‘Izimbadada’ – Traditional Zulu Sandals.🇿🇦

Izimbadada, also known as izingcabulela, are comfortable, durable sandals historically worn by Zulu people in rural KwaZulu Natal. The sandal has a signature rubber look with the soles and straps being made from old car tyres.

Popularly known in Zulu as “izimbadada ” because of the sound they make when walking in them, these traditional sandals have become iconic in South Africa and Zulu culture.

While the sandals have a distinguishable sole made from car tyres, designs differ and often custom-made according to the buyer’s request. This can include cow hide embellished straps to straps that are beaded or embroided.

The shoes are a favourite with Zulu people and have been popularised by Mbaqanga and Maskandi musicians.

Although izimbadada were symbolic with migrant workers in the apartheid era, today, they are a trendy fashion piece and have been replicated abroad as durable and comfortable shoes for day-to-day walking.