Roman Shoes


(Calx, The heel; Calamen) The shoe that covered the whole foot, as distinguished from a sandal, or Soleae. These are generally considered to be the center seamed or laced shoes with the separate inner and outer soles. Calcei were formal shoes worn with the toga outside the house, while sandals were worn with the tunic inside the house. Slaves were not allowed to wear calcei. Free men put on a kind of thick-soled, closed shoe or boot reaching to the calf, with two holes at the side through which leather thongs were passed and tied round the leg. Open on the inside at the ankle, and fastened about the ankle and and calves with four wide straps (corrigiae), wound around the ankle two or three times, to a distance about half-way below the calf, and tied in front with a knot. These straps ran from the sole and were wrapped around the leg and tied above the instep. A second pair of straps was attached on each side of the sole, at widest part of the foot, and crossed over the instep, fastened round ankle on top of the first pair of straps, and tied in a knot in front be the first one. Wearing the straps (fasces crurales, tibiales; fasces feminales) any higher up the leg, for example to the thigh, is considered effeminate.

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Footwear of the Middle Ages - Roman Shoes - Calceus, Copyright 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002   I. Marc Carlson.
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