Consider the following sandal:

enter image description here

Construction of a similar sandle can be seen in this video. The mid-sole is visible at time 1:03, after which the video shows wrapping the sole in leather and then gluing on the bottom sole (separate wear pads for the sole and heel). It has the following properties:

  • Wrapped by leather, with an inside that is flexible and has a rubbery feel to it as it absorbs shocks the normal way you would expect a shoe would do. This inside is what I refer to as the midsole. My question is to find out the material that is often used here.
  • There is no top-sole as the foot sits on leather.
  • There is a bottom sole, which is a thin light-brown layer. This is the other sole that I would like to know its material.


  1. What is the mid-sole material used here?
  2. Is the mid-sole chopped from a bigger block? Or is it molded in this shape?
  3. What is the bottom-sole material?
  • 1
    You might need to contact the manufacturer to get the materials in a specific shoe. The flexible, rubbery material in better-quality shoes is often cork. It can be cut to size/shape from a sheet, or molded from ground cork with a binder. Otherwise, it might be something like EVA foam or rubber. If the bottom sole is thin and not leather, it is likely a synthetic material. There are many off-the-shelf soles made from a number of rubber or plastic materials. If you add the manufacturer name to the question, it could help readers narrow down the construction.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 12, 2022 at 17:11
  • @fixer1234 - it's not a specific brand. I just Googled Arabic sandal.
    – caveman
    Jul 12, 2022 at 17:35
  • It looks like Arabic sandals are basically a general style of somewhat open sandal, usually without a heel enclosure or strap for easy on/off, with many variations in the specific design. The term also seems to apply to the upper part of the shoe; there's a lot of variation in the design of the sole. Soles range from flat, made of several layers of leather, to thick wedges like in your picture, with more complicated construction. Varieties are made all over the Middle East and Europe, among other places. There is no standard construction for the sole; it would be model-specific.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 12, 2022 at 17:58
  • @fixer1234 - Sorry :D, this: This sandal is what I am looking for. If you seek to time 1:03, is that "cork"? If so, I guess that part is resolved. What's pending is the bottom sole
    – caveman
    Jul 12, 2022 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


Based on the video, the body of the sole wedge looks like cork (could be several sheets glued to create the wedge shape). The cork grain looks like sheets of solid cork rather than molded ground cork. Cork is very commonly used for this purpose.

That was wrapped with leather (wet molded).

The light brown wear pads glued to the sole and heel are some kind of off-the-shelf, molded rubber or plastic (hard to tell specifically from the video). The use of two separate pads suggests it might be a harder, stiffer plastic for better wear; separate pads allows the sole to flex more easily (but it could also just be a cost-saving measure).

  • I have a note about an extra benefit of having a 2 separate bottom soles: it helps enhancing the balance of the wearer while standing. This separation, essentially, mimics the traditional middle gap, or arc, commonly found in normal shoes, which -themselves- mimic the arc found naturally under a human foot, which has a balance-enhancing effect, at least against rough terrain. This gap would be higher, the rougher the target train is. The fact that this gap is small in such sandals suggests that they're not for, say, hiking, but for normal day-to-day walking on relatively flat terrain.
    – caveman
    Jul 13, 2022 at 6:05
  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 15, 2022 at 21:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .