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Gallery: Ancient Roman Kids' Shoes

Roman Child's Shoe

A Roman child's shoe

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

Tiny shoes found at Vindolanda, a Roman fort in northern Britain, reveal that families were a part of Roman military life between the first and fourth centuries A.D.

Fancy Roman Infant Shoe

Roman baby shoe

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

Roman kids wore shoes that reflected their parents' status. This leather sandal with a complicated pattern would have been worn by the fort bigwig's infant child.

Soldier's Child Shoe

Roman child boot

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

Meanwhile, the children of soldiers wore miniature versions of the fell boot, the basic marching boot of the Roman army.

Roman Carbatina

Roman carbatina shoe

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

The carbatina was a popular shoe for children, because it could be fastened easily with one lace and even tightened or loosened as a child grew.

Boot Studs

Iron studded roman kid shoes

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

Utilitarian iron studs on the soles of children's shoes found in Roman army barracks. Large, widely space studs may have saved money, since metal was expensive.

Fancy Roman Carbatina

Roman fancy baby shoe

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

This detailed carbatina shoe for a child was found in the centurion's, or officer's quarters, illustrating how higher-status individuals could afford nicer shoes for their children.

Decorated Sandal

Decorated roman child's sandal.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Greene, University of Western Ontarion)

Only one shoe at the fort fails to fit the pattern of nicer footwear for kids of higher social class. This sandal used little leather, so may have been inexpensive, but its triangle-and-rosette decorations are fancier than a typical soldier's child's shoe. This sandal was found in the barracks of the rank-and-file soldiers.