World's Oldest Leather Shoe Found: Custom made, long-distance walker

How are your leather hikers holding up?

The world's oldest leather shoe, a 5,500-year-old moccasin-style shoe, recently was found in an Armenian cave. According to a June 9th National Geographic News article, the custom footwear (about size 7 women's U.S.) was made from a single piece of cowhide, laced with leather cord, and found stuffed with grass, possibly as insulation or for storage. The shoe was well preserved thanks to layers of sheep dung and cool, dry conditions in the cave.

According to the National Geographic article, this type of early, closed-toe footwear, an advance over open sandals, allowed individuals to withstand a broader range of temperatures and to walk further.

"These people were walking long distances. We have found obsidian in the cave, which came from at least 75 miles [120 kilometers] away," said Gregory Areshian, University of California archaeologist and study co-author.

5,500 years. Beat that for durability.

One question remains: How heavy?

via National Geographic News

(Photo: Gregory Areshian / nationalgeographic.com)


Filed under: Gear News

Comments

GaryPalmer
200 reviewer rep
4,123 forum posts
June 10, 2010 at 11:49 a.m. (EDT)

I saw that on yahoo news this moring. Looked as tho the shoe had grass stuffed inside for warmth and comfort. Like that guy wore they got from the ice years ago.

mike068
200 reviewer rep
649 forum posts
June 10, 2010 at 4:02 p.m. (EDT)

Well ill say this "they don't make anything like they use to" in this new disposable age lol

alan
0 reviewer rep
1,075 forum posts
June 10, 2010 at 9:34 p.m. (EDT)

I wonder what kind of insoles he was using.

trouthunter
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
983 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts
June 10, 2010 at 11:51 p.m. (EDT)

Those are from the beginning of the bronze age, maybe a little sooner.

That's cool, a pair of bronze age leather moccasins from Eurasia.

clawsoncc
20 reviewer rep
15 forum posts
June 11, 2010 at 2:22 a.m. (EDT)

That's amazing! ...but where's the scale?

C4B7
2 reviewer rep
66 forum posts
June 11, 2010 at 10:34 p.m. (EDT)

With the whole barefoot/minimalist craze that is going on right now I give it three months tops before someone makes a real hiking shoe based on this.

trouthunter
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
983 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts
June 12, 2010 at 12:20 a.m. (EDT)

With the whole barefoot/minimalist craze that is going on right now I give it three months tops before someone makes a real hiking shoe based on this.

I wouldn't doubt you being right about that, or at least using the find as marketing leverage.

Rick-Pittsburgh
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
June 12, 2010 at 4:44 p.m. (EDT)

Just add superfeet. :)

HikerFrank
3 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
June 12, 2010 at 6:39 p.m. (EDT)

L.L. Bean would still take it back if defective!

noddlehead
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts
June 12, 2010 at 7:09 p.m. (EDT)

I have a pair almost as old!

 

Gecko
16 reviewer rep
13 forum posts
June 17, 2010 at 11:16 a.m. (EDT)

My feetz has natural paddingz and catz hairz for insulation. Sometimes, I wish....

GaryPalmer
200 reviewer rep
4,123 forum posts
June 17, 2010 at 10:56 p.m. (EDT)

I bet the person who made or wore them would be amazed they lasted so long.

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