I love saddle shoes, I always have and for a vintage loving gal of the 40s and 50s I think it’s important to have a pair in your closet. I do…of course (see below)
Many people when they think of saddle shoes they think of 1950s poodle skirts and Elvis and that is partially true but did you know that the shoes were originally created for athletic use? When? 1906! Yes the saddle shoe was around almost 50 years earlier than many people think.
What does a saddle shoe look like?
Saddle shoes originated from an Oxford shoe (flat heel, lace up leather shoe). The black distinguishing middle piece, the “saddle” was originally created to help support the instep during sports…Surprise surprise! The rest of the shoe is white which was the traditional look but the shoe can also be found in other colours too. Last note: Young college aged men and women wore this shoe
Saddle shoes for everyday wear for women
Saddle shoes moved from an athletic shoe only seen during sports to everyday during the late 1930s, early 40s as young women looked for shoes that were more functional and represented their more active lifestyle. Plus there was a ration on the size of a shoe heel during the war and the low heeled saddle shoe fit the bill.
The shoes could be worn with swing skirts or dresses and bobby socks for a night of jitterbug/Lindy hop or match them with a blouse and pants (rolled up or normal). Here are some great examples of how you could wear your saddle shoes.
As the war ended and 1950s hit almost every young women/college girl had saddle shoes in her closet. The below picture is pretty standard when one thinks of the 1950’s teenager.
So there you have it the brief history of saddle shoes. Now go out and put some in your closet today! eBay and several online websites like “Muffys” can help you with your search.