared with those of sandals and gumboots as discussed below.

Shoes are comparable to sandals regarding the functions and the parts of structure. Sandals prevent the foot from bruising, just like the shoes. They also have the leather upper part and a synthetic sole. However, sandals are partially open on the upper part and do not have the laces. This is mostly due to the fact that they are used in either warm environments or while walking around the beach. Additionally, sandals are not used in formal situations like shoes. However, despite the differences, both shoes and sandals serve the same fundamental purposes.

At the same time, gumboots are also a category of shoes that have the upper part made of either polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or rubber. Gumboots are worn to protect someone when working in a muddy or dangerous area that might cause injuries to the foot. This is why gumboots were designed to stretch to the knee when worn. Additionally, they are worn in laboratories to protect the owners against chemical spills, and in food industries, such as the bakeries. The base of the gumboot, just like one of the shoe, is flexible and allows free movement of the foot inside the gumboot. This reduces foot strain. The height that reaches the knee prevents water and cold from getting to the feet when the person is walking across watery or muddy areas.

Designers come up with different brands of shoes, sandals, and gumboots as the time changes. This also brings changes to the use of different types of shoes, depending on fashion trends. For instance, many people have resorted to wearing modern sandals, particularly during social events, as opposed to long ago when sandals were only used in the bathrooms. The users of shoes no longer stick to the conventional rules regarding the process of wearing, and are versatile in their preferences. The numerous brands of shoes can be attributed to the intensive innovations that are an essential part of the contemporary society. These technological advancements have contributed largely to the sophisticated designs of shoes. The ever changing social structures have also affected the use of shoes, thereby arousing the need to design models that suit people of every social caliber. These social structures have indeed influenced the perception of shoes, and people now are free to choose the brand that would suit their preferences. At the same time, there have not been much legal requirements or trade agreements that have changed the production and designs of shoes over time.

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