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Spartan Shoes
I'm making a pair.

Now, to be frank, I'm making a pair because I thought that Nick Sekunda's educated guesswork on the Spartan shown in Marathon (Osprey) was interesting and at least believable, given the paucity of evidence.

In Greece, Giannis and I found several different evidences of Greek use of hobnails (or rivets) in copper-alloy and in iron. Why does that matter?

This last weekend, while fighting (in 6th c. panoply, but against 2nd C. AD Romans), the hobnails on the Roman caligae left an indelible impression on the tops of my feet, and I realized what a useful weapon the shoe might be (although I would also note that despite several fairly deep hobnail penetrations, I was never tempted to stop fighting).

Suddenly, the shoe that Sekunda sees as Spartan made sense--especially the top strap that would protect the foot, even under the laces.

[Image: 3686142286_8a051d7e90.jpg?v=0]

Having just run two stades in armor, the idea of a sandal that holds the whole foot seems much more important, and a shoe-sided sandal would further support the base of a greave with minimal pain on the top of the instep--all of you who have worn greaves know what I mean.

Further, while walking around the "Dance Floor of Ares" (Boeotia) Giannis and I noticed how very, very impractical sandals were--at least the open-thong variety--as they caught a variety of burrs and sharp thorns from weeds that grew in the grain--weeds that Giannis hastened to tell me were demonstrably period to the 5th C. BCE. Again, the "shoe-sandal" would keep most of that out.

Finally, it's worth noting that "serious" soldiers wore "Spartan shoes" as well as men aping Spartan ways and various oligarchs, at least according to literature.

I think Mr. Sekunda got this one right, and I'm starting to make a pair. If anyone else out there has made them, all info appreciated. Just FYI (and I'll post my efforts) the first pattern worked pretty well, but I have some shoe-making experience. This is not a simple sandal!
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Go to see Greek footware thread and you will see a variety of "closed" sandad and boots.
I consider it unthicable that some of them were not campaign eqipment.
Kind regards
Very interesting, according to Nick the Spartan shoes were crimson red as well right? At least I can remember him saying something like that.

If the Spartans went over to sandals then it obviously had its used, which anything they choose for probably has. :mrgreen:

Edit: And in his book The Spartan Army, he says the Spartan military training started at 5 when the child became a boy and that a Spartan was seen as an adult at the age of 18. Weren't these ages 7 and 20? Or is Nick Sekunda right in his ages? :|
"Go and tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie." -Thermopylae

Original Plutrachs text from life of Lykourgos said the Agoge started when the boy started loosing his first teeth.
That is roughly between 5 to 7 years old.

Red shoes of the Beotians are mentioned by Homer.
Still cannot understand those conclusions I read in Osprey's Spartan Army :?

Kind regards
On those shoes shown below, is there a between the big toe and its brother toe a thong of some kind? Otherwise, it doesn't look like it would be as sturdy. Just an observation.
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
You man the shoes above?

I'm interpreting a thong that extends up form the sole into the "top strap" as that's what seems to be present in Nick Sekunda's article "Laconian Shoes with Senatorial Laces" which Duncan Cambell was kind enough to send me a couple of days ago. I changed my design a bit based on the article.

[Image: 3694961320_1d298cbe2f.jpg?v=0]

That's the statue of Tiberius Claudius Brasidas, outside the museum in Sparta. Note that he's wearing boots. Mine will only be low-ankle height.
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Done. About 9 hours work, from patterning to finish. Pattern on demand.

In short:

First I put serran-wrap 9food wrap) all around my foot, covered it in duct tape, and then marked it with heavy magic marker along the lines I wanted. then I cut the pieces apart and used them as the basis of the pattern. i made a separate pattern of the sole of my foot. This system can be used for any sandal or moccasin pattern, btw.

Having made a pattern, I cut the sole out of sole leather (16+ounce veg tanned cowhide) and the uppers out of 12 oz. veg tan cow. I wet them all, rolled the edges with a tool, and then punched the holes with a diamond shaped awl, which I'm pretty sure they had, even in ancient Greece, but that's another story! Then I stitched the uppers to the inner sole and tied them on. Both feet needed adjustments. So I cut them apart, adjusted for size, and re-stitched them--single needle. I gather that the harness stitch didn't exist yet. I used artificial sinew. i know how to use real sinew, but it's a pain to use and I didn't have any. Next pair!

After the final sewing of the uppers, I put hobnails into the soles, put a healthy dose of rubber cement on both upper and lower sole,a nd then stitched the two soles together all the way around the outside. Don't disdain rubber cement. Wonderful stuff in fine leather working--allows you to pull two pieces apart when you discover you've made a mistake.

[Image: 3699018629_b73fed7589.jpg?v=0]

[Image: 3699017389_6a8840fdb7.jpg?v=0]

[Image: 3699016255_4d2864f5bc.jpg?v=0]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.
Hi Christian,

Nice work, could you post a pic of the heel-part?
And I would like the pattern please.
TiTvS Philippvs/Filip
<a class="postlink" href="">
Very nice work, Kineas!

Do you know the dating of the statue of Tiberius Claudius Brasidas you meantioned above?
Did you use hob nails?
Michael D. Hafer [aka Mythos Ruler, aka eX | Vesper]
In peace men bury their fathers. In war men bury their sons.
Quote:Do you know the dating of the statue of Tiberius Claudius Brasidas you meantioned above?
Apparently 2nd C AD. Seemingly Marcus Aurelius heard a law case involving his son.
posted by Duncan B Campbell
Is the large red strap attached between the toes?
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
Quote:Is the large red strap attached between the toes?

don't think so Byron.
Look at the statue, can't see it there and the strap is even smaller.
Wonder how the strap stays in place at the toes-end :?
Maybe I'll make a midget version Tongue
TiTvS Philippvs/Filip
<a class="postlink" href="">
Quote:Apparently 2nd C AD. Seemingly Marcus Aurelius heard a law case involving his son.

Very interesting! Thanks a lot, Duncan!
In response to some photo requests...

[Image: 3729818054_da3f642212.jpg?v=0]

The toes and toe straps

[Image: 3729018123_41d3393b85.jpg?v=0]

The soles

[Image: 3729014263_dac281f30c.jpg?v=0]
Qui plus fait, miex vault.

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