Vintage style shoes


I work at a vintage shop up in Seattle, and I am on my feet 8 hours a day. My wardrobe consists of 50s and 60s dresses, and I am in a bind as to what to wear on my feet. I would love to wear my oxford heels every day, but my feet feel like hell after a while. Any suggestions on a comfortable, vintage style shoe? Thank you!


Even if you are lucky enough to fit into vintage shoes (they usually run small and narrow) their comfort level is quite low. I myself only own a couple pairs of vintage (pre 1960s) shoes, and wear them with caution, both to preserve them, and my feet (and knees, and back...).

I work at a vintage shop too and usually go with mary janes or flats, because as tempting as it is to show off some pretty footwear, at the end of the day it's not worth it one bit. However if you are willing to invest in a good pair of shoes you can have both beauty and comfort (oh modern times!). I've pulled together a collection of vintage inspired shoes from companies that are known for comfort, and a few from Anthropologie, because well, it's Anthropologie :)

1.Black Oxfords by Born, 2.Brown and teal mary janes from Anthropologie, 3.Suede Peep toes by Sofft, 4.Brown military style cropped boots, 5.Wool accented oxfords from Anthropologie, 6.Lace up mary janes by Sofft, 7.Victorian inspired boots by Sofft, 8.Petal shoes by Chie Mihara


Coco said...

Beautiful Selection of Shoe!

I think my favorite as to be number #4-5-8. Now I really wish it was time to shop for shoe! ;)



meena meena said...

#3 and #8, #3 and #8!! eeeeep, i always forget about shoes, now i know what ill be asking for for christmas.

A said...

I love the shoes, especialy number 2 and 3. Gorgeous!

erin said...

wow, i would never have thought to look to these places for comfortable vintage-inspired shoes. thanks for the tip!

i hardly ever wear vintage shoes either. but i am thinking of getting some remix shoes for christmas! ;)

the snail and the cyclops said...

Ohh, what a lovely collection you've rounded up!!!!

I work in a vintage shop as well and footwear is always the bane of getting dressed in the morning - having to plan outfits around my 'comfortable' shoes.

I've found that if I want to wear heels at work, the thicker the heel, the better - and I always wear a pair of comfortable ballet flats for commuting to and fro, and then change into the heels at work! That way it preserves my nice vintage shoes from the dirty trials and tribulations of city pavement, and it's better for my legs at the end of the day!!

But even so, after 8 hours or so on your feet, even the most comfortable shoes end up hurting!

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

So lovely. I really love 1,2,3. xx

Mel said...

What a lovely selection of shoes! I love them all! I too like to buy vintage-inspired new shoes because they're much more comfortable but still attain that vintage feel!

GPROA said...

Ooh, 3 and that last pair almost make me want to tip over into wearing heels.

Miss Emmi said...

I love thick heels like that - when they have a low rise, I actually find them more comfortable than a thin-soled flat! Sadly it's hard to find modern styles like that, so thanks for the links!

Tante Patent said...

Oh dear. You made me want to go shoe-shopping...again! I adore oxfords.
When I have to walk/stand a lot, I wear my Wolky Capella shoes, but I have tried on very elegant Camper mary janes with a rubber sole and I think they are comfy too, but sooo expensive!

love, Tante

Victoria / Justice Pirate said...

All these shoes are gorgeous but why do they have to be so pricey!??!? gah! I wish shoes were all about 20-40 bucks each.

Erika said...

Lovely shoes!

My feet are not in very good shape, so I'll second the problem of having comfortable shoes that don't really go with the rest of me.

If one has feet that doesn't require prescription-shoes, a very good source for comfortable but beautiful shoes are actually dance shoes. Since they're made for dancing, thay have a nice "bounce" in the soles, and are easy to walk in. They're often pretty expensive, but to save one's feet... it's worth it!
Some links:


Unknown said...

I'm in love with vintage style shoes, and so far have only found one brand that wins out in style and comfort and affordability. Indigo by Clarks and regulars Clarks make the most adorable vintage style heels, and a lot of them are the most comfy shoes ever, especially the Indigo ones!! You can find them on Zappo's and planetshoes.com and they are about $90-100.

Sarah Louise said...

Ok, some of those are going on my wishlist. Haha. Like I need more shoes. I would die for a pair of Borns, though.

Sarah Louise

Jayita said...

I also think it depends on what decade the shoes came from. 40s shoes are very comfortable and mostly run true to modern sizing. I guess wartime made fashion more practical than, say, the 50s.

I have found that vintage heels are better designed in terms of where the heel is placed (middle of the heel of the foot rather than towards the back, changes the way ones weight is distributed thru the foot :) ), sturdiness of the heel and arch.

With vintage shoes I always buy a size up. Course, having narrow feet helps. And padded/silicone insoles are a wonderful invention! You can get a great selection at Walgreens, stick em in your vintage shoes and voila - greatly improved comfort.

dancing fool said...

OMG! I want all of them! Great post.

Karina said...

Ooh, I just love Anthropologie shoes! Too bad they are way out of my budget *sigh* I especially like #2 and #8...and this green pair I saw in their December catalog. I shall save my pennies to get them!

Great blog!

Sarah said...

I was in Target the other day and was actually surprised at the very vintage-inspired array that they had. They even had button down boots:


Not sure if that link will work, but if you search for button boots on their site, it will pull them up. They had a bunch of heels and pumps that looked very 40's. And all under $30. Granted they are nowhere near the quality that real vintage or more expensive modern shoes would be, but if you need a pair or two for a particular outfit or wardrobe, it might be worth a look.

Toosdai said...

thank you for answering my question!

Catherine Shu said...

These are all fantastic -- especially number 8! I've never seen shoes like that before.
the renegade bean

Term Papers said...

these are really cool beautiful colors!

Anna Gibb said...

If anyone reading this lives in NZ then they have some nice shoes on sale at kumfs in a lovely brogue style! I love this blog :)