1920s or 1930s Barefoot Dancing Sandals

People who have never attempted to sell online seem to have the idea that it’s an easy way to make a buck. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Selling old stuff online is hard for many reasons, but I’m only going to address one of them. And that is that there are so many old things than even experienced sellers run across objects they look at and just scratch the head in puzzlement.

The seller of the shoes above listed them as circa 1900 leather bathing shoes. I knew that was not correct, but what exactly are they? I could see why the seller thought they were bathing shoes, as they really do resemble them in some ways, but I’ve never heard of them being made of leather. After seeing the listing several months ago I forgot about the shoes, but the purchase of a 1929 gym attire catalog revealed the identity of the mystery sandals.

Of course that started a mad scramble to try and re-find the listing, but I had not bookmarked it, and so I was just out of luck. Or so I thought. Last week as I was searching for bathing shoes, these popped up again. Three clicks and they were mine.

The story is made even happier because I have a very similar pink and white gingham dancing romper as illustrated in the catalog, right beside the dancing sandals.

The dancing sandals look rather sad without feet to fill them out. I am so glad I spotted these and was able to add the proper context back to the object.


Filed under Collecting, Curiosities, Gymnasium, Proper Clothing, Shoes

8 responses to “1920s or 1930s Barefoot Dancing Sandals

  1. Most traditional ballet teachers would recognize them immediately. They look just like the shoes many of us use to teach. Here’s an example: https://www.dancesupplies.com/Capezio-321-Pedini-Adult-Lyrical-Shoes-Caramel.html?gclid=CjwKCAiA-KzSBRAnEiwAkmQ1520TUrBzbYIvumghFIn6eXTvVAJ5gHnXPvOzGt0vqWBt36CeweDMEhoCEkQQAvD_BwE

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda

    Fascinating – Glad you were able to find them in the catalog and then rediscover the listing!


  3. Hollis

    Wonderful research, Lizzie! This style was around a long time as a modern dance shoe. I remember wearing something similar as a kid in the 1960s.


  4. This shows how fruitful your research methods are–find the paper sources that give clues to the physical ones. The strength of your archive!


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