How to Make Roman Sandals

By LeafTV Editor

For centuries, fearless Roman soldiers marched to war wearing nothing on their feet except for thin, leather, lace-up sandals. However, the flimsy appearance of these sandals was misleading. Roman sandals were tough and able to withstand hundreds of miles of marching across hard roads and rugged terrain as well as prolonged, heated battles. The Romans were masters of warfare and they knew how to make their sandals well. While you may not be able to duplicate the durability of Roman sandals, you can certainly learn how to make a pair that looks just like the real thing.

Four young women wearing Roman sandals
credit: perkins07/iStock/GettyImages
How To Make Roman Sandals

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Use a pencil to trace the outline of one of your feet on each piece of board.

Cut out the outline of your foot on the pieces of board using a jigsaw.

Place the wooden soles on the cork tile and trace the outline of the soles onto the tile. Using a sharp knife, cut out the outline on the cork tile.

Make two thongs from the leather scraps by cutting the scraps with the knife. Each thong should be 1 meter long and 3 mm wide.

Cut out a 17-by-7-cm rectangle from the leather scraps and cut out two holes in the rectangle just below the top edge. One should be on each side of the rectangle. This will be your heel piece.

Cut a 12-by-7-cm rectangle from the leather scraps. Cut two small holes just under the top edge of the rectangle, one on each side. This will be the top piece of the sandal.

Staple the heel piece to the wooden soles.

Staple the top piece across the top of the soles, with the hole the farthest away from the top of the sole, making sure to apply one edge of the top piece to each edge of the sole.

Staple the cork-tile pieces to the bottoms of the wooden soles.

Smooth out the staples using a pair of pliers.

Thread one thong through the holes in the heel and top pieces along one side of the shoe, and then repeat with the other side of the shoe.

Fasten the thongs to the sandals with the twine, cutting as small a piece of twine as possible for the purpose.


  • Socks should be worn with these Roman sandals to avoid splinters from the wooden soles.