Although there are people who routinely jog a mile or more every day, many people would prefer not to walk a mile today. Those people would have been even less likely to have wanted to walk a mile 250 years ago, even though walking was the most common means of travel back then. Why can it be said that you wouldn’t want to walk a mile in the past?
Consider this; most people, when they get ready to go jogging or even to start their normal busy day begin by putting on an appropriate pair of shoes. There are a large number of styles that are available and if a pair of shoes wears out, you throw them away and get another pair.
If you went back in time 250 years, there are several things you’d notice about shoes. First, there were only a few styles available and the styles were defined primarily on functionality rather than looks.
Second, if a pair of shoes wore out, you might have them repaired or do it yourself. It would have been foolish to throw them away and usually, you couldn’t just buy another pair.
In fact, often times the shoes would specifically be made for the person who’d be wearing them. If shoes were purchased pre-made, the chances would be that they would be either too large or too small and the person would simply have to live with it until they got enough money to get another pair.
Probably the biggest thing that would be noticed is that both shoes in a pair were virtually identical. That is to say that there were no right and left shoes and each shoe could be worn on either foot. In fact, if only one shoe wore out, a person could simply have a single shoe made to replace it. Naturally, the fit wasn’t very good and it would have been uncomfortable.
In 1818, the right shoe was finally invented. This invention, which we now take for granted, didn’t catch on immediately. It wasn’t until around 1850 that people started purchasing or having shoes made that included both a right shoe and a left shoe.
This lends new meaning to the idiom regarding someone who has “two left feet”, meaning that they are clumsy. Surely, having two identical shoes, such as in two left shoes, would be considered a clumsy way to cover the feet. Imagine trying to walk a mile in a pair of shoes that weren’t left and right matched.