Unique Original Articles » Soul Shoes ? are Tassel Loafers Soul Shoes ?

Soul Shoes ? are Tassel Loafers Soul Shoes ?

Author: Andrew Histon

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.

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 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.

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

Shoes which can be seen also on the northern soul scene included standard looking Oxford shoes. I am again assuming a good solid shoe, with a leather sole. 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.

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 soaked!

Moccasins became very popular when the casual looked prevailed. The shift again came with the rave generation and into Brit pop of the 90's. The smart shoe got left behind for Kickers and Timberland boots. Britpop seemed obsessed with Adidas
trainers. But this has nothing to do with soul! 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.

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

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 wear in the office.

If there was more time in the world the author would spend many hours sorting through his mod shoes, mod footwear and be writing artciles about loake, loafers for men, loake brightonand lots other interests.

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