Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Sensible Shoes: Wartime Footwear 1942-45

Wartime rationing and the introduction of the utility scheme greatly restricted the styles available. Under the austerity rules all shoes had to completely cover the foot.

March 1942

March 1942

So no peeptoes or slingbacks. Heel height was also restricted, though you might not think so when looking at the adverts, a classic case of idealism - if the models can have 7ft legs then the shoes can have 4 inch heels.

May 1943

April 1943

Colour and textured leather finishes hid imperfections in the hides. Rubber soles and elastic gussets were banned, Zips became popular for a short time as they were easier to close in the blitz.

February 1944

February 1944

Low wedges were very popular as they supported the arches and wooden soled shoes made an appearance in 1943 but did not enjoy extensive popularity as the hinged soles let in the rain.

February 1945

July 1945

The spring of 1944 was a particularly bad time to find shoes, with most production aimed at D-Day civilians had to spend long hours in queues and there were stories of having to obtain tickets just to join the queues.

First published on Vintage Chic 21-October-2009

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