In Pakistan, there are two main types of traditional shoes worn by men and women. They are Peshawari chappal and khussa. Both are rather unusually shaped and can be extremely decorative. And what’s interesting about such footwear is that these folk shoes appeared centuries ago but are still used in modern Pakistan. Today, Peshawari chappal and khussa are as widely popular among the Pakistani people as they were in the past. We can say this about not so many traditional shoes. But also, Peshawari chappal and khussa are still often handmade using the same techniques as centuries ago, and they are so ornate and lovely.
The Peshawari chappal are mostly male Pakistani folk shoes. Originally, they were used only by men, but recently, there appeared female designs of these traditional shoes. By style, they’re the closest to sandals. By the way, their name “Peshawari chappal” means sandals or flip-flops from Peshawar city of Pakistan. Though, they quickly became popular far outside Peshawar.
These folk shoes are very comfy, durable, and convenient. They’re usually made from soft leather. And the sole sometimes is produced from truck tire, especially for everyday chappal. The back part of a shoe consists of a heel strap with a buckle, so you can regulate the size, which is really handy. One pair of shoes can be even worn by several people or you can easily borrow shoes from a friend if the need arises.
Modern male Peshawari chappal
The style and design of Peshawari chappal can be various. There are daily and festive sandals, more costly and cheaper, simple elegant and richly embellished, more traditional and contemporary (today, Pakistani men often wear Peshawari chappal with jeans or slacks or other modern trousers), etc.
Most often, these shoes are made from simple fine leather in black or brown color. But sometimes, the surface can be adorned with a print or embroidery or stamped patterns. Also, contemporary Peshawari chappal can be made from suede or patent leather, though, this is not traditional.
Due to their convenience, Peshawari chappal are extremely popular among Pakistani men these days. Such footwear perfectly suits the local climate and weather conditions. And they look unique and charming.
These shoes are Pakistani stylized sort of ballet flats. They’re fitting, close-toed, and flat-heeled (or sometimes have a tiny heel). This footwear is very comfy and very decorative. It is originally made from leather, but modern khussa shoes can be produced from various other materials, especially female khussa.
Modern female khussa
Khussa are worn by both men and women, but female shoes are a bit more ornate. At the same time, male khussa are very special shoes because they often have long and upturned toes. They look a lot like Persian shoes we can see in cartoons. These shoes fit better for a special occasion than Peshawari chappal that are more everyday footwear.
The upper part of these shoes is adorned with decorative elements, like embroidery, stamping on leather, mirrors, bells, beads, applique, prints, crystals, etc. Even male khussa can be extremely decorative, embellished with embroidery and gems, made from velvet, suede leather, and so on. Let alone women’s khussa, with their even richer ornamentation.
Modern men's khussa
This traditional footwear also is still worn in Pakistan today. Of course, the designs and embellishments changed somewhat from authentic, but khussa shoes still look perfect, fit festive and everyday outfits, and are comfortable to wear in the local climate. And modern materials and techniques make it even easier to create wonderful ornate khussa footwear.