A smartly designed, profusely illustrated history of shoes, their lore and styles. The Yues (Armor, 1994, etc.) open with a series of provocative questions to make readers focus on how they choose shoes and what statements their footwear makes about them, linking those answers to a larger picture: ""Since early times people have wanted beauty in their lives and have needed to express their individuality and, for these reasons, have created shoes of different styles and materials."" Beginning with an illustration of the foot, the authors trace the chronology of shoes from the Oregon sandal of 10,000 years ago to the styles of the present. Detailed descriptions with accurate, elegant black-and-white drawings show how shoes are made and how fashions have changed through the centuries: sandals, brogues, oxfords, saddle shoes, cowboy boots, and even rollerblades. The traditions can be fascinating, e.g., a Greek woman could burn the shoe of a lost lover to get him back. The charms of shoes will not be lost on readers: ""Shoes are our contact point with the earth. . . . They can be artistic; they can be witty."" With endpapers showing a progression of styles and heel heights, from the sturdiest of oxfords to the strappiest of sandals, this is an enchanting book, surpassing even Laurie Lawlor's Where Will This Shoe Take You? (1996).