What is it about our feet that has caused so many designers to come up with so many ways of meeting the basic need to put something between us and the floor? All above designed by Andre Perugia in the 1930s. Spotted by the shoe goddess herself.

For some clues, you might head to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, which has a lot of stuff, including a lot of shoes, in an amazing variety of colours, shapes, materials, and levels of swishiness from different periods of pedestrian living.

Above 1972 design by Terry de Havilland, collection V & A London

Mary Quant mod custard yellow ankle boots 1967.

Kids shoes, 1851, V & A

Red bow beauties, V & A, 1900

Visit the V & A shoe closet online here for lots more

Above is said to be a 2000 year old shoe found in France and thought to have belonged to a Roman soldier. It looks surprisingly like a summer sandal you could buy almost anywhere right now. Seen at one of the many history of shoes sites here

The Museum of London has been digging up shoes too and pointing out the similarities across the ages. This from the BBC.

These above look kind of space-agey, but they date from 1851 says the V & A.

This boot above would fit nicely into any cool store for the smartly dressed. It’s 180 years old apparently.

Swedish hipster boots from the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, 1655 or so. You could stuff a lot of stuff in the tops of those. Your lunch, your phone, your dog.

Back to more feminine footwear, the red and gold numbers above are also part of the immense bata shoe museum collection. Seen here.

Love these racey slip ones designed by Katharina Denzinger 1965 for American shoemaker Herbert Levine in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Go here

Much admired designer Beth Levine (married to Herbert whose name is on them) produced these flaming sandals in 1968, also in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, CI, seen here

Above super modern shoes by Marloes ten Bhomer, site here . Rotationalmouldedshoe is made of Polyurethane rubber and stainless steel and was specifically designed for an installation in the Krannert Art Museum in Illinois, USA. Also part of the Designs of the Year exhibition in the Design Museum, London in 2009.

From high tech sleek to over the top show biz, the showy piano player who called himself Liberace had a lot of showy shoes, like the ruby sneakers above seen here.

If you need more advice about what to put on your feet for that next grand or down to earth occasion, there are lots of shoe books to be had, and you can start browsing here.

If you are feeling angelic today, you might slip on a pair of these by design goddess Andree Putman, seen here at a boys school. Hmmh…. In a perfect world, we would probably have different shoes for every mood and occasion, and it would seem there are more than enough out there to cover all the combinations.

But if you don’t have a lot of closet space, these would probably do for most situations, don’t you think? See lots more at the Virtual Shoe Museum.