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Sandals – A Simple, Comfortable Shoe With a Long History


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Sandals were the very first shoes ever to grace human feet. In fact, while we might think that perhaps it was the ancient Greeks who first wore sandals, they actually go all the way back to the Ice Age, 5,000,000 years ago, while the first people were still wearing animal skins. These basic leather sandals protected the feet of our Stone Aged ancestors from sharp rocks and thorns.

Even 15,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic period, there were rock paintings depicting people wearing sandals. Of course, these were only the most basic leather sandals, and they wore away quickly. It wasn’t until the thong sandal design came into play by the Ancient Egyptians that things really started getting practical. They made their sandals primarily out of papyrus, palm leaves, and even rawhide and wood. Wooden sandals came about in India soon after, and China and Japan introduced rice straw sandals. South American populations were using sisal plant twine.

Sandals are still very popular today, with hiking sandals, flip flops, polo sport sandals, and lots of different women’s sandals and men’s sandals. Strangely enough, with all of the different fashions over time, sandals weren’t really considered a fashion statement though, until the twentieth century. This development can mostly be credited to the glamour of Hollywood, especially when it came to ladies’ sandals.

Today’s sandals are designed for just about every purpose, including fashion. Exercise sandals have truly taken off in popularity, as have “dress” sandals that can be worn with even the most formal evening gown. They’re built for hiking, comfort, walking, beaches, and even sandals that look quite uncomfortable to walk in, but are appealing to look at. It may be supposed, then, that beauty of a sandal – as with everything else in fashion and practicality – is in the eye of the beholder.

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