Civilization’s Oldest Shoe Gets A Stylish Update Again

You may know by now that we really like to shop vintage. If it’s something that we could envision in grainy, sepia-toned photos and worn by fashionistas of yore, we’re here for it. We especially love shoes: the clean lines and quaint design of historical footwear is something we’re always on the hunt for. And when it comes to throwback kicks, it doesn’t get much more OG than the rope sandal — according to the Oregon Historical Society, the oldest dated “fiber footwear” is a pair of 9,000-year old slides woven from shredded sagebrush bark. Which means that this workaday material contributed to mankind’s most retro shoe.

Lucky for us, this ancient last has gotten an update — many updates, actually, over the last few millennia. There’s a reason it’s stayed current since the beginning of the Holocene — whether woven from cloth or grass, the rope is a classic, nautical detail that lends any sandal a slightly preppy, garden-party touch. It’s also incredibly versatile — you’ll find it in heights from flat to flatform, so you can wear your fiber for almost any occasion. Click through to see the many iterations we dug up; from simple thongs to colorful woven slides to evening-appropriate heels. (We may have even thrown in a raffia-adorned stacked platform — just because this style is almost as old as civilization itself, doesn’t mean it can’t still party.)

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