A history of Shoes
- The 1990s - the decade of platform sneakers and Birkenstocks
- 1980s - designer athletic shoes rule
- 1970s - Shoe fashion reaches new heights
- 1940s - Wartime brought dyed animal-skin shoes & ballet pumps
- Early 1900s
- The 1920s: Gatsby-era lace-ups, flappers and fine heels
- 1700s to 1800s
- 1450s to 1600s
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The 1960s was a fantastically young decade – the baby boom resulted in over 70 million teenagers growing up at this time. The Beatles were releasing records, Martin Luther King was dreaming, protests against the Vietnam war were in full swing in the U.S., and Barbie dolls were invented. The young innovative crowd of the 1960s needed some fancy new footwear while dancing the Twist and shoe designers were more than happy to create them. This decade changed the world of shoes dramatically as footwear became more outrageous and more colorful than every before.
You better shop around
Due to the vast array of styles, it’s hard to describe a distinct 1960s footwear look – stilettos were still worn by more conservative women, as were slip-on shoes with clunkier heels. Heels became lower, or in some cases, disappeared altogether. Pointed toes were transplanted by a wider, square toe.
These boots are made for walking
One iconic item of footwear from the era is the knee-high boot. Women began wearing tiny mini-skirts and super-high boots were considered the perfect accompaniment for these barely-there garments. There was a particular craze for white leather knee-high boots. Knee-high or mid-calf length boots made from shiny plastic (in all kinds of bright colors) or made from shiny fake snakeskin were also popular.
Men’s shoes in the 1960s were often simple lace-ups or loafers. Thanks to the sartorial stylings of The Beatles, the Chelsea boot became popular for men – this was a short, plain ankle boot with a low Cuban heel and a pointed toe. These were comic character Austin Powers’s shoes of choice. Later boot styles for men had a squarer, chunky heel and a square toe(like their female counterparts).
Watch a live performance from the Beatles of Twist & Shout below!