Details of the back of a terracotta warrior’s footwear, in China, Qin Dynasty.

An analysis of the sculpted shoes on the statues in China’s Terracotta Army, which dates back about 2200 years, suggests that their real-life soldier equivalents had surprisingly flexible footwear

Terracotta Army shoes reveal secrets of ancient Chinese footwear

The shoes of a kneeling archer from the Terracotta Army

David Davis Photoproductions RF/Alamy Stock Photo

Shoes worn by the warriors of the first emperor of China, famously depicted by the Terracotta Army, were surprisingly flexible and slip resistant, according to a reconstruction of the ancient footwear. The replicas help build a better picture of what Qin dynasty soldiers may have worn and how they might have aided them in battle.

The Terracotta Army was discovered in 1974 near Xi’an, China, and is formed of more than 8000 sculptures depicting the armies of the founder of…