Having a tall body meant I had large feet. No two ways about it, my feet were big. No one in our town, while my sister and I were in late elementary and junior high school age, sold shoes the size of our feet; we had to ride into Los Angeles to buy our shoes. Buying shoes was a big deal. The shoes cost a bit, so Dad told us to "take big steps." That was so, he said, the shoes would last twice as long.
Mom loved the look of saddle oxfords. I hated them. Not only that, but she loved the sparkling look of white bobby socks with all-white oxfords. Her taste wasn't very reliable because she also loved the look of our hair in a ponytail--no bangs--pulled tight on our head. I hated that, too, but that's a whole ‘nother story. I hated bobby socks. First, no one was still wearing bobby socks. Secondly, no one was still wearing saddle oxfords.
The final straw was that the ugly bobby socks with the super ugly all-white saddle oxfords looked like BOATS on our gigantic feet. We couldn't even have two-toned saddle shoes to break up the walking film-screens! Just white. Big ole white boats. See, we were already big girls; now we had to wear these clodhoppers. I was afraid that people would scream as we approached, worried we would stamp down all buildings and trees, people as we stomped our way through town.
|1930s saddle shoes|
Here's the thing about saddle shoes. They used to be really popular. They got their name from the saddle-like shape of the piece of leather sewn across the waist of the shoe, usually in a contrasting 2-tone color. They debuted as a woman’s fashion in the 1920s. First they were for male golfers—the black and white went with their golf outfits—back in the 1910s. But by 1920s, women really liked this casual wear and took them over as their own. In the 1930s, Spalding—the company that made the shoe—started making the shoe "depression affordable" By changing the composition of the sole—from rubber to cork—and the style continued.
By the 1950s, the style hit its full peak of popularity. They were so popular and comfortable that housewives wore them to do their chores. School girls wore them day and night. They wore them with their poodle skirts. They wore them with jeans. They wore them with white bobby socks. Perfect for dancing and playing and sitting in class.
And then came the 60s and the style tanked. The 1960s was a decade of rebellion. We were eager
to forge our own path and balked at the traditions of our parents.
The saddle shoe fell victim to this trend. The iconic black and white
shoes were now seen as a symbol of the establishment that we '60s teens
were rebelling against. The popularity of the saddle shoe dropped
Unfortunately, Mom didn't understand this. Unfortunately, Mom loved the look of all-white saddle shoes with turned down white bobby socks. Also unfortunately, I hated them. I would take off my socks on the bus to school so I at least didn't have those stupid bobby socks that no one else wore. My sister says, "Yes, two of us would get on the bus wearing socks and only one of us would get off the bus at school wearing socks." When I could buy my own clothes, I bought some flats with pointy toes and tried to wear those. Never again would people scream in fear that their town would be stamped to the ground! Of course, my feet were still too big for those flats, but dangnabbit I was going to look like everyone else!
And then I went farther than most. I tried to go to school barefooted. Yeppers, I had some cooooool barefooted sandals that really fooled them for a couple of days. And then *sigh* I was once again sent home to change my clothes. But if I actually returned to school, I wasn't wearing any stupid saddle shoes!
I still have big feet. I was told that a tall person needs large feet to hold them up. With little feet they would simply fall over. No base...it's all about the base. But also know I still don’t like the looks of a saddle oxford. Boats can sink; bare feet rule.
And so it goes