Back in biblical days how did sandal wearers

… keep from going crazy from grit between the sandal and foot?

I’ve recently embraced my geezer-hood and started wearing sandals – but without socks – and so long as I stick to pavement everything is fine but as soon as I start walking on the former sea bottom we have around here no matter how careful I am to not shuffle I quickly get sand and larger grit between the bottom of my foot and the sole of the sandal.

It bugs me no end so as soon as I get back to pavement I pause to remove the sandal to brush it and my foot off – I figure doing that while still on the dirt is futile. So, did Jesus go around vaguely annoyed all the time? No wonder he was grouchy at the money-lenders in the temple.

I wear sandals all summer. Yes, sand gets in between the sandal and my foot, but I am not bothered in the slightest.

The same sort of people who could walk on almost anything barefoot were probably not bothered by a bit of sand or the odd pebble. We are spoiled.

Ancient peoples were probably 90% callus from the ankle on down. Having spent quite a lot of my formative years close to beaches, I can confirm that you get used to flipflop grit pretty quickly.

Nice post/username combo, too.

One thing is that foot-washing was apparently common, based on the way it is discussed in the Gospels at least.

It could be worse. They could have been wearing closed shoes. Sand in those is a lot bigger nuisance.

With sandals, all you have to do is give the foot a bit of a shake and the sand falls back out.

Probably because they didn’t go from enclosed shoes as you did. It was probably much better than no shoes.

Much like you might ask, how did people bear the heat before air conditioning? They didn’t know any better.

You can also just take your sandals off and walk around the beach barefoot, and/or wash your feet and sandals off with water when you leave.

I don’t usually do biblical references, but I was under the impression that Matthew 10:14 mentioned sand in sandals. Not quite :

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Exactly, the host of any tent would have a servant offer water to wash your feet off.

The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys.
Genesis 43:24


I’d do my share of barefootin’ in my younger, summer days. I’d have tender feet in the Spring when I first start walking barefoot outside; even the grit from the concrete sidewalk is owwies. By late Aug, I could walk on the hot asphalt in the midday sun & step on a good sized pebble & barely flinch. I’m sure they had better year-round calluses than I got in a few months.

Outside each house in Thailand is a place to wash and dry your feet and store your sandals.

But is walking around always barefoot better than just wearing sandals? Which some people did; cf. Exodus 3: “And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”

Sand is the least of my worries here. Needles from cholla and other cacti are much worse. Thorns from bougainvillea are the worst - they’ll go through the soles of most footwear if you step on them. Common landscape plant around here, lots of little pieces after pruning.

I don’t wear sandals in anything resembling desert.

Not just feet - ritual bathing as part of the cleansing process seems to have been an integral part of early Judaism.

I where Keen sandles. They have a closed toe and are generally more shoe like. I like the protection it gives the foot. But yeah sand sucks. I won’t just shake out of those.

Maybe not - I’m not going to say I can walk on almost anything barefoot. But assuming the sand is not burning hot, I’m more comfortable barefoot than wearing sandals. There’s something about having sand between my foot and the sandal that bothers me in a way that just walking on sand doesn’t.

My parents both wear Birkenstocks, or something similar, which have a lip all around the edge of the footbed. It means that it traps sand and stuff quite easily. Flip flop wearers generally have fewer problems with sand getting trapped, IMHO.

The sandals Jesus probably wore would have been plain leather, so any grit would easily fall back out. Similar sandals described and pictured here:
What did Jesus really look like? - BBC News.

It’s an upgrade from barefoot.

What @Kayaker said. It’s not a positive but once you are used to it, and compared to the alternatives, it’s nothing.