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Knowledge Base: The Sandals

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Handmade Italian Sandal

Sandals are the simplest footwear that exists and that is why they are a trend that has more than 8000 years and has never gone out of fashion. Their comfort, freshness and the freedom they leave to the foot are characteristics that make this accessory practical, versatile and chameleonic in its forms and styles. 

Made in Italy Sandals

Mercury, Wood engraving by Jonnard after W.B. Richmond, 1866. Mercury (Roman deity)

Too Hot to Handle:

The history of sandals has very ancient origins and is linked to the hottest and most fertile environments of the planet, where mankind began to take its first steps. The need to protect themselves from the heat of the sand and from the bites of animals, pushed man to realise a very simple form of covering the foot. The first prototypes were found in the Anasazi culture in South West America a few millennia ago.

Like a Goddess (for the very very first time):

Western culture associates the evolution and spread of sandals to Egyptians, as they were found many models of flip flop sandals in the tomb of Pharaohs, having 5100 years. Sandals were a symbol of the sovereign power of the pharaoh and were placed on the throne when he was absent. It is certainly curious that Pharaoh wore sandals only to leave the house or for long trips, as if he wanted to avoid getting dirty, as if in some way he left his golden world, abandoning the divine remains. 

Even the Greeks associated the barefoot to the divinity, and that is why we find the gods always represented without shoes. This factor was also taken up in the neoclassical statues; Canova represented Napoleon barefoot and naked, just like a divinity who did not need to not dirty his feet. An exception is the powerful god of communication Mercury who is always represented with winged sandals, carrying messages far and wide in the blink of an eye.

Sandals Conquering Democracy:

With the advent of Alexander the Great and the unification of territories in the fourth century B.C., the Greek population flourished, devoting time to thought and leisure. One can associate the advent of democracy with the development of different models of sandals whose description has been found in some archaeological finds. Sandals became popular and no longer for the elite as with the Egyptians. 

Romans admired the style of Greeks and they often took inspiration from them, especially in classical times. In ancient Rome there is in fact a wide diffusion of sandals, so much so that their very name derives from the Latin sandalium. In the conquest of the Mediterranean, the Latins invented different models of sandals that could adapt to military actions and to the heat. Born in this period the so-called slave sandals, called caligula, which wrapped the foot and calf, ensuring the march.

Made in Italy Sandals

Models of Ancient Roman Sandals. ca. 1675-79 by Joachim Von Sandrart

Back to the Classics:

With the appearance of Christianity, sandals were seen as scandalous on a woman’s feet, showing too much of herself, and as modest on the feet of monks. 

They fell into oblivion for over 1300 years, only to be resurrected with the French insurrections of the 18th century, which were inspired by the values and fashion of the classical Latin and Greek eras. A return to democracy and an annulment of the hierarchies that were associated with heels. In the early days, toes remained hidden out of modesty; it wasn’t until the late 1800s that women took courage and began to uncover more of their ankles and the rest of their feet.

New Century, New Sandal:

Starting in the 1920s, the sandal transitioned from beaches to dance floors, providing freedom of movement and comfort. In the ’50s they came back to spread also among men in casual wear, but were considered by many excessively feminine and associated with the pin-up style of the time. 

The binomial sandal-femininity was completely overturned by the hippie culture that introduced the anti-fashion sandal par excellence: comfortable, embracing naturalism and ethnic inspiration. It was taken up by Birkenstock in the 70s, which added to this model the adjective of healthy, making it more practical and less fashionable. 

Starting from the 90s the sandal returns to be a jewel and a whim for the most eccentric shoe artists like Manolo Blahnik, who made entire generations fall in love with his sandals seen at the feet of the magnificent Carrie Bradshaw. Sequins, feathers, vertiginous heels and refined materials make the sandal less and less a comfortable slipper and more and more glamorous and unforgettable

A Sandal for the Summer:

Imagine being in the city in the middle of summer and having to walk miles. There is no doubt that a nice pair of sandals are the solution to every problem. The sandal will always and forever remain a salvation for our feet and essential for any of our looks, from the most casual to the most eccentric.

Made in Italy Sandals

Sandals are the ultimate summer shoe. They are loved not only for their freshness but also for their comfort and versatility. In fact, there are different models of sandals, from the jewel ones to the comfortable birkenstocks. Keep reading to find out if you know all the sandal models.

How to Produce your
Custom Sandal?

Sandals are the ultimate summer shoe. They are loved not only for their freshness but also for their comfort and versatility. In fact, there are different models of sandals, from the jewel ones to the comfortable birkenstocks. Keep reading to find out if you know all the sandal models.

Access the Technical Guide on Custom Sandals

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