Soul Shoes – Is there such a thing ?

Where do you start with Soul Shoes! There is a big enough argument to what is Soul, which possibly needs defining before you could define a soul shoe. So I suppose going to stick with what I have seen through my time and what have been told.

So looking around the recent soul dos I have been to, there is not a clear winner, particularly in the modern northern soul circles, there is a smattering of moddy types, smattering of lads with Oxford bags and what you might call just normal looking people. So on the shoes it varies like mad.

At the most recent northern do I went to here in Peterborough I counted 40% tassel loafers, 20% brogues and the rest was made up of comfortable flat shoe. I was genuinely surprised by that figure and didn’t go thinking that I would see that many.

So Soul shoe types, this is we’re I am stuck, being to young to have been a soul boy in the 70’s let alone the 60’s. What I can see though is in the early seventies, it stands to reason that tassel loafers would be popular as would brogues, because the shoes a fashion item at the time. Other styles which popular at the time include, Solatio , a monster of a shoe, which has strips of leather sown together. Mainly in brown, but also in black and two tone styles. The shoe is currently being remade by Ikon shoes.

Is he really throwing himself around the floor with heavy leather soled shoes? Cool pic

Other shoes which can be seen on the northern soul scene included standard looking Oxford shoes. I am again assuming a good solid shoe, with a leather sole. And as we know a leather sole glides around the floor and makes obvious sense to wear.

This neatly brings on to Bowling shoes. Bowling shoes can be seen in several pictures in the 60’s being worn by mods.

Classic Bowling Shoe Style.

The Bowling shoe works on the dance floor, it is very light and comes in a multitude of colours, which means your eyes are drawn to. Being light means you can dance for much longer, obvious I know and also why karate shoes became popular. The point being though both shoes are rubbish to walk in. Bowling shoes have a soft sole and step in a puddle and you are instantly socked!

Moving into the 80’s soul changed from the fast paced Northern Soul into the more disco orientated style. The tassel loafer morphed into a lighter shoe, with a very thin sole. Moccasins became very popular and the casual looked prevelled. The shift again with the rave generation and into Brit pop of the 90’s. The smart shoe got left behind in kickers and timberland boots. Britpop seemed obsessed with Addidas trainers. But this has nothing to do with soul!

Has the smart shoe has made a return though. With the present recession taking a hold in the UK there is a desire have smart shoe, that’s going to last a while and look classic meaning ideally it won’t go out of fashion, it may look dated, but still stylish. Decent pair of Levi’s, a Ben Sherman shirt and some decent shoes you are not going to look out of place at any Soul Do. Whether this be 60’s soul, 70’s or 80’s. I conclude in the next paragraph with ………

So the classic soul shoe, I am going to go for a classic tassel loafer, with a proper leather sole, and if needed a leather heal,as well. Its a classic going out shoe, not something you would were in the office.

Disagree then say so below, and ideally send some pics to prove it.

We stock these classic Soul Shoes

Tassel Loafers

What can be said about the Tassel Loafer, to me they are the Street MOD shoe. The tassel along with the feather exsudes MOD. Again, I think this is because so many people have had a pair. Other than the Desert Boot nothing signifies more of what the public think as MOD.

They go in and out of fashion and are definitely a throw back, but why not. They are a shoe for going out in! They are a shoe to dance in, all night. They can come with leather soles which means you slide around a dance floor.

They look excellent with jeans, and a suit. I think you get my drift.

Like the rest of the classics loads of people make them, and again buy the best you can afford. Cheap ones look cheap and fall apart. Looked after well and polish straight after an all-nighter, you don’t want the talc drying them out.

Tassel Loafers Review
Delicious Junction, Loake, Ikon and Bass Weejuns get a review. 4 different types of Tassel Loafers, including a womens pair!

SHOES WE SELL:

HISTORY:

Tassel loafers came into being in the post-war period of the 1940s, right when tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters, and penny loafers dominated prep schools and Ivy League campuses. As college students graduated, they wanted something as comfortable as their slip-ons, but were a bit dressier and more sophisticated for their new life in the business world. It was around this time that an actor named Paul Lukas came back from Europe with a pair of oxfords. They had little tassels at the end of their laces, which Lukas thought made them look more lively. So he took them to a couple of New York shoemakers to see if they could make something similar, and they in turn took the job to Alden. The company’s president at the time, Arthur Tarlow, came up with tasseled loafers and they were an instant success. That makes Alden’s model the original, and Paul Lukas the first man to wear this style of footwear.

The above is taken from the website http://putthison.com/post/30457460870/the-charm-of-tassel-loafers-i-really-like-tassel

PICTURES:

mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 01 mod shoes suede tassel loafers with gibson clothes 02 mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 04 mod shoes rudeboy tassel loafers with gibson clothes 03 43 mod shoes rudegirls in tassel loafers 12 mod shoes scooter mod wearing tassel loafers

Aldens Tassel Loafers
Aldens Tassel Loafers

mod shoes the specials in tassel loafers mod shoes mod in tassel loafers and parka Tom Ford Tassel Loafers

Loafers

Loafers are my favourite shoe. It helps that you can get plain and tasseled. Being my age, I am second generation MOD/Two Tone kid, they appeal because they looked so right, and worn by one of my favourite bands ever The Specials.

Two Tone was it MOD? But hey what it did do was bring loafers on to the feet of many young people. The proper ones cost a fortune then and still do! But the quality is so much better.

The original Loafer was designed just before the 2nd World War and has its origins in Norway. Norwegian farmers would wear a shoe when ‘cattle loafing’, hence the name. The shoe developed further in America by the company BASS, and they called them Weejuns, after the Norwaygians. They added the all important strap across the front of the shoe.

The term ‘Penny Loafers’ comes from prep school students wanting to customise their loafers, the penny being wedged in the front strap.

The Loafer look for MODS, I assume, comes from the Jazz players, meaning the Blue Notes lp etc. and because of the college boy look, ie, Harringtons, Levi’s and Loafers. A defining look even today.

There are several makers these days as you would expect. Prices in the UK vary a lot.  You can buy an ok pair for about £50, but spend a bit more and go for a old school make and you can feel the difference. BASS Weejuns are a thinner shoe, where as the Loakes have a more sturdy look and feel.

SHOES WE SELL

PICTURES:

The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers
The Classic look, look at the guys towards the back, harringtons, monkey jackets and loafers. The guy in the foreground in Tassel Loafers

mod shoes red socks and loafers 02 Prada Penny Loafers mod-shoes-basket-weaver-loafers-for-women-06 36 mod shoes penny loafers and button down