Some type of ladies’ sneaker has been popular during the 20th century and into the 21st century but each era’s style was quite different.

In the 1910s, a lady’s sports footwear was a bit formal, not wanting to appear too masculine then. Even to play tennis the lady wore short high heeled shoes. In the 1920s, the rubber sole saddle shoes came out for ladies. This replaced the leather soled shoes that had been used in sports.

By the 1940s, the wearing of plain, black oxfords were worn for sports, especially in the All American Girls Baseball League (A League of Their Own). Even women working during the war years in factories wore the black oxfords.

With the end of World War II in the mid-1940s, rubber sole tennis shoes became very popular. Top brands included Keds and Vans.

Into the 1960s, the company, New Balance created shoes specially for track and field events and these type of running shoes became very popular. During the 1970s came out brands such as Converse, Nike and Puma. Now sneakers became a big fashion statement, to be worn all the time.

Hightop sneakers came out in the 1980s and worn with leggings and even dresses. Since then everything from wedge sneakers to holographic sneakers to clear sneakers have been produced. Now, this once informal footwear has become a staple in nearly everyone’s wardrobe.

Photo: Short high-heeled shoes for tennis in 1910s.

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