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Beverlyheels StyleFootwear: Sandals

Footwear: Sandals

Posted on Mon, Jul 17th, 2017

For the Dancing Queen

It might be one of the most basic shoes in your closet, but sandals have a long history. The Greeks wore them, the Romans fought in them and the Egyptians strutted in them. The sandals have been around since the beginning of organized civilizations.

Although the oldest known footwear was first discovered in Fort Rock Cave in the US State of Oregon, the origin was traced to Greece and was found to be at least 10,000 years old.

The ancient Greek comic actors and philosophers wore sandals made of willow leaves twigs, while those that rose above the middle of the leg were worn mainly by horsemen, hunters and men of authority and rank.

Later Greek sandals generally had elaborate designs and featured a multitude of straps with which they securely fastened the foot. The top of the sandals was usually colored and the soles were made of cattle skin.

Ancient Egyptians wore sandals made of palm-leaves and papyrus. According to Herodotus, sandals made of papyrus were part of the characteristic dress of the Egyptian priests.

When the French republic looked to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration, the sandals, along with the draped garments, were introduced in the fashion world. Empress Eugenie is depicted wearing toe-bearing sandals in a photograph taken in the 1850s, but this was not a successful enough attempt at reintroducing the sandal as a staple in a woman's wardrobe, because closed toed boots were the preferred style of the century.

It was only in the early 20th century when the sandals made a comeback in the beaches and poolside. By the 1930's, high heeled leather and silk sandals were a regular feature on the dance floor. They were worn under long evening gowns and the sandals were designed to permit the feet to remain air-conditioned for long nights of foxtrots and rumbas. By that time, the sandals were fully accepted as a fashion necessity and included styles for all purposes and times.

1950's saw many European men wearing sandals as casual wear, but this style was too casual for North American men. Women's sandals, on the other hand, were getting more fashionable as they used the barest of straps to give the illusion of no footwear at all. The vamp strap-sandal style, also known as an open-toe mule, created a similar illusion. American shoe designer Beth Levine solved this issue with the addition of an elastic web running the length of the insole. This was known as "spring-o-later".

By the late 1960's, hippie anti-fashion introduced the most basic sandal style to American streets. Dubbed as "Jesus" sandals these were simple leather toe ring or V-strap sandals that were gender neutral and embraced naturalism, comfort and ethnic-inspired style.

1970's saw the introduction of "health" sandals into the fashionable wardrobe. These were considered as perfect aids to foot health and comfort.

Modern-day sandals, be it heeled or flats, is a fashion statement and a must-have in the wardrobe, so get yours from

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