How grand and shoe-like they sound. Yet they can be best described as pieces of string holding your foot.
Gladiators. What grand images they throw up in your mind – strong men in arenas facing challenges larger than life. But shoes? Yes, these are the flat soled sandals that you can imagine the Romans wear under their Togas. And they are no more adorning the legs of muscular men. Now, they are fashion statement for women.
Essentially, gladiator shoes are sandals with pieces of straps holding them to your foot – and climbing up, your calves as well. Elegant way of covering up men’s legs in an era devoid of trousers.
Today, they have evolved into classic wear for women, ranging from ankle length to boots.
Sure, they look nice. In fact, on a good pair of legs, they look lovely. When worn with the correct dress. And dress it has to be. A skirt or a frock. Originally meant to be worn with a Toga, even today the beauty of gladiator shoes can only be set off by dresses with flair, elegance and essentially, a hemline.
Essentially, there is no point in wearing gladiator shoes, unless the calf is visible. Jeans and even shorts are a complete no-no for these age old style statements.
But then, though beautiful, gladiators can be overdone. The traditional gladiators are flat soled with leather straps and buckles to hold ones feet in place. These are rarely worn in their traditional format any more. Nowdays, we prefer modifications which modernise and beautify the original more than the original. However, certain such designs are quite horrific.
Gladiators now are also made with heels. Wedge and pencil, that is quite O.K. However, when the gladiator style meets the bondage, that is when one needs to be careful. Also, gladiators are the fine line between style and not knowing style. To succumb to wearing gladiators, one should be confident of the pair picked up, and how its worn. Celebritites like Gwynneth Paltrow known for her choice of gladiators, have famously gone wrong as well. Not only did she wear them with trousers, they were gold in colour, with an unflattering design!
There are designers making fashionable yet ugly bondage gladiators. There are designers making terribly ugly normal gladiators. And then there are the embellished gladiators, which are just plain ugly.
Gladiator shoes elicit a lot of reaction. They are a style statement, and as with any such statement, they are either loved or hated. There are those who hate gladiators. However, there are many more people like me, who love gladiator shoes.
Gladiator shoes are back this summer. So ladies, buckle up. Get those summery dresses out. And enjoy these Roman Beauties. Because this is one shoe that is stylish while being flat, and so utterly suitable to Indian roads ;)