Of Russian origin: Smenka
The long term is Health
During Soviet times, it was believed that children’s well-being was directly connected to the health of their feet. Replacement shoes were meant not only to reduce dirt and germs in schools, but also to promote healthy child development. Guidelines explained that improper footwear could lead to headaches, foot and lower leg pain, and scoliosis. Thus, schools recommended that children wear replacement shoes that fit properly, supporting bone growth and ankles, and reducing stress to the joints. Even today, school children are required to change their shoes before entering the classroom.
Heavy traffic is an inconvenient reality in population centers like Moscow and St. Petersburg, but most of Russia is very pedestrian - relying on foot power and public
transportation. The majority of commuters don’t go straight from their cars to their destinations. This means the potential for tracking dust, snow, and rain from the streets is high, especially bearing in mind how much snow and sleet Russia sees for much of the year. Changing to a second pair of shoes protects carpets and reduces the amount of filth that can dirty floors at work and at home. It also keeps the need to mop to a minimum.
Winter temperatures in Russia can dip as low as -30 degrees Celsius in some areas. Fur-lined boots are meant to protect against extreme temperatures and the dangers associated with them. However, it can be extremely uncomfortable to wear such warm boots indoors for the length of a workday. Feet can become sweaty, and the warm, wet conditions can be a breeding ground for germs and lead to athlete’s foot. To work in more comfortable conditions, Russians often change out of their boots and slip into comfy, yet cozy shoes.
Written by Staci Bivens for RT