saddle shoes manufactuers

Saddle Shoes Manufacturers

Figure 1.--These black and white Kerrybrookes were made in the 1950s. They were marketed by Sears.

Quite a number of companies made and marketed saddle shoes. HBC does not yet have extensive information on saddle shoe manufacturers. One manufacturer was Willits shoes. Another popular brand was Kerrybrookes. Thom McCan shoes were very populare too. Girls in the 1950s tended to wear Spalding saddles or Willites to school. One HBC reader reports that when a shopping mall was built nar him in the 1970s that he noted several national chains, inlcuding Kinney's, Thom McAnn, Baker's, Sears, and a regional department store that had its own label all offered saddle shoes. All were black and white, most with the hard one-piece coral sole.

Badorf Shoe Company

The Badorf Shoe Company has been producing children’s shoes in the United States since 1928. Our leather bottom shoes are literally the same as they were in the late 30’s and 40’s. We remain, as of 2003, one of the last remaining children’s shoe manufacturers in the United States. Badorf is best known for saddle shoes and classic pattern, leather bottom shoes. Most Badorf shoes, including the saddles, have been in the company's line since 1954. This is comparably much longer than most other companies. Badorf used to produce shoes for companies such as Thom McCann. This took place before the introduction of the FootMates brand in 1968. Badorf produces the FootMates line, attractive saddle shoes for children. They produce them from infant size 3 to growing kids’ size 1. They are the classic form with spring heels and composition rubber bottoms. All have leather uppers, leather quarter linings and are available from C-EE and sometimes EEE widths. [Gingerich]

Brown Shoe Company

We thought that Miss Wonderful saddles were made by the Brown Shoe Co. Areader tels us that they were a ISCO shoe.


Dexter saddle shoes were popular with boys.

International Shoe Company (ISCO)

A reader tells us, "I happened on your site and have experience in the shoe business. I noticed on your page taking about saddle shoes manufscturers that it was indicated that the Miss Wonderful brand was a Brown Shoe Company product. Actually Miss Wonderful was a brand manufactured by International Shoe Company (ISCO) under the corporate ownership of INTERCO. Both Brown and International Show Company were based in St Louis and confusing one company for the other was, and is, common. While the Saddle shoe was popular with the girls, in St Louis in the 1940’s through the 1960’s, the predominant shoe for high school boys was called the Threadneedle Street Shoe. It was manufactured by International Shoe Co for Boyd’s Clothing Company, a local retailer, now defunct. The Threadneedle (called “Threads” by owners and wearers) was a heavy soled dress shoe offered in either a bal or blucher design, fully leather lined with a steel wedge inlaid in the heel to retard heel wear. Some owners also installed heel taps to enhance the sound. These shoes were offered in a pebble grain leather in black or “St Louis Orange”. Shining these shoes was a ritual that included removing all old wax with Sapo, a flammable solvent that also bleached the leather to a lighter shade, and using an old tooth brush to apply black edge dressing to the sole and heel edges. Those were the days… " [McCue]


The images shown here are from a pair of black and white Kerrybrooke saddle shoes made in the 1950s. These were widely worn shoes as they were marketed by Sears. The size is a 7 1/2 which mean that they would have been worn by boys in junior or senior highschool. The sole and heel was a one-piece unit before that was common. The sole was a rubberized material made by Good Year. The inside label reads: "Combination Last--7 1/2 B/AA-- 83853--18710 (and inside a diamond: 231)--X 210. On inside of bottom: fancy letters: Kerrybrooke--SEARS ROEBUCK and COMPANY. On bottom of shoe: GOOD YEAR with what looks like little winged shoe.

Figure 2.--The soles of Kerrybrooke saddle shoes in the 1950s were rubberized, made by Good Year.


Kinney's had a white hard sole.


Miss America

This was an inexpensive brand of saddle shoes.


The Brown Show Co. (Buster Brown Shoes) marketed a man's saddle oxford under the name "Pedwin". A HBC reader reports that he used to wear them when he was in college. Another reader had mentioned the "Pedwig" brand which he indicated was popular with boys. Presumably he meant Pedwin.

J.C. Penny's

J.C. Penny had an inexpensive brand. They carried the 1970's round-toe crepe sole saddles, not the classic version.

Figure 3.--


The original Spaldings of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s were actually manufactured under contract by the B.A.Corbin Co. in Marlboro, Massachusetts. They had a tapered toe. Later a more rounded model appeared. This was made by abnother company in Pennsylvania. One report from the 1950s suggest that Saplding saddle shoes were particularly popular with girls in the 1950s. I'm not sure why the Spalding saddle shoes were so popular with the girls. One HBC contributor notes that the Spalding shoes were the most expensive shoes to buy and the most comfortable saddles. In the early 80s, Spalding quit offering saddle shoes. They apparently were actually made by the B.A. Corbin company. Another company continued to produce the Spalding brand saddle shoe after Corbin stopped priduction. These days you have to go with the Willits brand to get a high-quality all-leather saddle shoe. A former leather salesman provides mnore detail, "I read with great interest your report on saddle shoes. I am 82 years old and remember quite well the years of the saddle shoes. Fom my recollection, saddle shoes were more popular with the girls than with the boys. The Spalding brand was the most desirable. Spalding brand saddle shoes were not actually manufactured by Spalding, but was manufactured in Marlboro, Mass. by the B.A. Corbin Company. Around 1970, B.A. Corbin ceased production and the brand name was sold to a company in Pennsylvania. (I can't remember the name of the compsany, but I don't believe tthat it was Willets.) This company rounded the toe and reduced the quality. I was a leather salesman for over 50 years and called on all these companies. No one ever produced the quality saddle shoe that Spalding offered." [Merle]

Thom McCann

Both boys and girls seemed to like Tom McCann saddle shoes.


Willits produced a quality saddle shoe. The Willits saddles were very popular with girls.


Gingerich, Brandon. Badorf Shoe Company, Inc. April 30, 2003.

McCue, Tom. E-nail message, March 7, 2010.

Merle, J. E-mail message, July 18, 2008.


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Created: September 23, 2000
Last updated: 10:54 AM 3/7/2010