Durable, smooth, extremely light, and easy to move. That is what a pair of tire sandals or rubber sandals can give you when you try them on. But this kind of sandals can show you more than that.
Tire sandals were born during the war against French colonization in 1947. The sandals were cut out from the military car tires of the French army to create a battlefield item for Vietnamese soldiers in the tough situation at that time – sandals.
Tire sandals were used widely and for a long time by the Vietnamese military. The recycled sandal is simple and rudimentary, yet very durable and convenient. The material from the tire is thick, so the sandals can be used for a long time and retain the original shape. Straps are adjusted to hug the feet so they don’t slip easily. The old Vietnamese soldier not only used these sandals to march on the plains but also up to the forest, over the passes, over the mountains. If it rains, muddy sandals can also be easily cleaned by water.
Sandals are also used by Vietnamese politicians, especially President Ho Chi Minh. Since this type of sandal was born in 1947 until his death in 1969, for more than 20 years, the tire sandals have followed President Ho Chi Minh from the battlefields to the political negotiation tables. That’s why the French also calls these sandals Ho Chi Minh sandals. Vietnamese people also have a song about the image of President Ho Chi Minh and simple sandals. Currently, the sandals are displayed in the Ho Chi Minh museum.
In the post-war period, tire sandals seemed to be forgotten due to little use. This early type of sandal was only available in black, rough, and a bit heavy. The image of tire sandals almost only exists in museums, songs and stories about a difficult time of war in the past.
However, the tire sandals maker Pham Quang Xuan – a man as persistent as his finished products – has never given up on the job of making sandals for more than 50 years since the first day. Although at the time he made tire sandals, the job was not enough to make a living, so he had to do many other jobs.
In 2013, the son-in-law of Pham Quang Xuan, Nguyen Tien Cuong, succeeded to establish the brand “King of tire sandals”. Since then, tire sandals have made significant improvements. From the original shape, tire sandals now have many designs with high and low soles, different straps and colors. The special features of this handmade sandal are that it is extremely light, smooth, and comfortable when walking, feeling like they are hugging your feet. The tire sandals brand has a pretty interesting slogan linking to the enduring vitality of this type of sandal as well as the Vietnamese army “Wearing tire sandals makes you feel stronger”.
In addition, this is also a useful recycled product. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tons of tires are discarded around the world. Taking advantage of tires and recycling them into an everyday item that everyone can widely use makes a lot of sense in terms of the environment.
You can visit and try making tired sandals at 19C Ngoc Hoi, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi. This address is located right in Ho Chi Minh Complex including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, stilt house, and one-pillar pagoda. In addition to the models of sandals, there are also lovely commemorative keychains.
Today, tire sandals are not only a historical proof, a legend but also a valuable product in terms of experience, culture, and economy. Artificial contemporary tire sandals have become a product that is not only super durable but also fashionable. Products have been exported and warmly received in more than 60 countries.