Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Another Israeli Classic, By Popular Demand
There was a time when you didn't have much choice in Israeli shoes, and that includes sandals. Every company made a version of this very sandal, the Sandal Tanachi, Biblical Sandal. One strap across the ankle and another just over the toes to keep them on your feet wherever you went. They were 100% leather, plus metal buckle. All shoes were leather. Even when we made aliyah in 1970, besides fabric na'alei Yom Kippur, Yom Kippur shoes or bedroom slippers, you couldn't find anything else.
Keds sneakers, and the cheaper versions, were on many "bring me lists." My daughters had sturdy tie shoes in the winter and sandals in the summer, just like everyone else. Kids hiked, played and partied in their seasonal footwear. Baby's first walkers were white. After that children's shoes came in three colors, red, blue and brown.
One summer we went to the states and put the girls, then six and eight, in a local day camp of the Great Neck School District. The first day there they were sent back with instructions to get sneakers. It was against regulations to play sports in sandals!
Today, Israeli shoes, of all sizes, are a big export business. You can buy Nayot all over the world. One of my favorite, most comfortable pairs is... a modern version of that Sandal Tanachi.