The Complete Guide to Buying Mens Leather Sandals

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The Complete Guide to Buying Men's Leather Sandals

Sandals have always been a popular type of footwear, going all the way back to ancient times. Though the materials used to make sandals varies, one of the most common is leather. Even today, leather sandals are a timeless, durable, and elegant warm-climate footwear choice. While most men’s leather sandals are made in a factory, there are also many artisans who make handmade leather sandals, creating unique footwear one pair at a time. Men’s leather sandals are available for purchase in many local and international shops, but there are also many websites selling men’s leather sandals. A good place to find leather sandals, both new and used, is eBay.

There are many things a man should consider when buying leather sandals. This guide offers an overview to the most important aspects of the research and purchase, covering the history, material, method of manufacture, types and styles, sizes, and price of men’s leather sandals.

History

The sandal is the oldest shoe ever discovered, as evidenced by the discovery in the US state of Oregon of a sandal made of sagebrush bark, estimated to be over 10.000 years old. The sandal is also the most basic shoe of all, consisting simply of a sole secured to the foot by straps or laces over the instep, the toes, or the ankle. Sandals were the most common footwear in most early civilisations, worn by Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. They were made of different materials, such as rope, papyrus, wood, and leather. Despite their long history, leather sandals have never gone out of fashion,

Leather

Leather has endured as a popular material for sandals, and indeed for all footwear, because of its durability, versatility, and comfort. Leather is made from animal skins following a procedure called tanning. Tanning transforms the vulnerable and perishable animal skins to a material that is pliable yet durable, virtually indestructible. While leather can be made from many different animals, today most leather used for making shoes and sandals comes from cattle.

The sole of a sandal can be made of leather, and often was in the past; however, cork, rubber, and other modern synthetic materials offer superior cushioning and comfort. For this reason, leather is usually combined with one or more of those materials to achieve a better result.

The leather used for the straps of a sandal must be supple enough to offer a snug, secure fit. New leather sandals can be quite stiff and hard to break in, and sandals that are too tight may cause blisters and injuries where the straps scrape the skin. There are several ways to stretch leather straps, including wearing thick socks under the straps, treating the straps with special stretching spray, using shoe stretchers, or having the straps stretched by a professional.

Most leather is water-resistant; some is even completely waterproof. When leather sandals get thoroughly wet, however, they tend to become stiff and hard. Treating leather sandals regularly with leather cream will keep them soft and supple, extending their lifetime for years, even decades.

Type and Style

There are basically two types of leather sandals, which are further divided into many styles. The first type is the slip-on sandal. This style, which leaves the back of the heel open, includes flip-flops and many slippers. These are usually used on the beach and on casual occasions. The second type is the sandal with straps or laces around the heel. These offer better support than open-heel sandals, and are more suitable for walking, hiking, and sports.

As far as styles of slip-on sandals are concerned, first mention goes to the classic thong sandal, which consists of a flat sole held on the foot by a strap that passes between the first and second toes. Minimal yet elegant, this design is both comfortable and convenient to wear.

A second style of slip-on sandals includes slides and loafers, which have no thong but are held to the foot by straps that cover the top of the foot.

Leather sandals with straps around the heel come in many different styles. There are styles with one strap over the foot, two straps, or many straps. Sandals with many parallel straps over the foot are called fisherman’s sandals, while gladiator sandals have straps of leather wrapped around the lower leg, sometimes up to the knee.

Size

Size is one of the most important considerations when buying a pair of sandals. Buying online increases the risk factor of a sizing mistake. When a man wants to buy sandals online, he may wish to visit a brick-and-mortar shop first and try on different models of sandals in order to discover what styles and sizes fit him best. New leather sandals tend to be stiff or tight and may need some stretching to fit correctly, something for the buyer to bear in mind when shopping for leather sandals.

Below is a conversion chart for international shoe sizes.

UK & Australia

6

6 1/2

7

7 1/2

8

8 1/2

10

11

12

13 1/2

Europe

38 1/2

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46 1/2

48 1/2

US & Canada

6 1/2

7

7 1/2

8

8 1/2

9

10 1/2

11 1/2

12 1/2

14

Centimetres

24.8

25.1

25.4

25.7

26

26.7

27.3

27.9

28.6

29.2

Handmade Leather Sandals

The making of leather sandals is one of the oldest trades, surviving to this day. A craft that was learned by apprenticeship, the shoemakers, or cordwainers as they were called in England, were organised in guilds. Though the guilds have all but disappeared, there are still craftsmen around the world manufacturing shoes by hand.

There are two sorts of handcrafted leather sandals available. Some sandals are made by an artisan, usually a family business that produces a line of sandals in several different models and in preset sizes. Additionally, there are websites from which a man can purchase leather sandals made to order. In either case, ensuring that the sandals are a perfect fit requires exact measurement of the feet. The sandals are then manufactured according to these precise measurements, usually a process that takes the craftsman a couple days. When a man is looking for an exclusive piece of footwear, a pair of handcrafted leather sandals will certainly make an impression.

Price

There are a number of factors that have a major influence on the price of a pair of leather sandals, one of which is whether they are handmade or manufactured in a factory. Most factory models usually range in price between 30 and 150 pounds, but inexpensive models of under 20 pounds are available. Handcrafted sandals, on the other hand cost, can hundreds, even thousands, of pounds. This difference in price generally corresponds with a difference in quality.

Another important factor that determines price, of course, is whether the sandals are new or used. A used pair of sandals can often be purchased in fine condition for a fraction of its original price. The main issue in this case is that the sandal will need some time to adjust to the foot of its new owner.

How to Buy Men’s Leather Sandals on eBay

eBay has a wide range of men’s leather sandals. Go to eBay’s home page and type 'men’s leather sandals'. You can filter your search results further by adding several search criteria such as size, price, colour, brand, condition, and more. Of course, if you know what you are looking for you can also start of with a more specific search term such as 'leather men’s sandals size 8'. You can also navigate to the category 'men’s shoes' and choose 'sandals and beachwear'.

Before you purchase something, be sure to check out the reviews of the item. It can be very helpful to hear other people’s experiences with this product. Also important are the terms of delivery.

When purchasing anything online through eBay, it is vital to establish a good line of communication with the seller. This way you can ask all your questions regarding the item you want to purchase and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Conclusion

Leather sandals are an all-time classic in footwear. They are extremely versatile and can be worn on a wide variety of occasions. Sandals are a comfortable choice of footwear in warm climates and help keep the foot dry and protected. Leather is a durable, attractive, and comfortable material and, if properly taken care of, a pair of leather sandals can last many years. There are several methods of stretching a new pair of leather sandals easily and quickly to achieve a perfect fit with a minimum of pain. Styles of leather sandals abound, giving the buyer a great deal of choice in shopping. The main two categories are sandals with and without straps around the heel of the foot. Size is a very important factor when buying shoes; a sizing chart helps the buyer choose the right size of sandal. Handmade leather sandals can be ordered online and be manufactured to one’s exact measurements, at a certain price, and eBay has a wide array of different leather sandals, to fit all tastes and budgets.

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