We still have relatively limited information on Italian children's footwear. Italy today is renowed for its fashionable footwear. Italy until recently, however, has been a poor country. Poverty was especially severe in southern Italy. In these areas it was very common for children to go barefoot, even to school. This was an economic function and not a fashion or popular style. Families with money to do so would buy shoes for their children. Sandals appear to have been very popular in Italy and we have noted a variety of styles. HBC does not yet have timeline information.
We still have relatively limited information on Italian children's footwear. Italy today is renowed for its fashionable footwear. Italian shoes are know for being fashionable and well crfted.
We note a lot of Italian photographs with barefoot children. Many Italian children went barefoot in the 19th and early-20th century. This was largely because of the extensive pverty in Italy. Italy until recently has been a poor country. Poverty was especially severe in southern Italy. Southern Italy was by far the poorest part of the country. It is also much warmer than northern Italy. In these areas it was very common for children to go barefoot, even to school. This was primarily an economic function and not a fashion or popular style. Families with money to do so, would buy shoes or sandals for their children. Some children may go barefoot out of preference, but the major factor was poverty. This began to change after World War II when economic conditions began to improve in Italy as a result of American aid and European unification. .
We note Italian boys wearing a wide range of footwear. The shoes worn seem similar to styles in other European countries, although sandals seem especially common in Italy. We note boys wearing heavy boot-like shoes in the early 20th century. Gradually low-cut oxfords became more common, Sandals appear to have been very popular in Italy, especially after World War I. We we have noted Italian boys wearing a variety of styles, mostly closed-toe styles. They were to some extent seasonal, but they were also seen as a style for children throughout the year. An Italian reader tells us about "ciocie" (singular "ciocia") which were typical footwear in the country near Rome. Sneakers began to become an important footwear type in the 1970s. We also notice children, both boys and girls, wearing flip-flops, especially during the summer. They seem to be coming more common in the 2000s.
HBC does not yet have much information on Italian footwear during the 19th century. Italy was a relatively poor part of Europe, especially southern Italy. Many children went barefoot. We have begun to collect more information on the 20th century based on the photographic record. Sandals seem to have been more popular in Italy than in northern Europe, presumably because of the warm climate. Many Italian cjildren continued to go barefoot because of the endemic poverty until adter World War II. Sneakers took longer to catch on in Italy than some countries, but were a mjor footwear style by the 1980s.
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