The learning continued with a new journey, Marching Soles Shoe Drive. Collecting information from the library, the annotated bibliography began to add layers to it. The topics that grew from this subject were immense. As I began to flip through the pages of texts, I found researching the history of shoes to be interesting. There is no one inventor of "the shoe" that we wear today. Since the beginning of time, there are images that seem to depict humans wearing shoes. Even on the pyramids of Egypt, people are seen with some sort of sandal to protect the feet. Perhaps they weren’t called shoes (for more than language differences). The role that shoes played in prehistoric time varies, but it is assumed that humans did not always wear shoes. Walking barefoot was quite a normality, being that there was no thought of it. The physical structure of feet have adapted to the way humans have changed lifestyles. If one were to walk barefoot down Market Street, there is no telling what would happen. We have created things such as cemented sidewalks and streets that change the way the body responds. Walking on sand/dirt is far different from any other surface. These issues and ideas continue to revolutionize the way we think about ourselves.
Generally, doctors would agree that it is important to protect the feet from any danger that may arise while walking barefoot. However, many people in the world cannot afford the proper protection. Even those with financial stability still buy shoes that could make them prone to deformities. In 19th century Asia, the custom of foot binding was important for women. Smaller feet were seen as more appealing to society. These standards of beauty didn’t rest in Asia until the end of the 20th century. Still, there is a common standard in society for women to have small feet. Asia is the creator of many of the United State’s shoe products. The measurements for how big or small to make a shoe is based off of the feet of women there (who have for centuries bound their feet). Hence, the trend of pointy shoes or rounded shoes has become a normality in our lives. However, the proper footwear would be a shoe that is more squared - but to society this would almost be a sin. The opinion of the top fashion influencers is that square shoes aren’t in style (with the exception of some combat boots). What looks nice isn’t always good for the body, and this is a lesson that many of us still cannot accept.
The lack of awareness in relation to proper footwear is sickening. What’s even more sickening is the conditions that the factory workers are forced to endure while making the shoes we wear. As Americans, we almost don’t think twice about putting on a pair of shoes. However, for many people in second/third world countries, finding a pair of shoes to wear in general is a lifetime struggle. We can look at a closet full of shoes and still complain that we have nothing to wear on our feet, simply because it doesn’t match an outfit. Having the shoe drive brought many others and myself to the realization that we should give back the things that we don’t want/use or need. Many dug through their closets to find a pair of shoes to donate, and contributed something small in hopes of a greater outcome. Making a change in the community with something as small as a shoe drive was very rewarding. It sparked many other projects after this as well. I am constantly reflecting on my experiences as a student of SLA, and implementing the core values into my everyday life through capstones such as the ones I did senior year.
-Excerpt from Process Paper