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Women's Vintage Shoes

When it comes to women's vintage shoes, there are many styles and options to choose from to add to your wardrobe. You can get statement shoes in colors, patterns, and styles that you can't find anywhere else. When you shop vintage, you'll never have to worry about another woman copying your look.

How do you buy vintage shoes?

  • Choose a size:Know your American and European sizes as some only list one or the other. Also, know what width you need.
  • Choose a style: Are you looking for a peep toe, slingbacks, go-go boots, a classic pair of pumps, or kitten heels? By familiarizing yourself with period shoe styles and the brands that specialized in each, you can search for exactly the look you want.
  • Choose a color or pattern: Refine your shoe search by choosing your preferred color or pattern. When in doubt, black goes with everything.
  • Choose a material: Be sure to specify if you have a material preference. Leather, vinyl, suede, and silk are all common vintage fabrics.

What is the difference between vintage and modern shoe sizes?

Modern shoe sizes are based on the length of the foot. This method has been the basis of shoe sizing for over 100 years. Thus, a vintage pair of 6 shoes is comparable to a modern 6 in length. In the past, as many as eight different width indicators were used. A B width was average with A, AA, and AAA shoes being narrower than average and C, D, E, and EE shoes being wider.

What size vintage shoe size should you buy?

To determine what size shoe you need, place your foot on a piece of paper and trace around it as closely as you can. Measure the length from the big toe to the heel, and use that number to find your size by length. While few women's shoe designers use widths anymore, it's important to note that some shoe styles will naturally be narrower or have a smaller toe box than others. Different designers also use slightly different dimensions. Check with sellers to find out if a pair of shoes runs wider or narrower than average.

How do you care for a vintage pair of shoes?

  • Determine the material with which the shoe was made. For example, you will use a different product to clean leather boots than you will to clean silk heels.
  • If your shoes get wet or dirty, clean them as soon as possible. The sooner you can remove dirt, the less likely it will be to stain your heels.
  • Spot test cleaning products first by placing a small amount on the inside of the shoe's fabric. Once you are sure it will not discolor or bleach the material, you can use that product to clean the exterior of the shoe. To keep shoes fresh, wipe down the interior with baking soda.
  • To protect fabric from scuffing, store your shoes in their own space. A bin is fine, but an opaque box is ideal as it will prevent sun bleaching and restrict a pet or child's access to the shoes.
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