Vintage Famolare shoes: The wavy-sole platform wedges that were hot in the ’70s

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In the seventies, Famolare designer shoes were easy to spot — they had that signature wavy sole, and often also sported wedge/platform heels that elevated the wearer by several inches.

Walk down memory lane here, meet the company founder, and check out several different models of vintage Famolare shoes.

Famolare shoes step brightly into spring (1975)

By Eleanor Lambert – The Lexington Leader (Kentucky) February 18, 1975

Joe Famolare and his brother and associate are family men who think in shoe families. And the fact that they are happy and successful shows both ways.

Famolare shoes seem to pace and support everything America does these days, from bicycling (the original Famolare bicycle shoe got so celebrated that Joe made an old-fashioned bicycle the logo of the whole Famolare business) to roller-skating (those built-in roller skates are now patented) to cross-country skiing, to campus, office, country and party wear.

And while they are originally oriented to the young, they now have a full generation of followers.

With this designer’s sense of gaiety, verve and smartness comes a unique understanding of the health factor.

Joe Famolare - Vintage shoes

All Famolare shoes are made of leathers, cotton, hemp and other natural materials that breathe and never constrict the feet.

All are anatomically contoured around and under the foot so that they become a perfect environment for it — to be put on fashionably and forgotten.

Many of the wedge shoes which look rather formidable and sculpturesque (the young love them that way, reminds Joe) are so soft you can fold them double with one hand.

The Get There sole, a wavy platform of crepe rubber was invented by Joe Famolare and brought a major breakthrough in action shoe construction.

It now has a sister, the new Hi-There, a higher platform sole, Most of the new Spring Famolares are wedges; a construction Joe Famolare regards as basic to modern life, in addition to its high place on the fashion ladder.

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Vintage Famolare shoes - Hi There and Get There (1977)

This spring, a lot of the wedge shoes have open toes, and some are very strippy sandals above the colorful incurved wedge.

In all the Famolare shoes, an interesting, arresting design is poised on a pedestal from half an inch to two inches in height. That’s for perfect mobility and staying power, with super support for the arch of the foot, from which the entire nervous system of the body takes its tone.

Joe Famolare won a Coty Award last year for fashion. But when you come to think of it, he’s given a lot more than fashion to the modern and non-footsore woman.

Retro 1970s Famolare shoe fashion - Walking rainbow art

Famolare has a way of making waves (1977)

Enthusiasm began with the 4-wave GetThere. NOw it’s taking on added excitement with each new wave of original Famolare creations.

Behind every Famolare model and style is the principle of balance — perfect balance between fashion and function, and between traditional fine craftsmanship and advanced design concepts.

This balance helps to provide the superb comfort and ease of movement that naturally enhance a woman’s appearance and personality.

So make your own waves by walking in Famolare shoes. The pleasure you experience will be reflected in the beauty of your smile.

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Famolare has a way of making waves (1977)

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Experience the Tec-A-Hike & Get There feeling with Famolare shoes (1977)

Experience the Tec-A-Hike and Get There feeling with Famolare shoes (1977)

Famolare: The fashioning of shape/The shape of fashion (1978)

All across the country, this shoe is becoming a dynamic symbol of the way Americans like to look and feel.

The four-wave concept, created by award-winning designer Joe Famolare, is characteristic of today’s free-flowing spirit of adventure and challenge.

Now millions are discovering a source of energy almost forgotten, the energy that comes from walking — walking on Famolare waves.

Famolare: Puts America on its feet / Get there

Famolare shoes The shape of fashion (1978)

The Rush Savannah shoe from Famolare (1978)

Designer Joe Famolare has created a beautiful shoe for everyone who doesn’t like to wear shoes.

It’s feather-light yet has an anatomically contoured inner sole for real, long-lasting comfort. A multitude of styles, all in Italian leathers. Look for the Famolare bicycle under the arch.

The Rush Savannah shoe from Famolare (1978)

Vintage 1970s Famolare platform shoes: Get up

Designer Joe Famolare has created a shoe that makes you want to get up and stay up, it’s so comfortable and easy on your feet.

The extraordinary design, a unique concept, rolls your foot forward almost effortlessly. And the anatomically contoured inner sole provides such perfect support that fatigue goes virtually unnoticed.

Like all the exciting Famolare designs, the Get Up comes in a variety of contemporary styles and in the finest of Italian leathers.

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Vintage Famolare shoes for women from 1978

Vintage Famolare shoes: Fall footcast (1977)

There was a time when it mattered how a woman looked from the neck up. But that’s not where it’s at now.

This year it’s from the knee down. You don’t even need a body. Just get the right Famolares and start walking to fame.

1. DO take a hike in the Tecahike. It’s the chicest hoofing you’ll ever do. Supplest, softest leather, but baby it’s tough as a boot. Wear it with huge socks. This Tecahike is called “Berna.” Do not ask why.

2. DON’T meet anyone important without saying “Hi there.” Foolproof platform shoe you’ll fall for, not off. Suede, crepe sole. Wear with ribbed stockings. Called the “Chianti.” Do not ask why.

3. DO take up a sport even if it’s only to wear this green, red, and yellow leather sport shoe. Where it’s not leather, it’s white mesh. It’s the “Famolare Sport” called the “Game.” Do not ask why.

Vintage purple Famolare Shoes sticker

4. DON’T buy this! It’s a rip-off. Looks like a Famolare “Get There,” but if you try to wear it, you’ll never get there. It’s called the rip-off, so skip off.

5. DO wear the Get There — the real one. We like it especially with patterned stockings and culottes. You can wear it at a long receiving line, provided your dress is truly floor length. It’s called the “Apricot.” Don’t ask why.

6. DON’T Rush — walk right up and put Famolare’s newest flatform oxford. It comes in brown and tan (and other argyle sock combinations), so wear them with argyles. It’s called the “Mancino.” Don’t ask why.

7. DO get in your closet and see what you’re missing. If you don’t have at least three pairs of Famolares, you’ll never come out of the closet. This is called the end of this ad. Do not ask why.

ALSO SEE: Vintage ’60s flat shoes & fashionable low-heel footwear for women

Vintage Famolare shoes Fall footcast (1977)

Famolare fans from the seventies


Becoming set designer for a big movie company was a real ego boost-I won’t deny it. But prop hunting was murder on my feet till my boss turned me on to Famolare shoes. Never before was walking such a painless (or fun) experience! Now I even walk to work and with the money (and calories) I save, I can splurge on croissants!


From the moment I tried on my first pair of Famolare shoes, I idolized you as an artist. What concepts! What aesthetics! What comfort! When I’m not wearing my Famolares (which is seldom) I keep them next to my easel for inspiration. I love and respect you for creating a new art form out of the shoe.


I’m a law student and believe me, when I heard that Famolare shoes were specially patented, I had to find out what all the legal excitement was about. I wore a pair of WAVE-soled Get Theres to moot court and I won my argument. Now I’m too smart to give Famolare all the credit, but I’m also much too smart to give up my Get Theres — my feet never had it so good!

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Famolare fans from 1977

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Comments on this story

One Response

  1. I was so glad to see the daughters started up the business again. These were my favorite sales
    Dhoes in the be 70s!

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