Shoes can be made out of many different materials including wood, rubber, textiles, straw, plastic, metal or even paper. All you need are soles which are strong enough to protect your feet and uppers to keep the shoes on your feet.
Leather is probably the most popular material and many different skins can be used from crocodile to goat, from ostrich to sharkskin.
These shoes are made from elephant leather. Elephant hide is very, very thick, often 10 – 12 cms, and to make the leather more flexible and easier to work with the leather has been split. With very thick hides, the middle split can be separated into multiple layers until the thickness prevents further splitting. Apparently only the large ears of an elephant are suitable to make useable leather from.
These shoes were made for the donor in the 1970s, but have never been worn.