It is estimated that about 1 out of 3 Americans over the age of 65 has suffered from bunions to a certain degree at least once in their lives. Bunions are bony lumps that form at the side of your feet whereby the first metatarsal bone gradually gets pushed sideways or protrudes toward the other foot.
High heels or ill-fitted shoes that cramp the toes are one of the main reasons for bunions since the constrained space pushes all our toes together, increasing the pressure on the big toe.
“Fashion can be a pain sometimes” is a statement that can be taken quite literally when it comes to foot fashion, and you will be surprised to know that fashionable shoes that kill the feet have been around since the Middle Ages over 800 years ago—in the form of pointy and curly shoes!
Join us as we explore this peculiar form of fashion, the curled-toe shoes, and find out what are our top picks for the Best Curly Shoes in 2022!
But before that, let us first establish a couple of things!
Read Also: Top 5 Men’s Shoes for Heel Pain When Walking
What are curly (toed) shoes called?
Poulaines or crakows are the most common terms when referring to curly toed shoes. First appearing in archaeological records during the 12th century, curly toed shoes have been falling in and out of fashion periodically, reaching feverish levels of fanaticism (some pointed shoes were so long that it was impossible to walk with them!) during the 3rd quarter of the 15th century.
What are Arabian shoes called?
Balgha or babouche. The original babouche hailed from the Middle East where Bedouins, nomadic Arabs who inhabit the desert regions, began wearing babouches. “Babouche” is actually a French term that comes from the Arabic “babush” or Persian “papush,” which means slippers.
There are two distinct styles of babouches: the ones with a rounded toe, called Berber Babouche, and a pointed toe, called Arabic Babouche.
What are curved shoes called?
- Jutti, Mojri, or Khussa from North India and Pakistan with one of the popular brands, the Salem Shahi Juttiss, named after the legendary Mughal Prince Saleem.
- Poulaines or crakows were footwear that originated from the early Europen Medieval Times (around the 12th century).
- Balgha or babouche in the Middle East was curly toe shoes worn originally by the Bedouins.
Why did knights wear pointed shoes?
The pointed toes of the sabatons (armory knights) served no purpose than to indicate the status of their wearers.
They eventually banned by the most famous knights of all—The Knights Templar.
Their rule book states, “We prohibit pointed shoes and shoelaces and forbid any brother to wear them, for it is manifest and well known that these abominable things belong to pagans.”
Why did people in the Middle Ages wear pointy shoes?
Pointy shoes were worn by both men and women during the Middle Ages, although the aristocrats tended to have much longer pointed toes.
A much longer pointed toe or tip symbolizes a much higher social status and in turn, represents the wealth of the wearer!
Some nobles had shoes with tips so long they had to be tied to their legs to prevent them from falling/tripping over them!
What are the Best Curly (Toed) Shoes of 2022?
Type of Curly Shoe
Curly Toe (Yes/No)
No. Slightly curved
Crakows - Curly (Toed) Shoes of the Middle Ages
The original curly toe shoes called crakows were thought to be named after a Polish city, Krakow, and started coming into fashion in 1382 when Richard II married Anne of Bohemia.
Both the menfolk and womenfolk wore them, although men with higher nobility (the aristocrats) tend to have much longer pointed toes, sometimes up to 5 inches, requiring these pointed toes to be tied to their legs with a chain of gold or silver!
They were worn by the people who could afford them, with their tips commonly stuffed with moss or any other types of filling to keep its shape. Essentially, these pointed shoes were the status symbol for the rich, who could afford to wear such impractical shoes.
The length of the shoe tips represents how wealthy they are. The longer the pointed tips are, the harder it is to do manual labor which symbolizes that the people wearing them are of a higher stature.
The fad of pointed shoes came to an end in 1368 (France) when King Charles V prohibited them as it was reportedly tough for those who wore them to kneel in prayer.
As for England, King Edward passed a law which dictated that crakows shouldn’t be longer than 2 inches at their pointed ends in 1463. By the end of 1475, the crakows were no longer in fashion.
