The history of shoelaces goes hand in hand with the historical record of shoes. Shoelaces were required to secure the shoe to the foot. Archaeological records provide examples of ways shoes were fastened to the foot. Simple pieces of leather were bound to the foot and ankle with laces and were used in 2000 B.C. during ancient Mesopotamians times. Ancient Greeks wore sandals with rawhide lacing. Roman soldiers popularized the use of shoes and therefore shoelaces to Western Europe.
Shoelaces, as we know them today, did not become widely popular until the 20th century. Before this point, shoes were fastened with buttons or buckled. In the Museum of London, there is an example of medieval footwear from the 12th century. This historical document shows a shoe with lacing down the front and side of the shoe through a series of hooks. Some historical records suggest that the shoestring was first invented in England on March 27, 1790.