The Twentieth Century Sandal

Shoeaholics Anonymous Disclosure

Birkenstock Women's Mayari Sandal

Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was often pictured completely naked apart from her sandals. Every ancient civilization had its version of this simple flat structure and, arguably, very little changed until the twentieth century with the invention of the heel and, more crucially, the metal arch support in the 1920. The exposure of the foot and its potential as an erogenous zone was already well known, and was even frowned upon in the 1930s. This was further enhanced by the arch created in the foot.

Peep Toes

Peep Toe pumps appeared in the 1950s and introduced the concept of toe cleavage; this cut out effect has even been used on boots. Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo Peep Toe Pumps are a perfect modern example of this style, reminiscent of the Hollywood bombshells.

Birkenstock

Carl Birkenstock developed the first Birkenstock sandal, as we know it today, using his father’s designs in 1964. These contoured sandals were introduced to America from Germany and made practicality and comfort a design feature, bringing the wearer back down to earth.

Disco

The disco influence of the 1970s reflected, literally, in the footwear and saw lots of sparkle, thin spaghetti straps and metallic coloured material. The rise in the platform saw higher heels popular for men and women.

Slingbacks

Slingback refers to shoes with a single strap at the back of the shoe that exposes the heel whilst providing support to the foot.

Mules

Mules are often referred to as slip-ons because there is no back to the shoe, allowing exposure of the whole heel.

Gladiator

Although, as the name suggests, these supportive and durable sandals have their origins with Roman and Greek warriors, Gladiator sandals keep getting a very modern make over every year. The basic design is of several straps across the foot, then one strap running around the ankle creating a T-strap effect.

Thongs

Thong sandals are also called flip flops and are the most basic sandal design, which can be dressed up or down depending upon the material they are made of. Sling back flat thongs are flip flops slightly adapted and provide more support. The simple design exposes the whole foot, and the material used for the straps ranges from plain straps to embellished with jewels.

Whichever sandal you choose, and however much skin you dare to flash, while your feet may not be perfect, as the beholder’s eye will be drawn down, a pedicure is highly advisable

Thanks to Sally from www.lyst.com for this post.

Comments

  1. The formerly shoe-obsessed Wayne says:

    I think I would’ve chosed something else more representative than a Birkenstock sandal.

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