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1969 vs 2019: National Shoe Week

This week 50 years ago, National Shoe Week occurred.

On the 5th of March 1969, the Irish Independent published a feature about National Shoe Week. This week intended to promote shoes as an integral part of the fashion world.

Article credit: Published by the Irish Independent on 05/03/1969
Sourced from: The Irish News Archives

According to the article, this week was “devised by Mr. Albert Hitschmann, Chairman of the Irish Footwear Fashion Council”. At the time, shoes were thought of as functional items created to keep your feet warm and protected. The aim of National Shoe Week was to fight this opinion and influence people to consider shoes as fashionable as well as practical purchases.

50 years later, we have had a complete flip in our perception of shoes. People today wear shoes mainly for fashion reasons. We purchase shoes that we think are fashion-forward and sometimes do not even consider the practical functions of shoes such as warmth or comfort.

Image sourced from PxHere: Free images & Free stock photos

Surrounding the article in the Irish Independent are advertisements for various shoe styles, brands and stores. Below are the 2019 versions of the styles and brands you see in this 1969 article:

The Slingback Court Shoe

The original style is described in the article as having a chunky heel and brogue punching on the toe, however, here we see the style modernised with a slim pointed heel and pointed toe. Available from here from Topshop.

Photo credit:

Canvas pumps

Described as ‘corded two-eyelet tie style casuals’ in the article, this style seems to be most in line with today’s canvas pump’s/runner’s/ Available here from

Photo credit:

Dunlop boots

The 1969 Dunlop ‘Roadster’ boot, intended to provide all day comfort and durability for men. This style still exists today in the form of Dunlop wellingtons. However, now the Dunlop brand also provides a modern safety boot with steel toe caps for protection on site. This particular boot is available here from Sports Direct.

Photo credit: Sports

The Patent shoe

This style is seen in the newspaper as a patent shoe with a short chunky heel and slingback strap. Today we have many styles of patent shoe but one of many is this mule style shoe with a patent finish and a clear front available here from Missguided.

Photo credit:

Shoes have become an integral part of the fashion scene in the last 50 years. Many shoe styles have remained but been adapted to fit in with the fashion trends of 2019.

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