Indeed three pairs of shoes found in King Tut's tomb have horizontal straps just below the toes. One of the pairs also features semi-circular panels at the shoe's sides.
"These features are not known in any other footwear, sandal or shoe alike," book author Andre Veldmeijer, a Dutch archaeologist who specializes in ancient Egyptian leatherwork, footwear and cordage, told Discovery News in an exclusive interview.
Over 80 pieces of footwear of different sizes were buried with the boy king. Some are much deteriorated, with just fragments or isolated straps remaining. Others, however, have survived in decent condition.
Veldmeijer studied 81 specimens, including simple sewn sandals as well as other elaborately decorated, gold ornamented, brightly colored open shoes.
"They were very colorful, shiny shoes. Some are really unique as they combine shape, special materials and new manufacturing techniques," Veldmeijer said.
Veldmeijer believes it is unlikely that the most elaborate shoes, complete with gemstone inlays and gold sheets, ever touched the ground.