Hey, Boot Boys and Girls!
These boots are made for walking. It’s not just a catchy line in a song; it’s a fact. Boots were designed for walking through snow, shallow water, and mud while keeping your feet clean, dry, and protected. The closely stitched design of leather, rubber, and canvas (or other similar materials) keeps it so everything on the outside STAYS on the outside.
Some boots, like a hiker, have tongue and laces like your everyday tennis shoe. Other boots, like rain boots, don’t have those different parts because they seal everything out. And yet, other kinds of boots, like a winter boot, may have insulation to provide you with warmth. We’ll explore this more in a minute.
With so many styles, purposes, and functions, how did such a versatile invention get started? Well, boots evolved as new conditions were encountered. For example, people didn’t need winter boots until they started expanding their territories into colder climates. So what was the original boot? When was it made and for what purpose?
Began in Pieces
Because of depictions in cave paintings that geologists date back to about 15,000 years ago, it’s suggested that boots are at least that old. Other, historical evidence shows us that early boots were made of separate coverings: a two-piece—one piece to cover the foot and another piece for the lower leg. It was about 3000 years ago now that we see the two coverings welded together as the single unit of footwear we know today.
Back that long ago, it was common for people to just walk around barefoot for everyday activities. A trip across longer distances would maybe get sandals or wooden shoes. Boots were for journeys across rough terrain, hunting, and sports. Boots were a natural need for nomadic cultures. People traveled from Asia to China to India to Russia and pushed into colder lands. Alaskan Eskimos began wearing animal parts, lining the inside with fur as early means of insulation.
Militaries throughout the years and all over the world supplied their soldiers with the proper footwear for battle: boots! In fact, they’re responsible for developing a number of different styles such as boots that featured thick soles and turnover tops, designed to protect soldiers on horseback. Thigh-high boots were worn by Hessian soldiers of the American Revolutionary War which brought a big influence on the iconic cowboy boots of the American West cattlemen. For commanding officers in more recent years, boots have become more of a symbol of rank as opposed to any practical purposes.
Be sure to check out the boots we have available here at everyone’s favorite online store for kids camping gear, Everything Summer Camp. Appreciate it every time you strap on your boots that you can go muck it up or trudge through hills of snow while keeping your feet perfectly comfortable. Until next time, Camp Folks! And, as always, thanks for reading!