Footwear! We have come a long ways…

How Many Shoes Do You Have?

By Jo Lamoreaux

Make a list of kinds of footwear for men: hiking boots (high, low, or mid-tops), cowboy boots (lots of choices for style and material), work boots, wading/waterproof boots, dress boots, oxfords, slip-ons, saddle shoes (no horses involved), boat shoes, loafers, sneakers (various materials and styles for walking, running, exercising, or playing).  With the exception of sneakers, most shoes are black or various shades of brown.

As are many clothing examples, women have more choices. Think sneakers (in at least as many varieties as men’s), loafers, boots (every length from ankle to thigh), mules, espadrilles, oxfords, Mary Janes, platforms, wedges, sandals, pumps, stilettos (all with innumerable variations in kinds of heels—height, shape, and width—toe shape and style, straps, and material), and finally ballerina flats.  All available in a myriad of colors and patterns.

Now think of our pioneer ancestors’ shoes.  If one were lucky, he might have had a set of work shoes (maybe handed down) and a set of dress shoes.  Too big?  Stuff something in the toe. Too small?  Better than going barefoot.  It is likely they were leather and brown.

The 3rd Weekend Event at the McQuarrie Memorial Pioneer Museum will feature a discussion of the changes in our footwear on Saturday, May 19, at 10:00 a.m. The guest presenter is Scott Hirschi.  Scott was born in St. George and is married to his high school sweetheart, Glenda Milne.  Both have five generations of roots in Dixie.  Scott is a past Washington County Commissioner, has served on Planning Commissions, and the St. George City Water and Power Board.  He recently retired after serving 20 years as the director of the Washington County Economic Development Council.

Scott’s footwear knowledge is extensive and essential as he has completed 20 marathons, hiked the entire length of the Virgin River from Navajo Lake to Lake Mead, as well as the Santa Clara River from the top of Pine Valley Mountain to the Dixie Center.  Come, get off your feet, and enjoy the presentation.  Public welcome.  No admission fee.