German Sandals: Closed Toe

Figure 1.--Here we see an unidentified German boy on a wonderful wooden scooter. He wears a plaid shirt with a Peter Pan collar and Lederhosen. Note the tassles on his kneesocks. I think that means that mother or grandmother knitted them. He wears "T-bar" sandals. This is a style that was most common in England, but we see them being worn in Europe as well. The photograph is undated, but we would guess it was taken after World War II in the late 1940s. Click on the image for a fukker discussion of the boy and the clothes that he is wearing.

We note many images of German boys wearing closed-toe sandals in the 1920s. W see quite a number of German boys wearing the single bar style without a center strap. This appears to have been more of a casual than a dress style. We rarely see German boys wearing other casual footwear like sneakers (canvas shoes). The popularity of closed-toe sandals for boys declined in the 1930s, espdcially after the NAZI take over. Here we see a German boy wearing "T" strap sandals probably in the late 1940s. This is a style that was most common in England, but we see them being worn in Europe as well. German boys in the 1950s began to wear open-toe sandals which became the dominant style. Quite a range of these open toe sandals appeared in Germany. By the 1970s we rarely see German boys wearing closed-toe sandals.


Before World War II (1939-45), the most common type of sandal worn in Grmany was the single strap style without a center strap. We also notice boys wearing the English style closed toe sandal. The popularity declined, however, during the NAZI era (1933-45) as it was not considered sufficiently masucline for German boyhood. One never sees, for example, a Hitler Youth boy wearing strap sandals. After the war, sandals swere again worn by German boys, but the closed-toe style was not common. The closed-toe style was more likely to be worn by boys from wealthy families. I think wealthier families orientated themselves on the french style of clothing. In the 1970s children clothes from France were very popular in Germany and French sandals were more commonly the closed-toe style.


We do not yet have sufficent German images to fully assess chronologicl trends of closed-toe sandals. We have, however, begun the process. We note German boys wearing formal strap shoes in the 19th century At the time this seem to have been a formal shoe, althoughh it was a formal shoe. In the 20th century we note German boys wearing both formal dress shoes and and casual sandals. The style of some of these shoes and sandals were identical. Colors and materials might vary. The most common tyles seems to have been single bar sandals, but we have seen other styles as well.


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Created: September 6, 2000
Last updated: 5:19 PM 6/1/2009