Shoes have long been an essential accessory for human beings. The earliest known shoes date back around 10,000 years ago, but most likely the connection between our feet and protective coverings dates back much farther. Initially, shoes were plant material such as bark or hemp rope, but as crafting techniques increased in complexity, these materials gave way to wood and leather. Even with the increased sophistication of craftsmanship, some cultures preferred to travel barefoot and only wore shoes during ceremonial occasions. Although shoes protect our feet from injury, wetness, and cold, they also deaden our ability to remain in contact with the earth. It is this contact that enables many other creatures to sense their vibratory world.