Shoe of the Month – Nandi Boot

Nandi Boot

This amazing boot was designed and made by Sandeep Bhikha when he was a Footwear Design student at Leicester de Montfort University in 2006. The Shoe Collection is always happy to support students and future shoe designers and is delighted to be the home for some of their designs.

The design concept of the Nandi boot is to celebrate the traditional arts and crafts practiced by the Southern African Tribe called the Ama-Ndebele (pronounced ama-sinde-bele).  They were once a warrier tribe whose women folk maintain the family homestead by decorating and crafting garments and artifacts. The geometric design lines are a tradition that has been followed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, through verbal and visual teachings. The vibrant symbols and expressions represent communications of personal prayers, self-identification, values, emotions, and marriage. Unfortunately this practice of art and design is dwindling due to the pressures of the modern world.

 In terms of design the boot upper is decorated with geometric lines resembling the wall decoration of Ndebele houses, highlighting the identity and uniqueness of the art.

The fastening a ‘one pull’ toggle-pulley on the inner-bootleg is a self-developed idea, which has been created to allow the wearer to slip their foot in easily and to quickly draw the rope at the top of the boot, which will automatically fasten the bootleg without reaching down.

Nandi Boot

Nandi Boot

The brass rings on the heel and the brass welting on the forepart, are a concept developed and inspired by the brass neck choke rings that the Ndebele women wear, these ring are presented to them on their wedding day by their husbands. The rings on the heels have are loose fitting, as the idea is to create a subtle alluring jingle sound, while walking.

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