Sandals in Uganda, Men, Women & Kids

Ugandan sandals

Sandals are open foot wear that is put on by both women and women. Sandals are not the easiest to pick out from the crowded markets in Uganda and you need to have a lot of patience to pick out the best sandals at the best prices.

There is no exact date that shows when people started making sandals in Uganda but it has become a good trend and many people have earned a lot of money from sandal making. Many people from the slums of Uganda like Bwaise have earned a lot of money from making sandals from tyres. There are many ways that sandals can be made and the tools used to make them and these include the following:

uganda sandals

Tools used in making sandals


  • The Protective gear


This reduces the particles flying from the making of shoes from damaging any part of your body. They also help in regulating the intake of the bad smell and dust. The protective gear to be used in sandal making includes eye gaggles, face mask and protective hand gloves.


  • A knife or cutting material


The knife should be sharp always and this helps in cutting up the leather. This also helps in the soling of the different materials.

Note that when you are cutting the material the knife is parallel to the body so that you do not cut yourself. You can get the sharp cutting knives from the different hardware shops around the country.


  • A Sand paper


There are two types of sandpaper that can be used in sandal making and these are the hard and soft sand paper. The soft sand paper helps in smoothing the edges of the sandals once they are made and the hard sand paper is used to for soiling and preparing the leather before gluing the sandals.


  • hole punching machine


These are used to put holes into the sandals where the straps can be added to design the sandals. There is one of hole punching machine that is the basic rotary punch and this helps in punching holes that are used for button studs. These can also be bought at hard wares around town.


  • A brush for gluing


The gluing brush helps in applying glue on the sandals. These gluing brushes are used only once since the glue spoils he bristles and the best to use should at least be 1.5 centimeters wide to avoid the glue from affecting your hands.


  • A cutting mat


A cutting mat helps in protecting the surface that you are cutting from. These can be bought from the different craft shops in the country.

Materials used in making sandals in Uganda

There are different materials that are used when making sandals in Uganda and these include the following:


  • Leather


Leather is sold around town and can be got at different prices depending on where you buy it from and it comes in different shades of color the most common being black and brown. Leather is commonly used to make sandals because it is long lasting and beautiful to use although it is quite expensive.


  • Tyres


Old car tires are being used in Uganda to make sandals and they are currently trending on the market. They are cheap and can be afforded by the different people in the country be it low income earners to the rich. They are easy to wash and they are made by cutting up old tires to into the different designs and then sold off into the market.


  • Rubber


Rubber can be got on the market in Uganda and it also comes in different colors. This is burnt in a boiler and melted before being designed into the different styles of sandals that are sold. The fumes that come from the boiling of the rubber is very dangerous and you need to put protective gears to avoid inhaling them.


  • Wood


Wood sandals are becoming a trend on the Ugandan market because of their durability. These are made from wood which is designed in different sizes and either leather or any other material to act as clasps for the feet to stay intact while putting them on.


  • Hides and skin


This is now the most used material in Uganda at the moment and it is trending. This is designed to make different sizes and designs of sandals and the different soles that are put on the skin and hide after it is refined to become softer.

A few beads can be added on the straps of the refined hide to add beauty to the sandals.

Types of sandals in Uganda


  • Rope sandals


These are made using rope like laces placed on a shoe soles. They are beautiful and unique sandals which are mostly handmade and they are adjustable according to one’s size of the leg. In order to make the rope sandals you will need a knife, tape measure, glue, ropes and a lighter to make the sandals.


  • Leather sandals


Leather sandals are very comfortable to wear and easy to clean. These are made using different designs, patterns, sizes and models. They might be a bit expensive but they are long lasting.  A simple way to make leather sandals is by cutting the leather into sizes that can be used in making the shoes and these are sown onto the soles and glued to make sure that they are intact and then shine is added to the leather sandals to add a shine to the sandals.

These are easy to clean although they should be kept away from water as it spoils them. Other than that they are durable.


  • Wood sandals


These are made from wood and they can be decorated using straps of either leather or denims which are strong and long lasting in nature. The good thing about wood sandals is that they are dust and water resistant, durable and easy to maintain.


  • Rubber sandals


These are made from rubber and they can easily be put on during rainy seasons since they are rarely affected by the rain and are easy to clean. They are very comfortable to put on and are one of the easiest sandals to maintain in Uganda.

What to consider when buying sandals in Uganda


  • The price of the sandals


When we go out to buy sandals, we always have our budgets that we plan on. Good sandals can be expensive but if you do not have enough money to purchase them, it is better not to get them and buy something that is within your means.

Different shops sell the same sandals at different prices therefore before purchasing your chosen pair, walk around the different shops to find out the different prices and then go with the least price so that you can save.


  • The occasion that they are going to be used


There are different types of sandals and all these have an occasion that matches them. Before you purchase sandals, find out if they are multi-purpose and whether they can work on several occasions because if you purchase sandals that work all round the different occasions, it saves on the money.

But you can also purchase those one time sandals that work on different occasions although this might be a bit expensive in the long run.


  • Are the sandals comfortable


Before purchasing sandals, you need to try them and see whether they are comfortable enough for you to wear and walk with them. Choose sandals that will not cause you to have a lot of blisters due to weather change and also make sure you choose the right size for your feet.


  • Open or closed sandals


There are many specifications o what one wants therefore before you purchase sandals you need to know which type you want and that is whether open or closed toe sandals.

You might want to choose open toe sandals for all round aeration for your toes especially if you are going to informal places like the beach or you can get yourself a pair of closed toe sandals all depending on the occasion and what one is attracted to buy.


  • Are they heeled or not


Sandals come in different shapes that are flat or heeled. You need to which preference you want before you go to the different markets to purchase sandals.

Some people cannot walk with heeled sandals therefore even if the heeled sandals are good, it is better if you get flat sandals so that you are not embarrassed when you walk in them.


  • The color of the sandals


This is also something to consider when it comes to purchasing sandals. There are different shades of colors that one can purchase but the best is a neutral color that matches with almost all the clothes that you have in your wardrobe. You need to buy a color that will not clash with whatever you will be putting on.