Does anyone else remember Earth Shoes?
They were hideous. Bulbous. Caramel colored and custom-made for Bilbo Baggins. The toe was higher than the heel. How this made you a friend of the Earth, I’m not sure. As I recall, my cousin Paul had a pair of Earth shoes in the 1970s, during his Jew-fro phase.
Maybe it’s a rumor, but I heard that Earth shoes actually ended up really messing up people’s feet, along with their gaits and their prospects for one-night stands. Now these dorky relics are selling for $150 online, especially the “new old stock” – stuff that never sold from stores, and was warehoused for decades.
There were cuter shoes in the 1970s. Desert boots were great. Mostly, guys wore these, but also some girls. These were also called chukka boots. J. Crew is hyping its Desert Boots now, which must look completely new and radical to those born after 1990. They’re not, but go ahead and imagine that you, all you post-Baby Boomers, have discovered them.
Then there were Wallabees. I had a pair! These were sort of the Uggs of the 1970s. Ugly but comfy.
When dressing up, we girls of the 1970s wore Bear Traps, which had wooden soles and leather straps. The photos I have found online when googling “Bear Traps” are all hideously pornographic, so forget the illustration. Maybe I should have added “shoes” to my search.
Shoe styles, obviously, come and go. Hugh reports that in high school, all the girls begin and end the year wearing flip-flops – which are relatively cheap, ranging from $3.99 to $24.00. In between, they all wear Uggs, which are terribly expensive and look like the moon boots of yore. When something dressier is in order, there are gladiator sandals, which I wish had never been re-discovered.
However, as ugly as women’s footwear fashions can be, men’s can be worse. As long as guys never wear grey lace-up dance shoes again, I will be happy.What shoes do you most love/hate from the past or the present? And a big thank you to Emily for writing the last 3 blog posts in a row – I will explain my absence in this space on Thursday.