The Strappy Shoe of the 1920s

LaRee Johnson Bruton, Ladies’ Vintage Accessories. Click to enlarge

I love the elegant shapes of 1920s shoes, examined in some detail in the blog Witness2Fashion.  (See also here).  One fashion alternative from the era was the shoe with many straps.  I found a photo of a pair, this one with high heels, in the informative book Ladies’ Vintage Accessories. 

Click to enlarge

If my photo collection is at all representative, many older women shied away from the delicate pumps of the era. Perhaps they didn’t offer enough support for those who had started to worry about stability.  But not everyone wanted to go around in sensible oxfords.

The strappy shoe offered a stylish alternative.  I have seen them with many different numbers of straps, at many different heel types.

Some came with center straps and looked a little like the high fashion “cage” shoes of that the late 2000s, but with much lower heels.

Perhaps strappy shoes served as a marker distinguishing those in later middle age from the truly elderly, as we see in the photo above.

Whatever the case, I wish someone would consider reissuing the style.  I would snap it up right away.


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2 Responses to The Strappy Shoe of the 1920s

  1. I would dread seeing swollen feet bulging out between all those straps. But a single or double strap does appeal to me, aesthetically as well as practically.
    Have you discussed the habit of women — American women of the 20th century — valuing small feet so much that they kept squeezing into the shoe size they wore in their twenties? My mother and aunt were probably guilty of this, and shocked when — by eight or nine — my shoe size was bigger than theirs. And they had the chiropodist bills to go with their tiny shoes. P.S. Thanks for the mention!

  2. Robyn says:

    Can’t get enough shoes. I would really like a pair of the kind like those worn by the older woman in your last photo. And something resembling the nurse’s shoes I remember – the ones with a small heel and lots of little perforations.

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