5 / 2003

Poland - Opanke-style ladies’ shoes

In observing the spread of different and similar styles of footwear around the globe, it is intriguing how widespread the Opanke has become in Europe. One will find this style all the way from the countries bordering the Adriatic Sea in the south up to the ones bordering the Baltic Sea in the north. The one above is called "Kierpce Nawlokami" and originates in the town of Piwniczna in southern Poland. The upper is made out of one piece pre-shaped leather. Decorations are tooled together with small brass plates and may vary form village to village and from town to town. A tooled leather strap, held by a brass buckle, secures the shoes to the feet.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland