piątek, 15 lipca 2016


Who is having the knowledge and mastering technique to make leather shoes, for many centuries? Observing and contemplating sculptures and painting from ancient Greece, we can easily draw a picture about their life, habits and as well – clothing and footwear.

The variety of ancient footwear reveals the technical knowledge, which the shoemakers obviously had. The raw material, which was used for the production of ancient shoes, was mainly the genuine leather.

The most common shoes were the classical sandals, made of the sole with attached stripes in the leg, as well as the footwear that covered the leg up to the ankle and the boots that covered the leg up to the calf.

More analytically, the shoes of the ancient Greeks were the following:
  • the knimides, made of fabric, leather or metal
  • the "closed" footwears
  • the boots, the so called endromides or emvades
  • the perimiria that covered the thighs of the warriors
  • the sandals
  • the cothornoi
  • the kripides
In general, ancient Greeks wore closed footwear very seldom. They preferred the sandals, which protected their feet from the ground and keep them clean. Sandals were also the most usual type of footwear worn by women, which passed their time inside the house. Greek sandals differed from the ancient Egyptians, as for that the Greek put a lot of stripes to fix the sandal safely at their leg. 

Rich people were leather sandals, while poor wore those with the wooden soles. The upper part of the sandals was usually made of a leather from a goat, sometimes died in some color. Soles made of cattle leather were particularly better quality and was created from many layers. Ancient sources report that rich citizens, as Alcibiades and Jphicrates created fashion with their sandals (sic!).

The kripis was an intermediary type of shoes, something between sandal and the closed footwear, which did not cover the leg thoroughly and was constructed of belts that went up to the leg. It was considered a relatively "coarse" footwear. It was mainly worn by the soldiers, the hunters and the wayfarers, often above the socks.

The nowadays very popular cothornos, in ancient Geece was the model chosen by both  - women and the men. This kind of shoes were also used in ancient theatres, by the actors performing tragedy. It was considered as the footwear that was discovered by Aeschylus, to increase of the height of Gods in the theatrical performances, because of its high sole.

Endromis or emvas was boots, which were mainly worn in hunting or by horsemen, open in the two sides, fastened with belts ( today used by the rides, model known as a chapsJ) Horsemen often wore a boots with the upper part turned inside out. It was probably invented in Thrace.

Other footwear were the blaution that was proper for the most official occasion, like the dinners. The simple shoe, karabatine, was made by rugged leather wrapped round the leg, mainly by poor people and farmers. The baucis was an elegant woman's shoe.

As for the value of footwear, Lysias reports that the eight mnes was an excessive amount of money for the clothes, the shoes, the bathing and the haircut of two small boys and a girl. Aristophanes considers 8 drachmas a lot of money for a pair of sandals.