In Vintage Inspiration

1940’s Shoes

I found some amazing examples of women’s footwear from Sears and Roebuck catalogs (from the years 1941 and 1945) and they’re so awesome it would be criminal not to share them. Some of these designs, with the rainbow colors and cut out heels, look almost too modern to imagine during WWII but here’s the proof!









When trying to find modern shoes inspired by 1940’s styles, pay close attention to the heel size, shape, height, etc. For example, these shoes from Payless are actually a great 1940’s inspired heel. These ones, however, have a heel that’s much too thin for the era. Once you start to know and recognize the look of 1940’s fashions, you can find modern vintage inspired styles popping up all over the place!


  • Dorothy

    I realize this is an old post and I’m a twit for commenting, but THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this! I love old avdertising for seeing what was actually on shelves. And the almost-gimmicky abundance of “patriotic” styles really tickles me.

    (Personally, I would give tons of money for the Yeomanette shoes, but that’s because of my unhealthy adoration of my 1940s comic book sweetie, Captain America.)

    • Rochelle

      You’re not a twit! I’m happy you appreciate the shoes, it’s so nice to hear when others can “nerd out” with me over old catalog photos. I agree, the Yeomanettes are SO cute! 🙂

  • Amanda

    Amazing replicas can be found here:

  • WOW! Thanks for sharing, the rainbow ones with a whole in the heel, I have seen those online saying they are 1940’s replicas. I just laughed saying “whatever, they never had such a thing then”….well I will shut up now…… LOL, still not keen on those but the others…YES PLEAS!

    • I know that’s what I was thinking at first!! Some crazy styles in the 40’s.

  • I definitely need some Glamorous Flatterers in my life!!! These are great!

  • DrapedinCloudlets

    Om my, even the names of the shoes are more creative than they are today, this makes me almost a bit sad. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Omg.. I love these shoes. They are totally my style. I am sure Fluevog gets all his inspiration from these types of images of the past. If only they were 1.98 instead of 398.00.

    • Haha seriously! If only I could afford $400 shoes.

  • Sew Exhausted

    So many cute shoes! I love the Spectators… The Trickie Ghillie…Saddle Shoes… Frosty Stripes… Haha- choosing a favorite is tough! ~Laurie

    • I’m not even sure I can pick a fav! They’re all so awesome.

  • sallieforrer

    Oh girl! I am all over the “Glamorous Flatterer”! And for $1.77?! Shit, I’ll take one in each color, please!

  • Swoon! I want just about every pair pictured! I think the hardest
    type of shoe for me to find that has a proper 40s look are not the
    wedges or heels, but the shoes with just a little heel, like typical
    saddle shoe/ oxford / loafer. Basically something to wear with 40s sport
    clothes that’s not just plain saddle shoes, brogues or loafers. I wish
    there was some variety like shown here! 🙂

    • Aris Allen has awesome shoes but they all have dance soles so they’re probably not the best for everyday wear, but I’d still wear them anyways 🙂

      • parkinput

        Honestly, while they call the soles suede, they’re much stiffer than the suede on ballroom shoes. If one is not planning to wear them for dancing, wearing them outside probably wouldn’t damage them. (And if you were worried, you could always glue a piece of regular leather to the bottom. Use Shoe Goo.)

        • Great tip! I always feel bad wearing nice dance shoes outside lol. It makes my little toes cringe a bit. Maybe even those stick on grips would be a good fix too.

  • Ummm I would like one of each please!

  • The tutti frutti is SO cute!

  • some great styles! I want the glamorous flatterer

  • parkinput

    There are some really cute shoes there. The cutout in the wedge of the glamorous flatterer is great!

    On a modern concept of the high-heeled spectator/oxford, there’s a really cute Aris Allen model right now –

    • I almost forgot all about Aris Allen!! They have some awesome shoes.

    • I’ll have you know that I went to Aris Allen and ordered a pair of purple velvet shoes, all thanks to your link : ) Next up may be those spectator/oxfords! Thank you!!

  • Charlotte Boyer

    Oh man, these are so absolutely CUUTE! How hard it would be to pick just one pair for one’s yearly summer shoes, back when they actually sold them!

    • I know! So many cute shoes, so little ration coupons lol

  • Cathy Bundy

    I heart the Glamourous Flatterer… I NEED THEM!!

  • Juliette MIJEON

    the wedges with studded bows really look bad ass!

  • Hard to believe shoes were ever .89 CENTS!!! Love all these styles.

  • Rebecca Wagner

    OMG $1.77!!! I wish 🙂

  • Lovely eye candy!! I can’t picture the tutti fruitti style actually being worn in the 40’s (not that I’m any kind of expert ;), but it looks so modern. I guess that just goes to show how much current shoes take after past styles.

    • My thoughts exactly, and yet there they are! So awesome.

  • These are fantastic, thanks for sharing! I love how they all look both stylish and comfortable.

    • Yes I think the style AND comfort is something many shoes are missing now!


    They’re all so lovely!!!

  • Kate-Em

    These are great. Love all the white and tan brogues.

  • I love how the focus is on comfort as much as it is on fashion. I wish it were still this way today! The “Tricky Ghillie Tie” shoes are my fav.

  • i really really like those shoes, and I’m usually not one for “girl shoes”

    • I know, right? I usually hate peep toe shoes and anything with a heel but now I’m searching for similar pairs online lol!

  • Now I know where the ’90s (and now actually) got all of its shoe styles! So funny how cyclical that kind of stuff is.

  • tracytriumph

    Oh how I want ALL the above shoes! Sigh…..