1940's Shoes - A Vintage Shopping Guide

Friday, July 2, 2010
The Ultimate Shopping Guide in 1940's vintage style shoes for women

You may have already decided what colour
you wish in your retro or vintage style shoes
and whether you need them for general wear,
dress wear or sports.
But as shoes of any genre differ in so many ways,
you may wish to discover the key styles before you
go shopping for that all important 1940's fashion item !

Most women think of the classic Mary Jane style shoe,
but there's a wealth of interesting names that
no vintage fashionista should go without knowing!




Women's shoes in the 1930's and 1940's were classified as oxfords, pumps, sandals,  and boots ( high shoes).

1940's Oxfords were sturdy and desirable for general-purpose wear because they gave support to the arches and ankles.
Military oxfords were especially popular and serviceable.
Dress oxfords, commonly called ties, were used for dress occasions



1940's Pumps appeared lighter in weight and provided less support than oxfords: many were suitable for wear on dress occasions and for shorter periods of time.




1940's Sandals could appear light or heavy and be worn for sports or evening, depending upon the styling and the materials.



Heels were increasingly popular among women through the 1930's and 1940's and had various names to indicate their height and shape and to describe the material they were made from. For example, there were military heels, low and broad:
Cuban heels, medium in height and less broad than military heels:
Continental heels (thin cuban); high Cuban or French.

Some heels were made of leather and others of wood, but covered in leather ( more common in the more meagre dress code days of the second world war ).

A flat heel was very common, being the most practical, for home, school, or work.



The toes of womens shoes in 1940's fashion were round or square, boxed or soft, open or closed.
The type of shoe you wore made a big difference in how tall you looked or atleast how long your legs appeared.
Shoes with broad instep straps made legs look shorter; low cut oxfords and pumps without ankle straps made legs look longer !

Just to finish off, I'll bet you never heard of a Fluoroscope !
Shoe Fitting was a science those days, as were many aspects of a womans look.



The Fluoroscope for shoe fitting was seen in all shoe stores in the 1940's. It consisted of a vertical wooden cabinet with a hole into which you placed your feet. When you looked through one of the three viewing ports you would see a fluorescent image of the bones of the feet and the outline of the shoes !



Also found this on Modern Mechanic - which highlights a shoe breaking in service for women. Now that's service with an ouch !






When buying vintage retro style shoes as apposed to original shoes, these online stores all come with good reputations:

Revival Retro - which also sells a lovely vintage line in clothing - especially like the Land Girl
outfits !

Dance Store.com ship dance shoes all over the world and are run by genuine jitterbugging
enthusiasts.

Remix Vintage Shoes from LA are a virtual museum of period shoes and they have
a very impressive range of vintage retro style shoes

Vintage Vixen - one of the oldest vintage fashion clothing sites on the web,
have a considerable collection from all genres and they ship all over the world.




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