Sandals, Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Sandal

Pictured Above (from left):

It may seem odd that I’m defining such a well-known word as ‘sandal’ – but the distinction between sandals and other types of footwear can sometimes be blurry.  What sets a sandal apart from other footwear is how it leaves most or all of the foot exposed.  The definition of the word ‘sandal’ is, “A simple form of footwear where the shoe is held to the foot by strips of leather or fabric.” A sandal may be held to the foot by a narrow thong that passes between the first and second toe, or by a strap or lace, also called a latchet, that passes over the arch of the foot or around the ankle. A sandal may or may not have a heel and/or heel strap.

There are many varieties of sandals, including: clogs, espadrilles, flip-flops, gladiators, and geta.

History of the Sandal:
Sandals were the most common footwear in most early civilizations, however, a few early cultures had shoes. In Mesopotamia, (c. 1600-1200 BC) soft shoes made of wraparound leather, similar to the moccasin, were worn by the mountain people who lived on the border of Iran.  As late as 1850 most shoes were made on absolutely straight lasts, there being no difference between the right and the left shoe.


Sandals are the hottest shoe for spring and summer, because they are open and airy and keep your feet cool and comfortable on warm days. People may choose to wear sandals for several reasons, among them economy (sandals tend to require less material than shoes), comfort in warm weather, and as a fashion choice.

Check out previous Words of the Week, and read the shoe glossary for more footwear lingo!

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