A sandal is a type of shoe fastened to the foot with thongs or straps. Sandals have been worn since ancient times. There are two basic types of sandals, closed toe and open toe sandals. There are, however, many different styles of these two basic types of sandals. The popularity of sandals has varied greatly over time as well as the populrity of the different types and styles. There has alsdo been important differences from country to country. A similar style to closed-toe sandals were the single bar strap or Mary Jane shoes. This style, however, has more varied uses. It could be used as a formal
dress shoe in either black or white patent leather. As a dress shoe it was commonly worn with white socks or stockings. On the other hand, colored versions, especially red, were used as little boys play shoes. The popularity of sandals, strap shoes, and low cut shoes have varied over time. Some parents simply liked the look of sandals, bit others felt them healthier as they were more open to air. Other parents thought they did provide adequate support for younger children. Orthapedic advise also varied.
The two basic types of sandals are closed and open-toe styles. The classic sandal is an open toe sandal. This is the style of sandal worn by ancient peoples--Greeks, Romans, and others. Biblical peoples, of course, also wore sandals--hence the modern term "Jesus boots". Monks often wore sandals in the middle ages and some orders still do. In recent times, open toe sandals were not commonly worn in America and Western Europe. They were worn in Mexico and other Latin American countries, but generally viewed as symbolizing poverty or low income. Open toe sandals have experienced a revival in recent years. Open toe sandals began to appear in California, Closed toe sandals appear to have appeared in England, America, and other countries during the 1910s. I am not sure in which country they first appeared or just who was responsible. They appear to have been a refinement of strap shoes. The sandals were different than earlier strap shoes in that that had a center strap. I am not sure who developed this style, but it may have been the Clark Shoe Company as the style is often referred to as school sandals. They were commonly worn by boys and girls for school and play.
The popularity and style of sandals has varied over time from country to country. Sandals have been particularly popular in Europe, but there are substantial variations between countries. English boys commonly wore closed toe sandals, but American boys did not like sandals of any kind. French boys wore them, especially in the summer as did Italian boys. Sandals were always popular in Italy, with some differences in the time and in the regions. German boys wore sandals in the early 20th century, but the NAZIs discouraged them in the 1930s as unmanly. After World War II, however, open-toe sandals became popular in Germany. American boys finally began wearing them, first in Califiornia and then throughout the country when sports sandals appeared in the 1990s.
We have not yet begun to contruct a general sandal chronology. We can assume that sandals were a very early footwear, if not the earliest. They presumably were worn in most if not all early civilizations. Remember that all early civilizations arose in the warmer areas of the world. At this time we only have information on Roman footwear. Sandals were especially associated with Rome and the English world for sandals, as well as the word in many other languages, is based on the Latin term "sandalia". We see children wearing them throufhout the 20th century, but there were wide varitions from country to country. A good example is a French family during the 1930s.
Sandals were made in a range of different colors. This varies over time and from country to country. There were also differences between open and closed-toe sandals.
A similar style to closed-toe sandals were the single bar strap or Mary Jane
shoes. This style, however, has more varied uses. It could be used as a formal
dress shoe in either black or white patent leather. As a dress shoe it was commonly worn with white socks or stockings. On the other hand, colored versions, especially red, were used as little boys play shoes.
We note a wide range of hodsiery worn with sandals, both long stockings and different kinds of socks. And in some cases children wore no hosiery at all. This is a very complicated topic because there are so many different types of sandals worn with a range of conventions, bityh play and dressy outfits and today sports as well. This us further complicated by the many different types of sandals. The conventions concerning hosiery have also varied over time and among countries. Basically we mostly see boys wearing sandals with hosiery. This began to change somewhat in some countries after World war I when we see children wearing sandals for play. During the summer children might go without hosiery for play and also to school. We see this more in Europe than America.
The popularity of sandals, strap shoes, and low cut shoes have varied over time. Some parents simply liked the look of sandals, bit others felt them healthier as they were more open to air. Other parents thought they did provide adequate support for younger children. Orthapedic advise also varied. As a result you sometimes see younger children wearing strap shoes and in other occasions somewhat older children. Attitudes also varied from country to country. The school sandal (a kind of "t"-strap shoe) was very popular in England. Across the channel in France boys wore both sandals and high-top shoes to school. In Germany the hgh-top shoes were more common than sandals.
French boy: Summer wear
American boy: Trip to France during the 1960s
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