How Were Sandals Made in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, sandals were an essential part of their footwear. They were not just worn for protection but also held a significant symbolic meaning. Greek sandals were made in various styles, shapes and sizes, using different materials such as leather, papyrus, and even wood.

The History of Sandals in Ancient Greece

Greek sandals have been around since the Bronze Age and were originally made from cattle hide that was cut into a sole shape and then laced up around the foot with leather cords. As time passed, the design of the shoe evolved to include more intricate straps that wrapped around the ankles.

The Materials Used to Make Greek Sandals

The most common material used to make Greek sandals was leather. Leather was readily available and durable enough to withstand the rugged terrain of Greece. However, papyrus was used for making sandals in ancient Egypt during the same period when Greeks used leather.

The Process of Making Greek Sandals

The process of making Greek sandals involved several steps. First, the shoemaker would select a piece of leather or papyrus to use as the sole. Then they would cut out the shape of the sole from this material using a knife.

Next, they would cut strips of leather or papyrus to use as straps which would be attached to the sole with small holes or stitches.

After attaching all straps to soles, they would apply wax or oil on it so that it became waterproof and comfortable while walking.

The Importance of Sandals in Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, sandals held great symbolic importance. They signified a person’s social status and occupation. For example, only priests were allowed to wear white shoes while ordinary citizens could only wear brown shoes.

Sandals also played an important role in sports like running or jumping events where athletes needed proper footing and support.

  • The Different Styles of Greek Sandals
  • Ancient Greek sandals came in various styles, which were categorized based on their shape and the way they were worn.
  • The Anaxyrus was a simple sandal that had a single strap across the foot.
  • The Rhax was another type of sandal that had two straps, one for the toes and one for the ankle.
  • The Athlete’s sandal or EpikrÄ“ma was made from leather with a thick sole and studs on it for better grip and support during sports events.


In conclusion, Greek sandals were more than just footwear. They held great significance in ancient Greece and played a crucial role in society.

The process of making them was intricate, but the end product was durable and comfortable. Even today, Greek sandals remain popular for their unique style and comfort factor.