Empty shoes may also symbolize death. In culture, empty shoes are the equivalent of the American funeral wreath. For example, empty shoes placed outside of a Greek home would tell others that the family's son has died in battle. At an observation memorializing the 10th anniversary of the , 3,000 pairs of empty shoes were used to recognize those killed. The is a memorial in , . Conceived by film director , he created it on the east bank of the with sculptor to honor the Jews who were killed by fascist militiamen in Budapest during . They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank.
In , showing the sole of one's shoe is considered an insult, and to and hit someone with it is considered an even greater insult. Shoes are considered to be dirty as they frequently touch the ground, and are associated with the lowest part of the body — the . As such, shoes are forbidden in , and it is also considered unmannerly to cross the legs and display the soles of one's shoes to someone when talking to them. This insult was demonstrated in , first when 's statue was toppled in 2003, Iraqis gathered around it and struck the statue with their shoes. Secondly, in 2008, President had a shoe thrown at him by a journalist as a statement against the war that was brought to Iraq and the lives that it has cost. More generally, or shoeing, showing the sole of one's shoe or using shoes to are forms of protest in many parts of the world. Incidents where shoes were thrown at political figures have taken place in , , , , , , the , the , and most notably the .
Many medieval shoes were made using the method of construction, in which the upper was turned flesh side out, and was lasted onto the sole and joined to the edge by a seam. The shoe was then turned inside-out so that the grain was outside. Some shoes were developed with toggled flaps or to tighten the leather around the foot for a better fit. Surviving medieval turnshoes often fit the foot closely, with the right and left shoe being mirror images. The turnshoe method was replaced by the welted method around 1500.
A shoe is an item of intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally, fashion has often dictated many design elements, such as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones. Contemporary footwear varies widely in style, complexity and cost. Basic sandals may consist of only a thin sole and simple strap. High fashion shoes may be made of very expensive materials in complex construction and sell for thousands of dollars a pair. Other shoes are for very specific purposes, such as designed specifically for or .