Length: 160.000 mm
Gift of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England
Room 49: Roman Britain
Roman Britain, probably 1st or 2nd century
Found on the site of the Bank of England, London
This small shoe, from a waterlogged deposit in London, probably belonged to a child. It has a thick hob-nailed sole and decorative openwork on the upper.
From sculpture and other pictorial sources we know that there were many types of footwear in use in the Roman world. Leather footwear ranged from sturdy workmen's shoes and hobnailed military sandals to finely-made, costly slippers for use by the wealthy. Because leather perishes, the shoes themselves do not often survive. But where conditions are favourable, which in Roman Britain generally means waterlogged ground, large numbers of complete or broken shoes in every stage of wear and in many different varieties have been found.