Beginning with the pontificate of John XXIII, the popes have worn red Moroccan-leather loafers with white cotton socks in both everyday and liturgical contexts. It wasn’t always that way: For centuries and up through the pontificate of Pius XII, “the popes also made use of richly embroidered velvet slippers, often sewn with gems, which matched the colors of the liturgical vestments,” notes The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church by James-Charles Noonan Jr.

It is often claimed that Pope Benedict XVI wears red shoes made by Prada. In fact, they are made by an Alps-based shoemaker, according to Zenit.

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