Shoes are a prehistoric invention. We know this because we have a pair of sandals from about 8,000 to 7,000 BC, which were made out of sagebrush bark in what is now the U.S. state of Oregon. For comparison, the oldest coherent texts can be traced to about 2,600 BC, meaning that people have been wearing shoes for a much, much longer period of time than people have been recording history. On top of that, we have excellent reasons to believe that shoes were invented even earlier than 8,000 to 7,000 BC. After all, the earliest shoes were made out of very perishable materials, meaning that it is very rare for them to survive to the present time. Furthermore, the use of shoes has a very noticeable effect on the shape of human feet, which is relevant because scientists have noticed a thinning of the smaller toes from about 40,000 to 26,000 years ago.
In any case, shoes have seen some significant changes over time. For instance, the earliest shoes are thought to have been nothing more than crude foot bags that nonetheless provided a useful measure of protection from rocks as well as from other environmental hazards. However, shoes became more and more sophisticated as human civilization became more and more sophisticated, with the result that one can see forerunners of the modern sneaker in a wide range of times and places. Still, the first true examples of said shoe were very much products of the modern age.
For instance, the first patent for a process that could be used to fix a rubber shoe to a shoe was issued in 1832. This was huge because rubber was a better material in this role when compared with its predecessor of leather. Furthermore, vulcanization was invented in 1839, which was also huge because vulcanized rubber was not just stronger but also more flexible than its un-treated counterpart. Something that served to make rubber an even better material in this role. By the 1870s, people were wearing flat-soled shoes called sneakers that were made out of canvas as well as vulcanized rubber. This was not a flattering name because such shoes were the proverbial choice for criminals thanks to their silent footfall. However, sneakers nonetheless managed to become more and more popular over time, not least because they were a winning combination of both practical and inexpensive. As such, sneakers are now ubiquitous in the modern world, as shown by the very wide range of such shoes aimed at a very wide range of demographics.
What Makes a Pair of Sneakers Worthwhile?
While sneakers might have managed to establish themselves through their practical and inexpensive nature, there are now plenty of sneakers that sell for considerable amounts of money. As a result, it is very understandable for people to wonder whether the pair of sneakers that they are thinking about buying is worth it or not. Something that might sound simple but should not be considered so.
For starters, value is subjective. This means that different people are willing to pay different prices for the same item because of their different needs and desires. For example, someone with a rare medical condition tends to be willing to pay a very high price for the medicine used to treat it. In contrast, other people who lack that rare medical condition would not be willing to pay the same because they have no use for it. Similarly, someone who enjoys watermelons is going to be willing to pay more for them when compared with someone who is indifferent to watemelons. Never mind someone who outright dislikes watermelons.
In any case, the subjective nature of value is important because this means that each person can decide whether a particular item is worthwhile for them or not. After all, they are the ones who are most in-tune with their personal needs and desires, meaning that they are the ones in the best position to decide whether a particular pair of sneakers is worth its price or not. Still, there are some factors that interested individuals can think about if they are unsure about the process.
First, interested individuals should understand the reason or reasons that they are buying a pair of sneakers. If someone wants a pair of sneakers because they want something that offers the best performance for a particular kind of sport, they should definitely look up the performance of their potential options in that context. Sometimes, this means looking for the reports of sports scientists who have run the relevant tests. Other times, this means checking out reviews from other consumers who have already worn those sneakers for the same context that they have in mind. Meanwhile, if someone is more interested in a particular pair of sneakers because of stylishness, they might want to take a look at their wardrobe before deciding whether the potential addition will be a good fit or not.
Of course, interested individuals should also consider factors that are always relevant when it comes to footwear. One excellent example would be the comfort of the shoe. Certainly, there are people who are willing to make sacrifices in this regard for the sake of looking good. However, there should definitely be limits to that willingness, particularly for people who are planning to use their sneakers for some kind of strenuous physical activity. After all, that increases the chances of injury, which can be very painful as well as very expensive in the long run. Besides that, interested individuals should also consider the durability of the sneakers that they have set their eyes upon. Generally speaking, this is an important factor because greater durability makes for longer-lasting usability. Something that tends to have a very direct effect on whether something is valuable or not. However, if interested individuals are planning to switch over to another pair of sneakers long before that can become an issue, that might not be a very important factor for them at all. Ultimately, consumers should make choices based on their own needs and desires because they are the ones who know better than anyone else what they actually want.