1960s Shoes

The Influential Mods
Modern Go-Gos
The British Mod movement in the early half of the 1960s defined much of that decade's style - as everyone knows, it was a revolutionary period in fashion as well as attitude. Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon, Ben Sherman helped set the tone for hair and clothes and for shoes, designer Beth Levine re-introduced the boot to 60s women and Andre Courrages took it to new levels of funkiness and the white boot became emblematic of the era.

Boots came in various colours and designs to suit mods and non-mods -fur lined ankle boots, white gogo boots in various heights, riding boots, brown or black leather knee-highs, classic blue and white canvas gym boots and later, lace-up Granny boots.

Among other things,  sixties fashion was influenced by styles of the 1920s. The look was more boyish than voluptuous and the shoe styles reflected this - among the younger, hipper generation, the classic stilettos of the 1950s gave way to trendy, nostalgic versions of 20s flat or low-heeled pumps with t-bars and buttons.

Big 'witches' buckles on the toes of black shoes (maybe to go with witches britches) were also popular for women, as were daisy motifs and square Cuban heels for both sexes. More conservative styles featured a lower-keyed version of the 50s stiletto.

1960s Satin Italian pumps. Too high to be mod shoes. The Metropolitan Museum

Men's mod styles included 20s style two tone brogue shoes, bowling shoes in black and white or red, white and blue, desert boots in beige or light brown,  suede and leather Hush Puppies with chiseled squarish toes, Chelsea boots - a leather riding boot with elasticated sides and their derivative, the Beatle Boot. 60s Rockers -the mod alternative, favoured super-pointy black shoes, sometimes with fancy steel caps. Later, when mods began to morph into hippies, things got more primitive and moccasins and sandals made an appearance.
Beatle Boots (replica)

Plastic Revolution
Andre Courrages Moon suits with plastic boots collection
Plastics and vinyls were newly employed as materials for 60s shoe wear, sometimes as ultra-modern fun designer fashions but more often as mass produced cheaper copies of more expensive leather shoes and boots. Patent leather was also very popular and came in a variety of colours, often with perforated patterns and cutaways.

As the 60s drew to a close, styles were veering away from the bright and shiny toward natural materials and earthier colours, paving the way for a change of mood.  Cork-bottomed platform shoes were just around the corner...

An overview of ordinary 1960s men's shoes - two-tone runners, square brogues, Chelsea boots, lace-up bother boots and desert boots. Image from the 1964 film, To Sir With Love