Read Also: Toms and Bobs – Similarities and Differeces
Types of Crakows/Poulaines in Modern Day Fashion
Relive the feeling of being ogled by having long pointed-tip shoes with intricate medieval western embroidery to boot with Santimon’s Chelsea Leather Dress Shoes!
Be the talk of the party with these elegant loafers! Embellished with high-end metallic ornaments at its uppers and equipped with a durable outsole and a lusciously red and comfortable insole, these pair of “modern-day crakows” will leave people talking for days!
JITAI’s modern take on the pointed crakow in the form of these highly fashionable slip-ons! Made out of faux leather with a rubber sole, these slippers will get heads turning and are perfect to be used for trips to the bar, shopping, or just a leisurely stroll down the park!
Wedding Shoe Loafers
These classy and casual lifestyle loafers are the perfect crakow replacement.
Featuring a metal-buckled design and a backless heel, these loafers are designed with comfort and style in mind!
Elegant and stylish, these loafers are perfect for formal functions such as weddings and parties!
Deck yourselves out in these party shoes that look absolutely stunning! These loafer shoes are the epitome of elegance and taste. Showing off your sense of style and refinement is never easier with these, the modern-day equivalent of crakows!
Babouches - Curly (Toed) Shoes of the Middle East
The babouche comes from the Persian word papush which means pa, or foot, and push, or to cover. Its history dates back centuries, to around 300 B.C, in fact, where they first appeared in the Arab-Muslim world and were worn by women to cover their toes out of modesty.
A babouche is made out of leather, and the artisan who crafts such masterpieces is called a babouchier.
A babouchier must always keep his hands dry and clean before handling the grained goat skin. The goat skin forms the uppers of the babouche while the calf skin that forms that sole of the shoe.
A slight bit of moisture will cause the leather to lose its form.
This famous pair of slippers were worn by everyone—by men, women and children. Everyone chooses their pair, called belgha (for men) and charbil (for women).
Everyone wears them regardless of social status, the rich or the poor, even the elderly and kids.
Whatever their design or model, these shoes are perfect for both traditional and fashionable outfits. A bright-colored pair with patterns and embroidery is perfect for weddings and celebrations, while a plain and simple pair is usually worn at home.
The babouche can be divided into 2 main types:
- Berber Babouche which is very solid and has a rubber sole with a rounded tip. Used mainly outdoors, it has a leather lining inside to help with perspiration and to keep the feet cool.
- The Arab Babouche, also called the “traditional babouche” or the term “Arabian shoes” as we know it. They are made out of leather or sabra (vegetable silk) and usually come pointed and sometimes curled up at the toes. They are very elegant and spread to Europe in 1542, by the colonial expeditions to North Africa.
Types of Babouches in Modern-Day Fashion
Babouches for Men
These are the modern-day equivalent of the traditional babouche. Check out the various designs below!
Made from high-density EVA footbed with Altron heel cushion and a durable TPR sole, these modern-day babouche equivalents are a treat to be worn!
Horus Artesanía de Egipto Moroccan Slippers
Made from genuine leather, these Moroccan Slippers are the definition of comfort! Handmade by artisans at Marrakech and handsewn in the traditional way, these babouches are as authentic as it gets!
Gueliz “Amir” Moroccan Shoe
Another modern-day babouche that is as true to the traditional version as they can get are the Gueliz “Amir” Moroccan leather mule.
These all-leather slippers have a thick fleece under the arch of the foot to ensure excellent comfort and better cushioning.
Appreciated for their chic and authentic style, these shoes will delight you with the suppleness of their leather that ages beautifully and gets even more supple over time!
Babouches for Women
Filled with intricate embroidery and fancy patterns, these traditional slippers are bound to make heads turn and get you noticed no matter the type of look that you are trying out for the day!
Moroccan Babouche Summer House Slippers
Classically styled shoes that brings comfort and warmth to your tired feet after a long day, these embroidered house slippers for women bring a touch of the traditional to your style!
Imported from Morocco, these shoes are handmade by highly skilled artisans with soft quality material and a thick nonslip sole for extra comfort in every step.
Entirely handsewn and made from 100% genuine leather, the Gueliz Monia is ideal for both the outdoors and also at home!
