The basic types of footwear are sandals, shoes, and boots. Boys have worn all three types. We note boys wearing sandals in the early 20th century, but they were not very popular except for younger boys. We note sandals becoming more popular in the late 20th century, espcially in the 1990s. Most American boys wore shoes in both the 19th and 20th centuries. Buckle shoes were an early style. High top shoes dominated in the late 19th century and were widely worn until after World War I. We note both button shoes and lace up shoes. Low cut styles began to become more popular in the 1920s. There were many different styles, including loafters, oxfords, and saddle shoes. Styles were similar to those in Europe. One major exception was sneakers at first made with canvas whch appeared in the 1910s and became an important style in America during the 1920s. Most footwear types were inherited from Europe, sneakers and saddles shoes seem an exception. Sneakers did not, however become a fashion statement until the 1960s. Boots were of lesser importance, although some styles like cowboy boots were at times popular with boys.
There are two basic types of sandals, closed and open toe styles. Most early sandals and strap shoes were closed-toe sandals. We note boys wearing closed-toe strap shoes in the 19th century, but these seem more of a shoe rather than s asndal in the sence of children's wear for play and school. We note boys wearing sandals in the early 20th century. We see many different styles involving the placement and arrangement of the straps. We see them being worn in the early 20th century, but they were not very popular. American boys wore sandals much less than boys in Europe. We note different colors. Tan was a popular color for the first sandals in the early 20th century. Early sandals During the mid-20 century they were still being worn by girls and younger boys. The sandal became popular schoolwear in Britain, but this was never the case in America, We note sandals becoming more popular in the late 20th century, espcially the open-toe styles. There were regional differences. Sandals seemed more popular in California than the East Coast. We see more sandals in the 1990s. Footwear companies broughout the sports sandal. The open-toe sandals did not the image of little boys/girls foot wear and acquired the image of leisure wear for both boys and men.
Most American boys wore leather shoes in both the 19th and 20th centuries. Early shoes were not made with differentiated left and right pairs. They were often not very popular. This is one reason many boys preferred to go barefott in the summer. We note a wide range of different styles as shoes became increasingly stylish. Buckle shoes were an early style. High top shoes dominated in the late 19th century and were widely worn until after World War I. We note both button shoes and lace up shoes. Younger boys in the 19th century sometimes wore low-cut shoes. Low cut styles began to become more popular in the 1920s, although younger boys continued wearing high-top shoes which were seen as offering more support. . There were many different styles, including loafers, oxfords, and saddle shoes. Styles were similar to those in Europe. One major exception was sneakers at first made with canvas whch appeared in the 1910s and became an important style in America during the 1920s. The sturdy basic brown oxford became a standard for school children, both boys and girls. Most footwear types were inherited from Europe, sneakers and saddles shoes seem an exception. Important preppy styles were both loafers and Sperry topsiders. High top sneakers dominated through the 1950s. Sneakers did not become a fashion statement until the 1960s when low cut styles became more popular. They developed into one of the most popular items for teens. The budget-priced sneaker became expebsive items coveted by teens.
Boots were of lesser importance. We do note boots being worn for inclement weather. They were also worn for work, but in the 20th century this became less common for children. Some styles like cowboy boots were at times popular with boys. The boots worn by Skinheads in Europe were less common in America.
Spats are stiff fabric covers used to protect the top of shoes. White spats covering polished black shoes became a fashion statement in the Edwardian era, the early 20th century before World War I. They were primarily worn by men and the image of rich men dyring the era included a top hat, cane, suit and spats.
Not all spats were white, there were also grey, tan, and black ones. While primarily a fashion accessory, there were also wool felt spats that were worn to keep the ankles warm. The spats are primarily seen as mem's wear, but we have noted women's spats as well. They were rarely worn by boys, but we notice a few portraits of boys wearing them.
Galoshes are rubberized footwear put on over the shoe to protect in inclemate weater. The term is derived from the French "galoches". Other terms used have been gumshoes, dickersons, or overshoes.
The term "galoshes" has been used interchangeably with boot, especially the rubberized welington (Wellies) boot worn in Britain. The standard meaning is protective footwear. The original French term was a wodden shoe or sole. The transition from a traditional wooden sole to one of vulcanized rubber appears to relate to American Charles Goodyear. After vulcanization mafe ruber a more useful material, Goodyear invented many useful products from rubber. And onecof these was pratical rubber galoshes. His rubberized elastic webbing made galoshes much easier to pull on and off (about 1890). Galoshes were made for both adults and children. They were never very popular for children, primarily because they were bothersome. Mothers of course liked them because they protected the child's shoes which are an expensice item. Children are more concerned with convenience. And to many pulling galoshes off an on were a real bother.
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