Every shoe tells a story..
Baby booties to orthopaedic sandals, we spend most of the time walking in shoes, and from them we can learn something about our culture ,our histories and ourselves. We wear heart on our souls and we can say shoes are the best indicators of how people are feeling.
One can chart the rise and fall of prosperity from the evaluation of a heel, hear the distant rumblings of war in the configuration of a toe measure, social change by the thickness of a sole. Shoes speak of status, gender, ethnicity, religion, profession and politics. There are a variety of shows ranging from pencil heels to block heels, ballerinas to fancy strapped slippers, boots to sneakers , ‘Kolhapuris’ to ‘nagra’s’ .
Coming to Indian crafted shoe the first that comes to our mind are the “Kolhapuri”shoes - chappals, sandals ,kapashi and dongari . They are usually made from buffalo leather and locally tanned using vegetable dye. They have a glorious history and an intriguing story of evolution. These are stout, sturdy and day-long usable.
These chappals are very popular in rural areas. The leather foot-wear is made out of specially chrome tanned leather ,its straps are made with minutely woven leather threads, decorated with tassels made out of leather and some coloured threads, easy to wear and light. It protects the feet well.
Decent dexterity and elegant look of the work on the leather has made it one of the best choices for regular, formal and party wear.
Since they are very ethnic they are mainly worn with ‘salwars’ as well as ‘kurtis’ and jeans, and to add a mix of a indo western look they are also worn with jeans and t-shirts . Kolhapuri heels or wedges can also be matched and worn with an ethnic sari. Nowadays these shoes come in different colour, design and pattern.
They are made with ‘zaari’, mirror work and bright colours. Specially chosen to beat the heat in summer, ‘kolhapuri’ multicoloured strapped slippers look cool and comfortable. .