United States Boys' Clothes during the 1950s: Footwear

Figure 1.--Here we see a liitle boy giving his big brother a hug goodbye. He seems a litle upset. The two older boys are off to summer camp. They are sitting on their travel bags. Both boys wear collkared shirts and jeans. The wide cuffs show they were just bought. The cuffs would be reduced as the bys grew taller. Notice the different foot wear. One boy wears leather oxfords. Many boys like this boy still wore leather oxfords for play and in this case for summer camp. His fried wears black high-top Keds which at the time were basically playwear. We also notice two styles. One boy has a buzz-cut. The other noyy has the Fonzi greaser cut. Another popular 1940s-50s itenm is the wrist chain the boy at the right is wearing.

American boys wore sturdy leather oxfords to school and for dress up occasions. Many boys also wore them for play and casual occassions. They were lace-up shoes. There were ome made for a few years thathad snap closures, but almost all were lace-ups. I recall having trouble learming to tie my laces in First Grade. Girls seem to learn faster. This is why strap shoes were so common in Britain. Girls wore sturdy oxfords as well, although girls had a choice. There were strap shoes that many girls wore. I recall seeing boys wearing leather oxfords even at summer camp. Very little boys, especially in affluent families, might be dressed in closed-toe red sandals. These were considered girlish shoes and thus were not worn by most boys, even most pre-school boys. School age boys, however, did wear them. The canvas shoes which appeared in the 1920s grew in popularity during the 1940s. We called them tennis shioes. The most popular brand was Keds which I think were only available in black for boys and worn as high-top styles at the beginning of the decade. By the end of the decade white low-cuts were becoming more popular. There weee low cut red or white Keds for school. They were not yet universal. We still commonly see boys wearing leather oxfords. Saddle shoes were popular. Penny loafers and saddle shoes were worn by both girls and boys.


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Created: 6:18 PM 5/23/2018
Last updated: 6:18 PM 5/23/2018