As people settled in different parts of the world, their needs evolved. Some turned to animal skin for clothing, some to leather for shoes. The oldest shoes we have found were frozen because of volcanic eruption, and they date back to over 7,000 years ago. From then to now, what we wear on our feet and how it’s made has changed radically. However, we still see evidence of traditional footwear around the world, in countries that still celebrate the ingenious glory of the past. Today, we bring to you 5 types of beautiful traditional footwear that you can still find, get, and possibly try on to bask in beautiful history.
The Geta, Japan
At first glance the Japanese Geta resembles the modern day square-toed flip flop. However, these traditional Japanese slippers are made from wood. Under a solid piece of wooden footrest are two or three elevated blocks of wood. The Geta was traditionally used, and still is, to make sure that traditional Japanese clothes like the Kimono don’t graze the ground and get dirty. The solid wood prevents mud from splashing and ruining the clothes. The Geta is worn only outside, and is not brought inside the house.
The Mojari or Juti, India
A tour of the Northern parts of India will show you that many people, especially those living in rural areas, wear the beautiful, sparkling and flashy Mojari or Juti. Traditionally made using leather, and now from different materials, these pairs have elaborate embroidery on them. Mojaris or Jutis were created for middle, higher-middle and high classes, and the poor could not afford them. This footwear leaves the top part of the foot exposed while covering the base, the Achilles heel and the toes. Today, the Juti is left to be worn on special occasions where one wears traditional Indian clothing.
The Klompen, The Netherlands
The Klompen, known as the Sabot in France, is a traditional European footwear that was primarily worn in The Netherlands. Traditionally a protective gear for the feet, this clog-like shoe was made for those who worked outside. The shoes were made entirely of wood and were meant to protect the feet from dangerous chemicals and heavy, harmful objects. The Klompen soon became popular in France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and many other European countries. Although you won’t find anyone wearing this heavy shoe today, you can still get a pair, for these shoes are sold as souvenirs in The Netherlands.
The Lotus Shoes, China
Made specifically for women who were made to practice foot-binding, a painful ritual from China in which bones of women’s feet were crushed to preserve the small size, the Lotus shoes became popular from the 10th century in the country. These shoes were made to look like a lotus bud, and would usually be crafted from silk, cotton, or other gentle fabrics. Lotus shoes were elaborately embroidered with threads and gems, and could have either flat soles or heels, depending on choice.
The Moccasin, North America
There is barely anyone out there who hasn’t heard of the North American Moccasin. Traditionally made using deer hide or soft leather, the sole of this shoe is flexible and its top ornate. The Moccasin was primarily meant to be worn outside by farmers and hunters. Many times, each Native American tribe would have its own signature embroidery or shape for this shoe to identify its members. Now, you will find this shoe pretty much everywhere, including New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia.
These were 5 pairs of beautiful traditional footwear from around the world. Which one of these would you like to own someday? Share with us in the comments below!
If you liked these beautiful traditional footwear, you’ll also like these beautiful traditional dresses from around the world.