Allen Edmonds & The Campus Alpine Shoe Trend


This week Allen Edmonds sent over some images from its archives. As promised, they’re being presented today as an antidote for those suffering from sartorial nausea due to yesterday’s post on footwear of the poncier variety.

And now, thanks to AE, we get to learn about a late ’30s campus trend I’d never heard of: crepe-soled alpine shoes. Above is an image from the May, 1939 issue of Esquire. And here’s the breakdown of the outfit:


And accompanying text:


Allen Edmonds sent them over to put this ad in context:

1947 Ad

Note the tagline “the shoe of tomorrow.” Below are more glimpses of the footwear of tomorrow — and yesteryear. — CC

AE_1966 Ad

AE_Salesman Boy Ad

AE_Skiier Ad


AE_Titan Ad

10 Comments on "Allen Edmonds & The Campus Alpine Shoe Trend"

  1. Señor Yuca | July 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm |

    Great drawings!

  2. Velvet tie? I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered such a thing.

  3. A bit of an AE fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation! Thanks.

    @Cameron: there was a certain “fashion” (dare not call it style) to San Francisco and Los Angeles pimps in the mid-60s and early 70s that employed velvet and a whole lot more. Beyond this context, though, I consider it a novelty…at best.

  4. An Alpine influence seemed to be always bubbling just below the surface during the heyday. In my collection of 1960s Esquires and Playboys there is a modicum of ads touting Alpine-style Fedoras and the occasional piece of Alpine-inspired outerwear. Many dress shoes with full raised (Scotch-grain) leather were described as Alpine-Grain.

    The most noticeable impact seems to have been the popularity of the traditional German-Austrian Loden Green (some manufacturers called it Black Forest Green), a color offered on scores of suits, sport coats, hats and shoes.

  5. Let’s hear it for “The Sound Of Music” look!.
    Great of AE to share these ads!

  6. Schneiders of Salzburg still makes some magnificently “I-went-to-Europe-in-1962” Loden stuff. I lust after their car coats.

  7. Fading Fast | July 17, 2015 at 7:26 am |

    The full-on outfit is a bit much other than as a great snapshot of a style moment, but I kinda like the quirky design of the shoes. I could see those working into a outfit today that is echoing the past or just as a unique style element.

  8. Wright Hall | July 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm |

    the gimmicky Allen Edmonds side-laced “Skos” may have been vaguely “Alpine” but they’re about as Ivy as Earth Shoes … glad that they were not “the shoe of tomorrow”

  9. That the side-laced alpine shoe did not extend its fad-dom post war, and thereby become an approved “Ivy” item is a mere accident of history. To me the fact that they’re a tad exotic, while simultaneously not entirely ridiculous, makes them somewhat appealing.

  10. Henry Contestwinner | February 13, 2018 at 11:42 am |

    I’ve seen such shoes in quite a number of Apparel Arts illustrations from the 1930s.

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