Ancient Rome Remains - Roman Shoes

By: barneygarcia
Ancient Rome remains one of the most fascinating and interesting cultures to date. Still studied by thousands of scholars all over the world, there are still many facets of the ancient society that remain a mystery. One of the many areas of study is the type of clothes these people wore, including what they wore on their feet. In this article, we will explore what types of shoes the ancient Romans wore, what they looked like and how they were made.

There were various types of shoes that the Romans wore, however, they most commonly consisted of boots or sandals. The boots looked like a regular boot that consisted of a leather sole, with long leather bands which wrapped around the wearer's feet and legs. However, the feet and legs were never entirely covered, leaving squares of skin exposed. The sandals were similar to this, except they did not cover the wearer's legs. Unlike today's society, ancient Romans placed no emphasis on different styles for men or women. Other than the fact that the boots were worn primarily for soldier's going to battle, there was no distinction between male and female styles. Instead, styles were specially designed for social class. For example, boots worn by older men, were not to be worn by young men. Slaves were never permitted to wear shoes at all, whereas criminals wore shoes unlike anything worn by any other citizen; they wore heavy wooden shoes as so they couldn't escape as easily. People considered very respectable in the community wore shoes at all times and only removed them for important feasts, after slaves would go through elaborate feet washing rituals for them.

The reasons that Roman's chose leather as their material of choice is because leather cuts easily without fraying, so the shoe maker could cut the thin pieces of leather for the straps without worrying about mending any split ends. However, just because the shoes were constructed of leather did not mean there was no skill involved in cutting the leather. Since Roman shoes were made up of extensively intricate designs, even one mis-cut could mean the whole piece of leather would be useless.

The ancient Romans placed a lot of importance on the appearance of their footwear, as well as other aspects of their life, such as their roads, sculptures, clothing and kitchen supplies. This is just a brief introduction to ancient Roman shoes, but as you can see, as the Romans were a fascinating culture, and so were their shoes.
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