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A lack of leather

July 17, 2010

These vintage brown alligator leather open toe sling back sandals are from Piro New York. Photo courtesy of Rusty Zipper Clothing.

During the 1940’s leather was heavily restricted due to the requirement for its use for the military, so shoe designers had to be increasingly clever at designing alternatives.  It appears that almost every type of material that was considered and used, but the most successful were reptile skins and mesh.

So today we have decided to feature our favourite vintage reptile skin shoes.  By clicking on the photo you will go where the photo has been sourced.  In the case of these brown alligator open toe sandals, you could even buy them!

Vintage green peep toe shoes.

Unfortunately these green peep toe shoes from the 1940’s came up for sale on ebay in the USA, but didn’t last very long.  As with these open toed snake skin heels, which also sold quickly from Vintage Vixen.

Snake skin leather peep-toe shoes from Vintage Vixen

I particularly like these green ones, they are very funky, but also kind or resemble bowling shoes! They would however look stunning even today  if paired with a beautiful tailored grey suit.

If you are in the market to buy vintage shoes, consider that shoes made in the 40s and 50s were mostly hand designed so are of fairly high quality.  However the down side is that most are narrow and small, so anything over a ladies size 7 could be difficult to come by.  To find out more of what to look for when buying vintage shoes, check out the fantastic buying guide by Vintage Vixen.

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