Barefoot Sandals of South Asia and the Art of Decorating the Feet
Barefoot sandals are somewhat of a product of evolution from South Asia. They were first developed as variations of jewelry that was designed specifically for the feet that was worn as a symbol of ceremonies and celebrations, especially for brides that were celebrating their upcoming nuptials and vows. The are many variations of barefoot sandals such as materials used or styles that are made as well as how much area of the top of the foot they cover. However, they all have the same thing in common in that, they don't have soles like other sandals or shoes, and they usually have a loop in which to slide the second or third toe through and a tie or clasp that wraps around the ankle to hold them into place. They are meant more for decoration than practicality or protection for the feet. Conveniently, the beauty of barefoot sandals are that they can be worn by themselves or actually with traditional sandals that are open faced that don't cover or interrupt the sandal.
The feet have been a desired canvas for various forms of body art, Mehndi, tattoo's and jewelry for centuries and has become popular throughout the globe for various reasons. One of the most ceremonial and widely used forms of decoration for the feet comes in the form of Mehndi which is customarily done on both the feet and hands for brides who are preparing for their upcoming weddings. In other examples, the feet can be adorned with many forms of jewelry, barefoot sandals, tattoo's, painted toe nails and many other things as a decoration and statement for the feet.
The image below shows a traditional Mehndi design on the feet that are adorned with foot jewelry that could also be considered barefoot sandals based on modern design variations and interpretations. The style and tradition originated in ancient India.
Women who choose to wear barefoot sandals today for weddings or ceremonies often choose styles that vary in color, materials and coverage. As well, they don't always use the Mehndi or Henna art as part of the decoration. We now see the barefoot sandal as a popular choice for people who have chosen to have their wedding at a beach or during the summer. Casual weddings also apply.
Shown below are common styles and designs.
Casual, Fun and Flirty
Barefoot sandals have also evolved into a temporary form of body art and body jewelry that adorns the feet. This is where styles, materials and colors become a bit more creative. Listed below are examples of these styles.