Archeologists found 5000 year old leather shoes

Leather shoes that last you 5,000 years (and still in style)

One of the remarkable qualities of leather is its durability. Under the right conditions, it can last you a lifetime and that is why regular treatment is so important. But sometimes the conditions are just perfect. This was what happened when someone left their pair of size 4 laced boots in Armenia. It took millennia before they were found in great condition!

Around 3,500 years BC in the Vayotz Dzor province in Armenia, the owner had left their shoes in a cave. The cool and dry conditions, as well as the fact that the shoes had been buried under sheep dung, had kept them perfectly preserved. The leather was made out of cowhide and tanned, which was probably a new form of technology at this time.

But this pair is probably not even the oldest set of footwear. There is evidence that the humble sandal has been around for 7,000 years. The earliest evidence of sandals was found in Missouri, United States. When well cared for, like these shoes, leather can serve you for decades. So who knows how long they were worn before they were buried? 

Find out more about leather properties.

Photograph by Gregory Areshian for National Geographic