Resources / Centuries and Decades / 1900-1919s


The beginning of the twentieth century has not brought anything new into the footwear design. Ladies continued to wear long skirts therefore it was seldom possible to have the pleasure to see their shoes. The most popular models of the previous century remained in a fashion until beginning of the First World War.

Quality of the cut and material was the main issue, when choosing footwear, not a style. High boots – buttoned or laced - remained the most widespread footwear for walking up till to 1920s. Luis’s heel and the oblique Cuban heel have slightly increased in height and reached 7 cm. Black was the most widespread color of the teens, though some neutrally pale colors began to appear in footwear.

Low heel pumps could be seen on the streets approximately from 1910. Open legs were still considered as obscenity. The only exceptions were boudoir shoes, which could be more seductive, and were made of silks, satin, velvet or brocade, decorattd with tapes, frills, pompons and laces.

Gradually decorating elements, characteristic for boudoir shoes began to appear on dress footwear. Evening footwear was adorned with with pompons and satin ribbons, and later walking shoes acquired big square metal buckles, sometimes inlaid with pearls or decorated by rhinestones. In due course their size decreased and closer to the twentieth their form became more delicate, round or oval, sometimes in the form of a bow.

The First World War has changed social relations and, first of all, the role of the woman in the society. Compelled to replace the men who have been called up for military service, on the workplaces, they for the first time had an opportunity to have their own financial means, and could spend them at their own discretion. Women spent money for their appearances and, first of all, for clothes and footwear.

Deficiency of the wartime has for the first time in history led to the reduction in length of a hem of a skirt. Despite of gloomy moods, footwear became brighter, and silk stockings became more transparent and sexual. New freedoms, which the war brought to women, meant, that the shoes should be more comfortable and less formal.