Thousand Miler's - Masai Extreme Footwear

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As you traverse the rugged terrain of the Masai Mara in East Africa on a Kenya Safari Holiday or a Tanzania Safari Holiday you may perchance have the luck of meeting a Masai Warrior! The Masai are famous for thier Masai Sandals, enjoy our blog and discover why!

The Masai are extremely amazing people who typically live around the southern areas of Kenya and northern region of Tanzania, in fact they know no borders, carry no passports and freely cross between the two countries as they have done since time immemorial. 

As well as wearing the red blanket or 'shuka' and the colourful beads there is something else that sets their unique appearance apart!

Now, if you look down at their feet you will find the most astonishing pair of shoes you have ever seen!  But you have to be there to see it and believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are wearing what appear to be some old car tyres!  But on closer inspection the shoes that they are wearing really are made from old car tyres. 

These shoes are called thousand milers and they say they only need 3 pairs in their lives, meaning a Masai on average will walk three thousand miles in a lifetime.

When a vehicle tyre is too worn out or blown out, it is recycled by the Masai into shoes.  They even use the tyres from a motor cycle or a piece of a truck tyre, maybe for extra wear and tear.  The ones from motorcycles look a little like a banana but I guess they take a while to wear in.

These tyres are cut into chunks about the size of your foot and then shaped a little to form a sole.  Further smaller strips are cut and stitched (or nailed) onto the rubber to make straps to hold the shoes on your feet. 

The modern ones are adorned with beads to make them look smart, recently the shoes have become very popular even with tourists taking home a pair as a souvenir. 

Shoes of all shapes and sizes are available, ones for even the smallest children, some for the ladies and plenty for the guys.

When you have walked you thousand miles it must be time to return and buy another pair.

Safari Joe will take you to the Masai Markets so that you can buy yours and start wearing them in, you might even get a few miles under your belt before you go home, and talking of belts they do some very attractive Masai beaded leather belts to match!

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