Even in the prehistoric times man tried to protect his feet from the cold and the unfriendly ground. He did it by using a piece of hyde, tied to his foot with the help of leather straps. This kind of footwear is  called opanak or (j)opanjak.

The opanak footwear were made out of processed or unprocessed leather, sometimes enhanced with soles. Throughout the centuries, this remained the main footwear of peasants from the Balkans, Romania, Slovakia and, partly, Russia.

In our parts, opanak was used as standard, everyday footwear up until World War II, and since then has still been used but only on special occasions. Different models were developed in different parts of Croatia. The most common types are špagari, remenaši (kaišari), petaši, saraši... Almost every village has its model made different from the rest by various details and decorations. The opanak was gradually replaced by another type of footwear. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, new types reached the countryside from the cities – different types of shoes, at first tailored the same way for both feet, only to be later developed and enriched with solemn shapes and decorations.


Ivan Kruh Vuk, Ulica ruža 62, 10310 Ivanić Grad

phone.: +385 1 2881 449

e-mail: info@opanci-obuca.com

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