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We?re in no way qualified to compete in this summer?s upcoming Olympic games, but we have found a way to channel the historic competition in style.

Straight from the feet of Greco-Roman gods and goddesses, the gladiator is our summer sandal of choice, and a new local brand has us ready for the ancient ruins and the concrete jungle.

After originally moving to New York to study film, designer Kika Vliegenthart became obsessed with leather and apprenticed with legendary hide craftsman Barbara Shaum. Now Vliegenthart makes an ever-expanding line of bags, wallets, belts and shoes out of her studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

We love the no-fuss designs of the classic Gladiator sandal ($335) and plan to sport the leather wraparound Roman version ($285) at modern bacchanalia. Shoes can be ordered in standard sizes, but we recommend staying a step ahead of the open-toed masses with a customized creation.

To order made-to-measure styles, outline your feet from heel to toe and send the renderings along with your preferred style, payment and shipping details to Vliegenthart will handcraft the shoes according to your foot?s specific shape and deliver them in approximately two weeks.

Just in time for the Opening Ceremony.

Kika New York, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Ave., (at Fourth St.), Building 5, Studio 311; 347-575-2328 or

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