For just a glimpse of how much things changed over the course of a decade, below you can see some popular boots from the year 1920, and some showy shoes from 1929.
When you consider shape, color and materials used, the pair from 1929 look closer to today’s modern styles than they do to the women’s footwear from just nine years before.
For lots more, scroll down to browse through more than 100 more different vintage footwear fashions from a century ago.
Fashion sets definite rules for those who want proper footwear (1920)
Article from The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, California) February 25, 1920
Pumps galore are to be worn by Milady, in obedience to the dictates of Dame Fashion, as the stylish footwear for the spring and summer season of 1920 in Sacramento.
Low-cut shoes for men likewise will be the vogue, and as the warm weather comes on there will be a gradual transformation to white buckskin and fabric. Strap sandals for children will be quite the thing.
The colors for the feminine footwear will be black, tan and patent leather. A light tan will govern the spring styles for men.
This, briefly, is the spring footwear chart, forming the foundation upon which the seasonable buying will be rushed as the cherry blossoms burst forth, and the whole of nature takes on its gladsome coat of a California springtime.
French heels of light, flexible soles will go with the pretty pumps and Oxford ties, and they will fit still more gracefully than ever, with the tapering toes.
The Oxfords, which will be worn more generally than in past seasons, will have a light sole and French heel; also, a heavier sole that comes with the military styles.
Adorned and plain
There will be the fashionable tongue pumps, sailor pumps with ribbon ties, and then the plain pump with little or no adornments.
The colors of the feminine footwear will take in the general range, including the conventional black, tan, patent leather and black and brown suede.
As the summer months roll on, there will be a change to white kid, white buckskin and white fabric — a veritable sea of white.
Boots for some
Listed in the styles for women, also, are boots to satisfy the fancies and whims of the particular feminine taste in footwear. These, while fashionable, will be worn to lesser extent this season than in past years.
Some little effort has been made to revive the short stage vamp, but with little success up till now, it was declared by a fashionable shoe shop manager.
Women occasionally demand the short vamp, but the manufacturers and retailers alike are inclined to discourage the style, and if they have their say, this particular kind of footwear will vanish from the shelves of the most up-to-date stores.
DON’T MISS THIS: Vintage Women Coloring Book #7: Fashion Layouts from the Early 1920s
Some like straps
Likewise, straps are being talked of in many circles as an attractive style of neat appearance; but these, like the short vamp, are not being encouraged and consequently are not strong on the fashion sheet for 1920.
Vintage ’20s shoes for women from 1923
Vintage 1920s shoes for women from 1925
Sears catalog: When prettier shoes are made, we’ll make them (1925)
Old-fashioned Sears shoes from 1925: For the woman who keeps pace with style
Superb in style
Superb in style, design and quality is this dainty step-in pump of tan calfskin with field mouse color leather back. A very attractive combination that is unusually appealing to women of exquisite taste.
Built over the new French last, which is the most popular in women’s footwear. Has the field mouse color leather-covered wood military heel… A small ornament in the front adds to its attractiveness.
The popular new “Theo” tie
The one-eyelet “Theo” tie is one of the newest things out. Comes in tan or black patent leather. Is made over the new French last. Has a military heel, 1-1/2 inches high, with a rubber top lift. The cut-outs add to its coolness and neatness.
A blond satin that is up-to-the-minute in style
The new light shades of satin footwear are necessary to complete any well-dressed woman’s wardrobe. Here’s a one-strap model of blond satin with fancy stitching that will fill that need. Built on the new French last. Has blond satin-covered wood military heel. 1-1/2 in. high, with Goodyear Wingfoot top lift.
Step-in pump with detachable braided strap
Beautiful step-in pump of black or rosewood satin with fancy stitching. Can be worn with or without the braided strap, which is made with elastic goring to fit any size foot. New French last, satin coveted 2-inch wood heel with flexible soles.
Practical as well as up to date and dressy
Another one-eyelet Theo-Tie that is very practical as well as up to date and dressy. Is made of patent leather on a medium round toe last. Has a low walking heel, 1-inch high, with rubber top lift. A sensible but attractive model. Sure to please.
One of the smartest fall styles for the well-dressed woman. The one-eyelet ribbon tie and the cut-out design make it a graceful model. Comes in either all tan or patent leather with tan quarter. Built on the new French last and has a military heel, 1-3/4 inches high, with rubber top lift.
