Carbatina from Wijster - a 4th Century AD One Piece Shoe

As the actual name this type of shoe was called by is not known any more I call this shoe a Carbatina as a representative of the single piece shoe type. Note that the name Carbatina is a modern term generally used in literature dealing with Roman (and same era Germanic) shoes.

The shoe itself is made of a single piece of leather that has a number of parallel slits on one side of the parts that form the upper of the shoe. When the shoe is actually worn and laced the slits cause the upper on the outer side to expand into a mesh or net like pattern. As it is typical for this type of shoe there is only one seam, located at the heel.


Interestingly there is an almost identical find of a pair from Damendorf. That pair has the lace for fastening the upper around the foot cut out integrally with the upper.


  • Van Driel-Murray, Carol. Mode in de nadagen van het Keizerrijk: de schoenen van Cuijk. Westerheem 56 (2007). pp. 133-141
  • Es, W.A. van, 1967. Wijster. A native village beyond the Imperial frontier 150-425 A. D. (Palaeohistoria XI) Groningen.
  • Hald, Margrethe. Primitive Shoes. An Archaeological-Ethnographical Study Based Upon Shoe Finds from the Jutland Peninsula. 1972. pp 54.