Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A shoe is a piece of footwear for humans, less than a boot and more than a slipper. This footwear is shaped to fit the foot (or the area below the ankle) with a flexible upper part of leather (or plastic) usually and a sole and heel of heavier material. Shoes differ from boots by not extending past the ankle. A moccasin is a specialized soft leather shoe worn by the Native Americans.
Because of (potential) foot odor, some people are displeased if other people take their shoes off in their company. On the other hand, in some cultures (e.g. in Finland, Sweden, Japan, Alaska and some parts of Canada and the American Pacific Northwest), shoes are customarily removed when visiting someone's home. Guests do this to avoid tracking in dirt from outside and thus inconveniencing their host. In Arab cultures, showing the soles of your shoes to your host is considered highly insulting.
In trains it is often allowed to put one's feet on the opposite seat, provided that one takes one's shoes off or put them on a newspaper, piece of clothing, bag, etc., to avoid possible dirtying of the seat.
The shoe size units vary widely around the world. European sizes are measured in Paris Points which are worth two third of a centimeter. The UK and American units are approximately one quarter of inch, starting at 8 1/4 inches. Mens and womens shoe sizes often have different scales. More information can be found at the International Shoe Size Conversion Charts.
A shoe horn can also be used to insert a foot into a shoe by keeping the shoe open and providing a smooth surface for the foot to slide upon. Many shoes are nearly impossible to put on without the help of a shoe horn.
In mechanical engineering, a shoe (or brake shoe) is the restraint provided to the linings of the brake moving against the brake drum to stop its rotation. This type of shoe is commonly referred to as brake lining. It is also be plate between moving parts (and / or stationary parts) on to take the friction and allow means of adjustment. It is also be an outer cover treading of a pneumatic tire.
A horseshoe is nailed to underside of horse's hoof and serves a similar function as footwear for horses, and is installed by a farrier. This plate (or rim) is placed so as to prevent injury to the animal.
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