Superstition and Shoes

11 07 2007
Shoes – good luck
In the main shoes were thought to bring good luck. This may relate to times in the Middle Ages when footwear was expensive and the common practice was to bequeath your footwear to members of the family. The saying “Following in your father’s footsteps” is thought to have arisen from this custom and implied the good fortune. Travelling carried with it many pearls and subsequently many rituals were practised to avoid an ill fate. It was customary in many places before setting out on a long journey to drop an old shoe outside the front door.
Throwing shoes after someone going on a journey was also thought to bring good luck. Confetii thrown at wedding is thought to be a remnant of this custom. Tying old shoes to the wedding car would give the strength of the shoe’s character and bring good luck to the couple as well as chasing off evil spirits. Bare in mind too, at times in the Dark Ages, the strong smell of human odor was considered itself to deter the workings of evil. An old greeting to the bride and groom was “a happy foot” also when traveling to the wedding it was customary for the bride to kiss fellow travelers. It was the custom for travelers to join the wedding party and not bring bad luck on the couple.
Actors are very superstitious and take great solace from the sound of squeeking shoes provided it on his first entrance. They also believe good luck will result if discarded shoes fall flat on their soles. Dressing has many superstitions and custom dictates the right shoe should be put on first and removed before the left shoe otherwise bad luck.
Shoes – bad luck
Shoes placed on a table are thought to be a bad omen and either a quarrel in the house, or a storm of thunder and lightening will come. Leaving shoes in the shape of the cross is also considered bad luck. To break break the run another person must pick the shoes up. Another common belief concerns beetles and shoes. It is bad luck if a beetle crawls out of your shoe and when a beetle crawls over your shoe it foretells death. Placing your left foot on the ground first thing in the morning is a bad omen. It is unlucky to put the left shoe on first. Dressing the left foot first is bad luck with one exception and that is dressing the left foot unintentionally on a Friday morning, otherwise you are sure to have a quarrel. Walking around with one shoe on and the other off will bring bad luck for a year. Putting shoes on the wrong feet will foretell and accident to the feet. Never place shoes higher than your head or keep shoes under the bed for both are bad luck. Slippers and shoes should never be put on the bed for the same reason. Tying shoes together and hanging them on a nail is bad luck. Shoes as a gift on Christmas Day is considered bad luck.
Actors never place shoes on a chair in the dressing room because it is considered bad luck.
 
Shoelaces
Shoelaces were often viewed with suspicion, partly because as a shoe style they were a comparatively late addition. Men wearing lacing Oxfords were considered effeminate and it took sometime before the fashion for lacing shoes caught on. When the shoe lace came undone accidentally, without being caught on anything and pulled out, this was interpreted as a true love thinking about you at that very moment. If the shoelaces become undone whilst walking then your father loved you more than your mother. When the right shoe lace came undone then something good was being said about you and the opposite was true when the left shoe lace was undone. A broken shoelace was thought to be bad luck.
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