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Types of Shoes from Around The World

Reporter: Kimberly Porter| Shoes from Around the World | Image: Pexels

Almost everything in fashion has been done before. New designers are always striving to improve upon or find a new use for the items of clothing that have come before. Nowhere is that more obvious than when we look at footwear. But have you ever wondered where these ideas came from?

The world is a vibrant and diverse place, and that means that every nation on the planet has contributed to modern fashion in some way. As such, let’s look at the different types of shoes from around the world to find out where these designs originally came from.


Geta is a type of open-toed sandal from Japan. Originally these shoes were crafted from a single slab of wood and a V-shaped wire strap was attached to the top. The main benefit to these shoes was that they were practical. In Japanese culture, it is customary to leave your shoes outside before entering a building. Therefore, the Geta provided residents with a quick option to slip on and off as they go in and out of the house.

Nowadays, you can see the design of the original Geta in almost every modern sandal. The brown sole of these shoes comes from their original wooden soles and a lot of sandals are now developed with practicality in mind. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used to tie together a more traditional outfit.


Art and fashion are often intertwined. Nowhere is that statement more evident than in the Russian Lapti. These shoes are woven together out of bast to create a brown lattice design. However, there was nothing artistic about their initial purpose.

Lapti were originally worn by the peasant class as they toiled the fields. As such, they needed a hardy shoe to protect them from the elements. While the lattice design was created to make the shoes as solid as possible, they seem to have inspired a generation of fashion designers in the future. The Lapti showed that shoes could be artistic.

Gucci Shoes

Gucci is one of the biggest names in modern fashion, and it is easy to see why. However, the company is much older than you may think. The company was founded in 1921, but its first shoe was not released until 1953.

The first shoe to leave the company was the loafer, but Gucci added something different that hadn’t been seen before in this type of footwear. While they still had the sleek, sophisticated design, the Gucci loafer came with a horse bit symbol. You can see this symbol in some of the other Gucci shoes, but it all started with their first pair of loafers in the 1950s. Gucci has gone on to become one of the most influential voices in fashion, and you can put it all down to these initial designs.


Moccasins have become a staple in North American fashion, and that may be because of their origins. These vibrant shoes were once one of the blandest shoes around. They were made by the Native American tribes and in other parts of Asia by sewing together two pieces of leather. An additional strip of leather was sewn in the middle to offer support.

As you can see, this is another shoe that began with practical origins and has gone on to become a huge part of world fashion. Moccasins are a staple in North American style, mostly due to their roots in this part of the world. However, a pair of standard moccasins will now be etched to feature a varied design to make it appear more artistic. It may be hard to believe, but it seems that the poorer parts of ancient culture have now shaped high-end fashion.


There are other ways to make a shoe stand out beyond etching or painting. Take, for example, the Jutti from India. These are another pair of traditional slip-on shoes; however, the Jutti have closed toes. Think of them as more of a slipper than a sandal and you are along the right lines.

Jutti are created out of leather but are made unique by becoming embroidered with gems and jewelry. These shoes were once popular among the rulers and aristocracy of India. However, they are now a shoe that has been adopted by the working class of India. It is normal to see these at weddings and other important occasions. Although, you are always sure to stand out when wearing a pair of Jutti.


You should now have a better idea of how our past has shaped the modern fashion scene. Shoes are an important part of an outfit, and it seems as if almost every nation on Earth has contributed a design to the fashion collective. Modern fashion wouldn’t be the same without these ideas, so you have history to thank for every pair of shoes you have ever owned.


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