PICS: These shoes were made for social distancing
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Bucharest - Soon after a
two-month lockdown to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus
eased in Romania in mid-May, Grigore Lup, a Romanian shoemaker
from the Transylvanian city of Cluj, noticed people were not
respecting the rules of social distancing.
So Lup came up with the idea of long-nosed leather shoes to
help keep people apart. They come in a European size 75.
"You can see it on the street, people are not respecting
social distancing rules," said Lup, who has been making leather
shoes for 39 years.
"I went to the market to buy seedlings for my garden. There
weren't many people there but they kept getting closer and
"If two people wearing these shoes were facing each other,
there would be almost one-and-a-half metres between them."
While he also sells ready-made shoes, Lup's shop, which he
opened in 2001, relies heavily on custom orders from theatres
and opera houses across the country, as well as traditional folk
His business ground to a virtual standstill as live events
were cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but
he was cautiously optimistic that sales would recover over time.
Romanian shoemaker Grigore Lup works on a pair of long-nosed leather shoes to help keeping social distance, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. Picture: Inquam Photos/Raul Stef via Reuters
The European Union state, which has reported 18,791 cases of
the coronavirus and 1,240 deaths, began gradually easing its
lockdown on May 15.
Lup, who said he adapted the long footwear from a model he
made for actors, said he had so far received five orders for
social distancing shoes.
It takes him two days to make a pair, which requires almost
one square metre of leather. They cost 500 lei ($115) a pair.
Romanian shoemaker Grigore Lup poses for a portrait while showcasing a pair of his long-nosed leather shoes to help keeping social distance. Picture: Inquam Photos/Raul Stef via Reuters
Now 55, Lup first started making shoes when he was 16,
learning from a cobbler who at 93 today still makes traditional
ethnic Hungarian footwear.