I was a little slow to collecting actual vintage footwear, mostly because I had never found any in the flesh and was concerned about fit. I'm lucky in that my feet are rather small at a UK 4, but they're also wide which is where my problems with fit come in. The first few I ordered online turned out to be too small, but I managed to sell them on without making any losses and it proved to be a positive learning curve as now I know what to look for to ensure they fit (I recommend measuring the inside length and width of a pair of shoes that fit you well and asking the seller for the measurements of the shoes their selling. Then you can compare if they're similar enough to be comfortable as vintage shoe sizing isn't always reliable to today's equivalents) Good quality vintage shoes in the kinds of mod and groovy styles I like aren't usually cheap, but the most expensive pair I own was £50 and that was for a pair of suede boots so it can be done inexpensively! I feel keeping a price limit stops me from owning a ridiculous amount too, which I could easily do as I love shoes so much.
This 1970s pair are one of my most favourites although I confess I don't wear them often as I usually twist my ankle! They're surprisingly comfortable despite being so high as they're platformed at the front. I found them at a local vintage shop and flipped when I saw they were my size as they were so perfect. I was even more excited when I tried them on and they fit like they were made just for me! These cost £15 and although the condition looked fab when I bought them, I wore them for a night out and the entire sole fell off of one of them (resulting in me having to pull a Sandie Shaw and spend the rest of the evening barefoot) Luckily it was nothing the cobbler couldn't fix!
These aren't vintage, they were £6 from George at Asda, but Mary Jane style shoes were the staple of any '60s mod girl and have been my primary shoe of choice since I was 16 (partly due to my love for Alice in Wonderland as well as the '60s). I've owned many pairs over the years until they've fallen apart, and if I have heavy walking to do these are my go to as they're comfortable as well as cute and suit just about any outfit. You really can't go wrong with a pair of these in your wardrobe! Although these are just from Asda they've lasted me 3 years so far and show no signs of giving up yet.
It occurred to me when browsing my wardrobe one day that to me, purple is a basic that I can throw on with any outfit like others probably think of black as being. These shoes were an Etsy find, and although they fit me like a dream I'm unable to wear them often as the back of them cuts into my heel within minutes drawing blood. Even band aids are no match for these! If anyone knows of any fixes for this issue, I'm all ears, as these would be my staple otherwise.
These are another Etsy find, sold by a seller I follow for only £25 and still in their original box. I saw them as soon as they were uploaded and put them in my basket before anyone else had a chance! They're actually a size US 9.5 and I'm generally a US 6.5 so they're a full three sizes too big. But that's why they created insoles, right?? They're actually very comfortable as they fit just right width-wise and I'm able to tighten the buckle to secure them. They always draw a ton of compliments and I often get asked where I got them from people hoping to snag a pair of their own.
These are undoubtedly one of my best finds - I was excited enough to find such a gorgeous pair of 1970s boots barely ever worn in my size for only £10. You could of knocked me over when I looked inside them and saw they're made by none other than Terry de Havilland, the "Rock n Roll Cobbler of the 1970s" who designed shoes for the likes of David Bowie and Marianne Faithfull among many others. They're real suede and incredibly comfortable.
These are both modern pairs from Topshop purchased last summer. I've not thought much of the so-called '70s revival as a whole, it seems to largely miss the entire point and focus on the blandest styles that look no different to anything else. I was pleased to find these sandals however as I'd been on the hunt for a pair of lace up gladiator sandals for such a long time, but genuine vintage pairs are usually sold for well over three figures. These are pretty accurate in style for the time too. I've debated with myself many times whether to dye the lighter pair purple.
|Pattie Boyd and her gladiator sandals in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco in 1967 with George Harrison|
This pair I thrifted and were originally a tan colour. I'd spent months searching for a pair of green vintage shoes to complete a specific outfit, something I felt had to be common but I kept coming up empty so I decided to get creative. They're originally from Office and I painted them with proper shoe paint so they've stood up well. I think they look accurate to the time period and I'd doubt anyone would know any different if I didn't say!
These are the aforementioned boots that I purchased for £50, but to me they were worth every single penny as I'd been dreaming of owning a pair of boots like these ever since I first got interested in the '60s and they're my exact size and usually sell for far more. They were cheaper because, as I'm sure you can see, one of the top hooks is missing (which I'm sure could be replaced by a cobbler when I make the effort to go in) and some of the lining was coming away inside which I've hand stitched back into place. Structurally they're sound, and I wear them almost every day in autumn and winter.
These shoes were the most recent addition to my collection, too wonderfully mod to pass up. The beautiful tan shoes you see below have been somewhat ruined by constant use which upset me greatly, so I bought these dusky pink ones to take over as a more everyday shoe. Both pairs are original vintage 1960s. The cobbler (whom I've come to know quite personally by now!) thankfully managed to fix my tan shoes up twice, the leather keeps tearing away from the sole at the front so I only save them for very light wear nowadays to try and preserve them for as long as I can.