The Evolution of Fashion – how shoes have changed over the past decades!
In the 1920s, women's shoes would often feature high and wide heels whether on a pump or loafer style shoe. Many women would even wear heeled shoes with their swimming costumes as a mark of femininity. Oxfords of varying styles and colors were popular too with men and women, as well as lace up boots. During the 1930s strapped heels and pumps surged in popularity, while more traditional styles of heels were still worn. For men and women, laced leather leisure shoes were popular for outdoor activities and exercise during the decade. In the forties, as a result of the war, shoes became more conservative and practical. Women's shoes were usually made with flatter heels and had either cork or wooden soles.
Flat shoes, sandals, heels and pumps with rounded toes and feminine lines were worn by women in the 1950s. Saddle shoes, white lace up shoes with brown or black leather accents, were also popular for both men and women. Canvas basketball shoes (high-tops) or black leather oxfords were worn by men. Suede shoes also enjoyed moments of popularity during this decade. In the 1960s, black slip-on boots (most likely of leather or faux leather material) were popular for men and women, and heels became thinner on pumps. Vinyl boots, moccasin-style loafers with wide heels, wedge heels, and slip-on heels with leather cut-out patterns were all popular in the 1970s. Sandals and western style cowboy boots were also popular with both men and women.
In the 1980s, pumps were designed with higher and thinner heels than in decades before and they became more of a hit. For casual wear, tennis shoes (both high-tops and standard ankle high shoes) and leather dress shoes were very popular. Flats became popular too, especially with working women. By the 1990s, styles had returned to Earth and the casual look was key. During this decade leather substitutes became more popular due to environmental concerns, and cork-soled sandals like Birkenstocks defined the alternative look early in the decade. Walking shoes had bulkier heels, and gym-type athletic shoes were most people's every day choice. As with the late 1980s and 1990s, branding became a driving force behind shoe sales. People would show off their Reebok, Nike or Adidas shoes with pride and special editions would sell for hundreds of dollars.