What is more common than a pair of shoes? In a world where shoes have become an object of mass consumption, these accessories are now rid of any significance. The industry has accomplished its duty: producing a large quantity at a low price. But there was a time when the shoe symbolised the strength of the Roman legion, the power of the Medieval lords or the oppression of the Chinese woman. Its history is both vast and enthralling, as revealed by the author Marie-Josèphe Bossan. Supporting her analysis with an outstanding iconography, the author gives these commonplace objects a universal quality that sheds light on the whole of civilisation and elevates them to the rank of a work of art.