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When were the first shoes made and worn? Archaeologists cannot pinpoint the exact time of their invention, but there is enough evidence to believe that the origins of walking on artificial soles date back approximately 148,000 years. There's a reason. His three sites in South Africa, where the footprints of early human ancestors are preserved, show remarkable traces of footwear. As described in the Ichnos article, researchers are working on developing technology to detect naked hominin footprints. Research into the origins of shoes is still in its infancy.

Three sets of Mesolithic impressions fossilised in rocks were analysed. Kleinkrantz's prints were determined by rock analysis to be between 79,000 and 148,000 years old. The ruins of Goukamma also date back 73,000 to 136,000 years ago. His third group studied is in Addo Elephant National Park. All three footprints look suspiciously different from typical fossilised footprints. There are no footprints. The paper describes the print as having "a rounded front edge, sharp edges, and possible evidence of a belt attachment point." Like the prints on modern shoes, it evokes an edgy, hard sole that makes it hard to believe you're wearing bare feet. Although the shoe itself is lost to history, the print on the sole is reminiscent of laces.

The researchers compared the prehistoric prints with prints they made using shoes that may have had a similar structure. They used a modern version of the traditional sun sandals worn by the San people of southern Africa, who belong to various indigenous cultures. These test sandals had hard soles with leather straps and left traces on the wet sand very similar to those of his three prehistoric samples. This similarity supports the suggestion that the ancient pattern was made on shoes, but this is not yet conclusive. If these are indeed shoeprints, they could be the oldest known examples of footwear. A similarly old example is his series of 130,000-year-old Neanderthal child prints in Greece. If elderly people stepped on sharp objects, they were at serious risk of infection or death. Therefore, shoes were adaptable long before they became fashionable. 

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