Newest in ties
Something real new in ties that is sure to be very popular. Made of patent leather with tan leather underlay is built on a medium round toe last and has a low heel, 1 inch high, with a rubber top lift.
One of the newest styles direct from the world’s great style centers
Everybody is raving about this one-strap model. Is made on the new French last, with a black patent leather vamp and rust kid leather back. This makes a pretty, distinctive combination.
Has a rust kid-covered wood military heel, 1-1/2 inches high, with a Goodyear Wing, foot top lift.
Well-dressed woman’s choice
The well-dressed woman’s choice this season is the two-eyelet ribbon tie. This new style feature looks exceptionally well on the black satin, black suede trimmed model shown here.
Made over the new French last, and has light color linings. Satin covered 1-1/2-inch wood heel with Goodyear Wingfoot top lift.
All shoes on this page have light color linings that will not soil the most delicate shades of hosiery.
Vintage 1920s shoes for women
Here’s the newest out
Among the combinations that are so much in vogue now is this one of marble finished leather with tan leather vamp. It’s very effective on this three-eyelet tie oxford made over the new French last. Has a marble-finished leather covered-wood Cuban heel, 1-3/4 inches high.
Another new style
Another of those oddly “different” combinations is this one of patent leather and blue marble finished leather.
The marble finish is just about the latest thing out in women’s style slippers. You’ll like it on this one-strap, one-button model that is made over the new French last. Has a blue marble finish, leather-covered, 1-3/4-inch wood military heel.
Springy crepe rubber soles
A neat, dressy appearance, long wear and lots of comfort. That’s what you get when you buy these flexible crepe sole oxfords. Made of either tan calfskin or patent leather on medium broad toe last.
The best dressers are wearing these
Fancy stitching is all the rage this fall. Combined with the one-eyelet tie it gives this patent leather oxford a smart, up-to-date air. Is of genuine Goodyear welt construction made on the new French last. Has a 1-3/4-inch military heel with rubber top lift.
Quilted satin low-heel slipper
Old Rose Satin/Blue Satin/Black Satin: Many women like a heel on their boudoir slippers. We are offering this satin model with a 1-inch satin-covered wood box heel that has a soft padded leather sole. Designed for rest and comfort.
Something fine in a woman’s slipper. It is made of quilted satin, beautifully trimmed with silver and gold lace and a fancy pompon. Soft padded leather sole. This is one of our prettiest slippers for women.
A leading style
A fancy stitched, patent leather, one-strap model Has an attractive ornament that fits over and hides the button. Made over the dainty new French last and has a 1-1/4 inch military heel with rubber top lift.
On a last-minute buying trip, one of our buyers secured this charming model. It is made of tan calfskin on the new French last, and has a military heel. The elastic goring in the strap and the light color lining are two features that you will like.
Bound to please
An oxford that is sure to please up-to-date women. It is made of black suede attractively trimmed with black calfskin. Made on the new, dainty French last and is of genuine Goodyear welt construction. Has a 1-3/4 inch military heel with rubber top lift.
Stylish shoes for women from 1929
Fashion’s favorites: A smart style that will be seen everywhere on the campus this fall — already enthusiastically welcomed by young women!
Beechwood tan-colored leather or patent leather one strap buckle model with tan embossed chinchilla leather trimming. Neat cutouts at sides. youthful 1-1/4 inch covered walking heel.
A superlatively smart interpretation of the fall mode. Black or gunmetal patent leather two eyelet ties.
Famous New England last featuring an embossed leather inset trim in black and silver moire embossed leather. Fancy white stitching at sides, quarter and on toe; 2-1/2 inch covered spike heel.
Entrancing styles: Footline is here with tomorrow’s individuality (1929)
Color in greater vogue than ever! Exemplified to smart advantage in the New Yorker last — a stunning bow tie model. Autumn green or nautical blue kid with embossed lizard vamp and quarter trim.
The “new day” footline (1929)
The style success of the season — the new Whoopee Booties.
Red trim on black patent, and gunmetal patent trim on the red — each a style leader. Fancy cutouts show off beautiful hosiery to nice advantage. Vanity last with rounded toes, modern as youth itself. 1-3/4-inch covered military heels.
Colorful as a night in Spain — the new Savoy last mode.
A charming center buckle one-strap in royal blue or beechwood tan fancy embossed leather. Lattice cutouts, kid trimmed to match; 2-inch covered military heels.