Our Open Toe Athletic Shoe Company Discusses Unusual Shoes

If you’ve never seen open toe walking shoes before, they might appear rather unusual in comparison to traditional footwear. However, once you step into a pair of OpeToz®, you’ll fall in love with the beautiful open toe design combined with the comfort and support of athletic shoes. Throughout history, people have worn some rather bizarre and uncomfortable shoes. What are some of the strangest shoes people have ever worn?


From the 14th to 17th century, Middle Eastern women wore kabkabs, which were named for the sound they made when walking across marble floors. At the time, the streets were covered in mud and filth. Several inches high, these sandals were designed to protect women from stepping in street grime and the wet, dirty floors of bathhouses.

Featuring velvet, silk or leather straps, these shoes were specially embroidered using metal wires for weddings. Because many brides at the time were young girls, their shoes might be as tall as two feet high to make them appear taller.

Lotus Shoes

In China, the ancient practice of footbinding persisted well into the 19th century. Upper class women wrapped their feet to make them appear as small as possible, which symbolized their status and was considered fashionable at the time. Bound feet were also referred to as “lotus feet,” and special shoes were made for such feet.

Before a woman would marry, she would display her needlepoint skills by embroidering several pairs of lotus shoes for her female in-laws. Following her wedding ceremony, the bride would present the shoes to her in-laws in a special ceremony.

However, factories began producing these shoes designed specifically for bound feet. Although the practice of footbinding thankfully no longer exists, you can still special-order lotus shoes from the Zhiqiang Shoe Factory.

Armadillo Shoes

One of the most famous celebrities to slip on a pair of armadillo shoes was Lady Gaga. In 2010, designer Alexander McQueen released his first renditions of armadillo shoes, which are somewhat difficult to describe. High in stature, these shoes kind of resemble armadillo heads, and although they look somewhat grotesque, they do make your legs appear longer.


During the Renaissance era, Italian women wore chopines mostly in the early 17th century. Extremely expensive, only the elite women wore these shoes, which were fashioned to make a woman stand apart from the crowd.

As high as five inches, the wooden soles of these shoes tapered inward and flared out at the bottom. Covered with velvet or silk, embellished with silver detailing and even topped with silk tassels, these shoes were almost never actually visible because women wore such long dresses. Basically, they wore painful shoes nobody could even see, which was truly unfortunate.

Would you ever wear such horribly uncomfortable shoes? Why not wear a pair of open toe athletic shoes instead? Not only is our fabulous footwear fashionable, it provides you with a supreme level of comfort and support. With six different colors to choose from, you can always find a pair to match your favorite outfit. Shop our selection of open toe tennis shoes today at OpeToz.

Written by Ope Toz

Leave a comment

More stories

Open Toe Sneakers: The Evolution of Open Toe Athletic Shoes

When OpeToz founder Helen Ketcham had surgery on both feet, she didn’t know that she would come up with a revolutionary idea for a shoe line. While...

Our Open Toe Athletic Shoe Company Discusses More Unusual Shoes

In our last blog, we discussed some of the most unusual shoes in the world, and they weren’t particularly comfortable. Odd shoes such as kabkabs an...