Try on these delightfully traditional pair of shoes with a modern twist, and relish in its soft and supple leather insole that is handsewn to perfection, ensuring extreme comfort and the best cushioning!
UGGs Women’s Coquette Slipper
Never expected to see UGGs mentioned here, did you? Well, the UGGs Coquette Slipper looks every bit like the traditional babouche and are as comfortable to boot!
Take your self-care seriously with this slipper. As soft as it is versatile, the Coquette features soft sheepskin and a lightweight sole that can be worn both indoors and out.
Juttis - Curly (Toed) Shoes of North India
Juttis are traditional Indian footwear dating back to the period of 200 B.C. Other names used for the Punjabi Juttis are jooti, khussa, and mojri. Their origins can be traced back to the Mughal Empire and were recorded to be first used by Indian royalty in the 16th century, adorned with gold, silver, pearls, and gemstones.
These traditional Indian juttis were created using intricate embroidery techniques that combines various materials such as silk threads, beads, and sequins, all woven together to form a piece of art in the form of the jutti.
How are juttis made?
- Rawhide is first processed into tannin, which comes from the Kikkar tree.
- The treated leather is then cut into several sections, which are later used as the foundation of which the shoe is built on—the midsole.
- The uppers of the shoes are made out of either leather or cloth. Shells, beads, mirrors, and bells are among common adornments that decorate the shoes’ uppers.
- The shoe is then stitched together by the craftsman (called a Raijer Mochi) and held together with a combination of stitching and glue.
Types of Juttis and Their "Modern-Day Curly Toe Versions"
Juttis for Men
The definition of “Aladdin” shoes, these Punjabi juttis are as true to the word and term “curly shoes” throughout my research on this topic!
As you may have noticed, curly shoes has well and truly fell out of fashion in today’s history with ONE EXCEPTION—the Punjabi jutti!
These shoes has stayed true to traditions and its form—curly and pointed toes!
Chandrakala Handmade Ethnic Jutti Mens Mojari
Mojari/Jutti shoes can be carried well with any attire, be it Western, Indo Western, or traditional.
Showcasing Indian culture and heritage, Mojari shoes add a unique, graceful, and royal touch to your style statement.
Wearing these shoes will make any man stand out from the crowd!
Step n Style Men’s Flat Full Black Punjabi Jutti
Another must-have curly toe shoe in the form of the Punjabi jutti is the Step and Style Men’s Flat Full Black Punjabi Jutti!
Made from genuine leather and meticulously handsewn and put together, these pair or traditional shoes are bound to bring out the style in you!
BombayFlow Punjabi Handmade Shoes
BombayFlow is another brand of handmade Punjabi juttis that makes authentic and aesthetically pleasing traditional curly toed shoes!
This pair of electric-blue beauties comes with an extremely pointed toe perfectly tucked to the top with hand-stitched accuracy and perfection!
Juttis for Women
Step & Style Punjabi Jutti
This punjabi jutti is very popular because you can wear them with every formal dress or any casual attire that you desire!
Being 100% handmade with high-quality foam, these khussa shoes are extremely comfortable. This is a must-have for your collection of curly shoes!
Chandrakala Women’s Traditional Handmade Khussa
Mirrors, also known as shisha in Hindi, are glassworks that date back to the 17th century.
The juttis are attractive and go well with any clothing. Although the mirror work is silver, dabka work and black threads are used in the embroidery.
BombayFlow Handmade Punjabi Jutti Flats Handmade – Gold Shoes
This shoe is meticulously designed with a sparkling gold finish and a tempting red faux velvet.
These Punjabi jutti for women have a polished finish and silky-soft texture that feels smooth on your feet and gives off a luxurious vibe.
This flat-soled wedding dress shoes comes with rich embellishments that provide an ethnic appeal to your shoes!
Curly toe shoes are far and in between and have been notoriously difficult to find in today’s fashion footwear.
But fret not as we have compiled a list of Best Curly Toe Shoes in 2022 for you, and, as you can see, the traditional Punjabi jutti has come out on top as the Best Curly Toe Shoes of 2022!
Type of Curly Shoe
Curly Toe (Yes/No)
No. Slightly curved