8 / 2003

Greece - Opanke-style leather shoe with woollen pom-pom

The opanke styles from the Balkan countries have leather straps braided to the moccasin soles, to form the upper. Others have leather loopholes with a straw or hemp rope running through them, to hold the shoe to the foot. In Greece however, the influence of the Turkish way of making shoes is clearly visible. A full leather upper is hand-stitched to the moccasin sole with a piping in-between for water-resistance. Above shoe, called "Tsarouhi", is part of the traditional Greek costume, together with the pleated skirt, called "Fustanella", embroidered waistcoat and red felt Fez with tassel. This type of shoe, executed with heavy hobnails under sole and heel, was also worn by the Evzonen, the guards at the former Royal Palace.

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