Roman Sandals and Boots
Roman Sandals were generally the most worn type of footwear in warm climates such as the countries surrounding the Mediterranean such as those regions conquered by the Roman Empire. There were different names given to specific types of Roman sandals:
the boots. Hobnails were iron nails which were nailed through the soles of boots to keep the footwear together and to prevent the soles of the boots from wearing out. The hobnails were placed all around the edge of the sole and in some designs on the surface of the sole.
Roman Sandals and Boots - The Color Red
The Romans were able to use dye on the sandals and boots but this process took longer and cost more money. Only wealthy Romans of a high status such as the Patricians would wear red dyed sandals and boots. The word Mulleus was used to describe shoes which were dyed red. The word Mulleus derives from the mullet fish (mullus), which is red in color. The different types of Roman boots and shoes made of leather dyed red were named after the status of the wearers such as calceus patricius, calceus senatorius or calceus equestris.
Making Roman Sandals and Boots
Making Roman Shoes, Sandals and boots required different sections or layers. The bottom, outside, layer or sole of the sandal or boot, the inner sole, the foot covering and leg straps of the boots.
The bottom, outside, layer or sole of the boots had to be sturdy received the most wear
The inner sole of the boots had to be softer as it came into contact with the foot. Less wealthy Romans did not wear socks but strips of foot wrappings might be used to prevent chafing. The Romans also used Impilia which were liners made of of wool or felt for boots or sandals
Piloi were felt socks used with leather sandals and boots to protect the flesh of the foot from chafing and to keep the foot warm. The piloi were commonly worn with the embas or endromis
The foot coverings of the boots had to cut encompass the shape of the foot
A strip of leather was placed between the outsole of a shoe and the edges of the insole and the upper sole
The straps were used to tie the boots and sandals to the foot and could extend past the ankle and calf up to the knee
The straps were made of thin lengths of leather or fabric inserted through loops or eyelets to fasten sandals and boots to the foot
The thongs or straps for tying sandals and boots were called Loramentum
A wooden block, called a forma, was shaped like a foot on which boots were made. The Romans also used an iron block on which to hammer the hobnails as the nails had to be turned or flattened.
Roman Sandals and Boots
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