Peep-Toed Shoes

One of the more popular women's shoe styles of the 1930s was the peep-toed shoe, so named for the provocative view that it offered of the tips of the toes. Peep-toed shoes came in a variety of styles, but they typically had a high heel, a small upper that covered the sides of the foot and the instep, a strap around the heel and, of course, a small hole in the upper, right at the point of the shoe, that revealed the toes. Once open-toed shoes were only proper to wear on vacations at resorts, but now peep-toes shoes became acceptable for many daytime leisure activities. According to Lucy Pratt and Linda Woolley in their book Shoes, during World War II (1939–45) peep-toed shoes were banned as "frivolous and potentially 'dangerous.'" But when the war ended, women craving the glamour and feminine styling of high-heeled, peep-toed shoes brought the style back into favor.


Mulvagh, Jane. Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. New York: Viking, 1988.

Pratt, Lucy, and Linda Woolley. Shoes. London, England: V&A Publications, 1999.

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