Thongs are one of the most recognisable Australian icons, yet the association with the Big Brown Land is far from clear. In the interests of information sharing, this foot columnist traces the history of the common sandal from antiquity.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Shoe Styles of Ancient Greece: Boots (Buskins and Endromis)
The sandals, shoes and boots available to the Greeks can still be seen in the many monuments that remain. Shoes were the logical extension of sandals but the toes with the toes often left. Sometimes the footwear incorporated a small heel and hobnails were added for added life. At first women did not wear sandals but as both quality improved sandals were stylised for women. The following is a brief description of some footwear styles of Ancient Greece.
Boots (Buskins and Endromis)
Boots were known before 1000 BCE. and worn by the Greeks of the Aegean region (Ledger,1985). The boots were made of rawhide (i.e. dressed but untanned hide) and came in two varieties i.e. low and high boots. Buskins laced at the front from the top to the instep with laces (things) thread through small hooks. Wooden and leather soled boots fitted either foot and had a broad tongue. Soldier would ornament their boots with small animal’s muzzle or a pair of paws. Later the fashion became vogue to decorate buskins with lappets of leather or fur hanging from the tops (Ledger,1985). Low buskins were popular by the 5th century BCE and later hunters wore high boots (cothurnes) which covered the whole foot and leg up to the calf level. These laced at the front over a broad tongue. Greek Gods were often depicted wearing endromis or lined boots. Fur lined buskins were popular among athletes, hunters and travellers. These boots were adopted by the luxury loving Romans. Young Spartans were reported to wear red boots to hide the flowing blood from wounds.