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History of Footwear and its Evolution in Mexico.


Can you imagine a life without shoes? We know that 99% of the answers will point to a resounding NO.


And is that as not, if today we need a pair of shoes whatever your style to develop our activities of the day, of course this was not always so, this is why we will talk a little about the important history of footwear, how this great industry began to develop in Mexico and how it was able to revolutionize a country’s economic and working capacity.


The history of footwear dates back at least 10 thousand years to.C, cave paintings of different civilizations already demonstrated how being footwear was a prevalent necessity for quite remote times. Egyptians, Greeks and Romans began the rather crude manufacture of footwear, in many cases the skin of raw animals or in exceptional circumstances already processed, They were the most requested materials for their craftsmanship and that is that you could even measure the social status thanks to the type or color of the shoes.


However, it was not until the French Revolution that styles began to abound in society making use in addition to different ornaments that gave distinction to footwear and to those who wore it, taking prominence only to the skins to give use to metals, rubbers and embroidery and even the famous heel that at the time was worn by men and women and was so much worship that it is a type of footwear that is maintained until our times.

Apparition of footwear in America.

Even when we talk about the history of footwear, this was not a “benefit” enjoyed throughout the continent, especially in the territory we know today as Latin America, the appearance of the first signs of shoes occurs much later, At the moment the cactus is a kind of sandal that only a minority of the inhabitants decided to use in their daily activities.



It was not until the appearance of the conquerors that footwear began to be a necessity, more for those who came to the territories than for those who already inhabited it because it was customary for them to live barefoot.



In Mexico especially it was in 1529 when the first tannery of the country was opened -companies where animal skins are converted into leather through four processes: cleaning, tanning, recurtimiento and finishing-. And 400 years later is when embroidery is included as part of the shoe making process.


Already by the twentieth century the Mexican population manifested great interest in this industry giving rise to the first shoe factories such as “La Alpargatería Española” and “El Borceguí” that are icons of this market, especially in cities such as Guadalajara, Mexico City and Guanajuato.







Commercial agencies/ Wholesalerss   |   shoe manufacturers   |   Leather goods manufacturers   |   Shoe shop/ Retailer

"Mexico has been a reference in terms of footwear production throughout history"

Jorge Martínez.

The inhabitants of these cities were mainly formed by established family nuclei who paid all their energies and knowledge to produce footwear to export to their communities and the rest of the country, Of course today much of this artisanal labor has been replaced by machineries that accommodate series productions with which international export has been achieved with Mexican firm.


Milestones of the most important footwear for the twentieth century in Mexico.

1942– The National Chamber of the Footwear Industry (CANAICAL) is founded.


1946– Footwear exports to the United States begin.


1951– The country registered the creation of more than 20 important footwear industries.


More than 20,000 direct jobs began to be generated.


At least 1,000 families were engaged in this craft business.


An estimated 30,000 pairs of shoes were produced daily.




This is just a mouthful of how something that today has become a necessity was able to change considerably the economy of a country that undoubtedly today is one of the great precursors in the Footwear Industry. 

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