Gladiator sandals have sweeped the fashion nation like crazy. Since they were introduced into the market a few summers back after being inspired by the proliferation of movies of the same theme, gladiators have become the hottest things to ever hit the industry. Suddenly, everywhere you look, all you see are T-strap sandals with laces that reach up to the ankles and even up to the knees. Whether you flip through fashion magazines, watch T.V. or just look around you, all you see are famous Hollywood celebrities, models and even regular fashionistas sporting the style. From the original flat leather gladiator sandals of the Roman times, it has evolved into more fashionable and versatile styles from “street casual to high couture fashion.”
As the name suggests, gladiator sandals are derived from Greco-Roman times when Roman gladiators used the footwear to a fight or war. Who would have ever thought that a highly skilled and fierce warrior would be a trendsetter thousands of years after? Gladiators were trained to kill for entertainment and their footwear was designed to endure any battle they fought. While modern gladiator sandals are now a symbol of high fashion, wearing one still makes you a champion – in the art of fashion.
The making of a gladiator is a tough and aggressive process, just like the gladiator sandals they have inspired. A brief history: the Roman Empire was an incredibly strong nation, conquering countless armies and foreign lands, capturing hundreds and even thousands of prisoners in the process. These prisoners were turned into slaves and were sold in the market, the “best calibers” sent to Rome and trained as gladiators. Criminals went through the same fate. Another category of gladiators were paid volunteers which like professional athletes, were trained in gladiator school under strict and harsh discipline. They were enormously built to withstand even the hardest blows. There was a time when women were allowed to become gladiators during the time of Roman emperor Septimius Severus but they were later banned.
As “gladiator games” became increasingly popular, it became a profitable activity wherein trainers and owners earned more as more people came to see the fights. Politicians sponsored battles to gain votes. Freedom was also rewarded to gladiators who survived several years of fighting and coming out champion all the time. Romans invested heavily on this brutal form of entertainment.
Though we don’t really share the Romans’ “lust for blood,” we greatly respect their rich culture and elegant heritage. Gladiator sandals are one important contribution of the Romans we will always be grateful for. Every time we wear our pair of gladiators, we will always be reminded of the incredible strength and courage of those mighty Roman gladiators.