The Evolution of Shoes

Zaina Waheed, Leopard Life Staff Writer

We bring them everywhere. Some people even travel the world with them. We take shoes everywhere without even thinking about it.  Shoes have provided protection for our feet for a long time, and people use them in their everyday lives. As things change, shoe styles have evolved into our shoes now.

“[They wore] more natural materials, such as like leather,” said Presley Senn, 8.

In the 50’s, shoe production increased drastically. Shoes were made out of more natural material, but changed in the 50’s when things like plastic were more common. Companies were trying to make shoes more comfortable and lighter. This is when the saying, “There’s a shoe for every occasion,” started. Most people had slippers to give them warmth in their homes. Women wore Stiletto heels, flats, ballet shoes, saddle shoes, and penn loafers. Men wore leather shoes, loafers, and boots, especially cowboy boots, according to “1950s Shoes: Styles, Trends, & Pictures,” on retrowaste.com.

“The new generation wanted to be comfortable, free spirited and cheap,” stated Debbie Sessions, the author of, “1960s Menswear Outfits | 60s Fashion for Guys,” on vintagedancer.com.

In the 60’s, shoes were very inexpensive and became more comfortable. At the time, tall high heels weren’t as common for women. Most women wore boots, sneakers, flats, and pointed flat shoes. Men mostly wore suede lace up oxfords, penny loafers, boots, and leather sandals.

“[There was] more comfort,” said Lorenzo Osteguin, 8.

In the 70’s, some things changed, but it was a continuation of the 60’s. Women wore clogs, boots, wedge heels, and vintage dance shoes. Men wore platform boots, cowboy boots, Birkenstocks, oxford shoes, and Cuban heels, according to Taylah Brewer, the writer of, “70s Fashion for Men (How to Get the 1970s Style),” on thetrendspotter.net.

“The styles got wackier, the trends more extreme, and some classic styles made their debuts,” wrote Christian Roemer, the author of, “The 10 Shoe Styles of the 80s,” on southtree.com.

Shoes were trendier and more unique in the 80’s. There was more of a hip hop style. People wore Converse All Stars, ReBook pumps, Air Jordans, Jellies, and Vans.

“From platform sandals to chunky trainers, check out… the shoes that defined the ‘90s,” wrote Madeleine Crenshaw, the writer of, “The Shoe Trends That Defined the ‘90s,” on footwearnews.com.

In the 90’s, a lot more new shoe styles came out. Popular shoes included chunky sneakers, square toed shoes, sansald, and flip-flops.

“[They have] a lot more variety,” said Kevin Magee, 7.

In the 2000’s, shoes were similar to today. People wore sandals, heels, Adidas shoes, boots, etc, according to Julia Musto, the writer of, “11 Shoes You Were Obsessed With In The ‘00s,” on bustle.com. They wore shoes that we continue to wear, and there are not many differences between what we wear now, then from what we wore then.

Shoe styles changed significantly from the 50’s to the 00’s. By forming new ideas, shoe styles will most likely continue to change.