Right to Rome: Gladiator Sandals

3 min read

Borrowing from the boys has always been a fashion must. As the historical gladiator sandal makes a forceful comeback this season, designers have made the strappy shoe, the summer female-friendly footwear, a favourite once more. 

By Susan Devaney

Erdem, SS15, photo courtesy of GoRunway.

Erdem, SS15, photo courtesy of GoRunway.

From finding its firm footing in films to adorning the leggy looks of many an ancient goddess, the sandal has never strayed too far from the mainstream. With its dominance across male warriors in movies like Gladiator (2000) to its edgy elegance thanks to Rita Hayworth in 1947’s Down to Earth, the design has stayed relevant in the modern day. 

Backstage at Chloe SS15, photo courtesy of GoRunway.

Backstage at Chloe SS15, photo courtesy of GoRunway.

They may hold the more manly touch but this season women have claimed them in their own right. Charms dangle from Valentino’s design like drops of gleaming gold dust. Similarly, Chloe and Stella McCartney kept things simple with a touch of leather and Bohemia. Designer Erdem Moralioglu turned to cinematic classic The African Queen (1951) for inspiration as straps wound around legs like vines, creating a sense of botanical exoticism. For the fearless fashion warrior Isabel Marant strayed to the bold side of summer style with sandals fit for a Parisian soldier. 

Backstage at Valentino SS15, photo courtesy of GoRunway.

Backstage at Valentino SS15, photo courtesy of GoRunway.

Spring/summer 15 is all about the legs: as the summer sun approaches, intertwining lace-up sandals will adorn the feet of many a trendsetter. Whether you’re a lover or a fighter, as the season begins, our footwear of choice will have us standing on edge, ready for exploring new lands.

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