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Why does the pope wear red shoes?

The details behind the color of his shoes, explained.

By Kim Anne Mar 14, 2013 9:21PM

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

20Comments
Mar 21, 2013 10:39PM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 20, 2013 3:53PM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 16, 2013 8:01AM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 15, 2013 10:02PM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 15, 2013 9:50PM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 15, 2013 8:31AM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 15, 2013 2:31AM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

Mar 15, 2013 2:00AM
avatar

Pope's red shoes \\ Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/CorbisIf you’re wondering why the pope wears red shoes, you’re not alone. It’s a good question! It’s a tradition that’s been going on for quite some time. Since the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI would retire and Pope Francis would be his replacement, (as announced Wednesday) the world watched as he made his debut. And it left many people wondering, where does the tradition of red shoes come from?

According to NY Books, red shoes were originally worn by aristocrats (people who were rich and could afford expensive colored leather). 

Here, NY Books gives an explanation of why, exactly, the pope does wear red shoes!

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis
"Romans knew that the timetable for the papal conclave would be a quick one when the three sets of vestments prepared for the new pontiff — in small, medium, and large sizes — had already disappeared from the display window of Gammarelli, the ecclesiastical tailors, on Friday, March 8. The three white wool satin cassocks had appeared on March 4, along with one scarlet capelet, the mozzetta, trimmed in white ermine, versatile enough for one size to fit any aspiring pontiff, a single pair of red kangaroo-leather shoes in a medium size and a white moiré silk zucchetto, the pontifical skullcap. Though they are loaded with Christian significance, many of these articles of clothing actually have a far more ancient pedigree.

Living: Women who inspire us 

Those red shoes, for example — which the pontifex emeritus has now given up in favor of a more ordinary brown pair from Mexico — may symbolize the blood of Christian martyrs. But when red shoes were the height of fashion in Etruscan Rome, that is, 500 years before the birth of Jesus, they designated the wearer as an aristocrat, someone who could afford leather that had been colored with the most expensive dye in the Mediterranean, Phoenician “purple,” actually scarlet red. (It was produced by scoring the bodies of mollusks and ranged in color from blue to red, with red the most prized shade). The leather itself came not from kangaroos, of course, but from the Chianina cattle, who came to Italy together with the Etruscans and provided the ancestral form of Florentine beefsteak."

More from Living: 18 tips for dressing well this Spring 

Tell us: Do you like the pope’s red shoes?

Bing:
Latest news on the new pope

Get the latest news on Pope Francis

More from Living:
First lady style: In her shoes
The 40 most stylish women in history
Men in heels

Photo: WPA Pool/Getty Images, Gianni Dagli Orti/Corbis


 

 

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