The very first shop someone can see when entering Monastiraki square is ours, the MATER TERRA Greek Leather Sandals. Our family has been making authentic Greek handmade leather sandals since 1916 and today, counting more than a hundred years of experience and knowledge, we continue to enrich our legacy.
When MATER TERRA Greek Leather Sandals started off, sandals were just common goods for every Greek citizen. Back then, fashion was not an established concept so our goal was just to create durable and comfortable sandals for our clients. The society was so small and owning a retail shop was unnecessary since we traded our goods in person. In the early 1960s, tourism in Greece, and especially in Athens, increased rapidly, so eventually, in 1958, we opened our first shop.
From then on not only Greek citizens wear our authentic Greek handmade leather sandals but also visitors from other countries. This led us to improve our crafting techniques and to create more comfortable and fashionable sandals in order to satisfy our customers’ growing demands.
Always inspired by the ancient Greek history and culture, MATER TERRA Greek Leather Sandals managed to modernize the classical Greek handmade leather sandals with more complex and unique elegant designs.
History and origins of sandals
Our main influence for the creation of MATER TERRA Greek Leather Sandals derives from the ancient Greek history and culture. According to researches, sandals existed in ancient Greece since the Bronze Age in 1600 BC. The first who managed to create and trade sandals where the Mycenaean Greeks who lived in ancient Crete.
Later, in the Classical period, which was during the 5th and 4th century BC, sandals became the main footwear product ancient Greek were wearing. Philosophers and politicians, due to their wealth and influence, demanded more luxurious sandals in order to stand out from the common people.
This was the beginning of the sandals’ fashion evolution. Sandal craftsmen came up with new designs that remain in fashion even today. Through the years, the making of a sandal was turning from a simple creation into art. By observing the details on statues, wall paintings and ceramics, we can realize that in ancient Greece, there were thousands of designs with different cuts, straps and appearance.