Shoes in the 70s
Trends in footwear come and go. Look in your closet and you may find a pair of shoes from 30 years ago that are back in style.
Shoes In the 70s, had a few prevailing trends, a few that survived for quite some time and others that didn’t last long at all.
A handful of them, however, will remain forever engrained in the memories of those who lived through the 70s era of strange fashion fads.
Nothing quite says “the 70s” like platform shoes. One of the longest-lasting trends of the decade, platform shoes were worn by all ages and both sexes, but were especially popular with teenagers and those in their 20s.
However, it wasn’t unusual for older adults to wear them as well, especially men who wanted to add a little height to their stature.
The platform shoes in the 70s looked a lot different than the platform shoes that are marketed today.
While modern platforms are for women only and generally have a small platform in the front and a thin, high heel in the back, the platforms of 40 years ago had a 1” to 4” platform under the toes and a thick, chunky heal.
Because of the way they were made, they were much more comfortable than today’s platforms because the wearer’s weight was more evenly distributed throughout the foot.
Platform shoes came in all styles, from plain sandals with cork platforms to very glitzy shoes to wear at the disco or for other times when dressing up was appropriate.
Some of the dressier platforms had clear Lucite platforms. The shoes ranged from solid colors to very elaborate patterns.
Many celebrities – like Elton John – were known for their outrageous shoes in the 70s with huge platforms and funky patterns and many “regular” people tried to emulate his style in everyday life.
The antithesis of the glitzy platform shoe was the Earth Shoe, first introduced in the 1970s in Scandinavia. These shoes pioneered Negative Heel Technology, which was supposed to be good for one’s posture.
On an Earth Shoe, the soles were thick at the front of the shoe and the heel was thinner, a design opposite that of most normal shoes. Marketers said wearing them made wearers feel as if they were walking on the beach.
In general, the shoes were quite unattractive. Most were made of brown or black leather and either tied or featured a large buckle.
Many owners liked them and dubbed them quite comfortable, but the overwhelming opinion of experts was that they were bad for the feet and the back.
Dr. Scholls Wooden Exercise Sandals
Another popular shoe fad of the 70s was the Dr. Scholls exercise sandal. Simply referred to by most as “Dr. Scholls”, this shoe was about as simple as they come.
The sole was wood and was formed into a shape that was designed to support the arch and raise the toes for a good grip. This sculpted wood platform was about an inch thick.
The upper part of the sandal was a simple leather band with a snap or sliding buckle, available in a variety of colors.
Some ardent wearers had a different color for every day and the shoes were often worn with the 70s most casual fashions, like flowy maxi skirts and peasant blouses.
Fans can still by these shoes today, marketed as the Dr. Scholls “Classic” sandal.