Monday, January 18, 2010

English Sandals



In the South, many children wear English sandals. I puffy lace heart English sandals. Our youngest needed some white English sandals to wear to church and when she wears her sweet smocked dresses. Our whole family went to MOBLEY'S Shoes in Raleigh, NC to buy that sweet punkin her new shoes. She was so proud of them. Wouldn't you know hubby is a total pushover? He thought she needed the white AND the pink. He is good at spoiling all of us.



Aren't they so darling? You can buy them online by searching for Willits English sandals or Footmates English sandals. The great thing is that little boys can wear the white, navy, and brown ones. Save the pink for your girls:)! Do you like English sandals?

32 comments:

EntertainingMom said...

I have never heard them called English sandals! Rebecca used to have them in all colors!

sevenalstons said...

Willits are the best! My daughters wore these for years in navy blue as their school uniform shoes and they were so comfy and wore really well. We've moved on to middle and high school and they now wear penny loafers and top-siders. Sigh. I miss the days of the little girl shoes. Thanks for the memory :)

Love Being a Nonny said...

I LOVE English Sandals. My daughter wore them and her daughter wears them too!!! My boys wore them in navy. I KNEW I liked you!!!

GrannySmithGreen said...

Oh, yes! My little fellows have lived in these wonderful shoes. I think they are fabulous! When I think of children's shoes, this is what I think of. Absolute classics worn by children for ages! Adore them!

Imjustagirl said...

I do love the English Sandals! I can not wait to have little ones running around in those shoes!!

Kim said...

What's not to love? Adorable. And the pink ones are OVER THE TOP cute!

JMW said...

Aren't they great? So classic.

suburban prep said...

I never heard them called English sandals before.
Growing up my mother put all 7 of us in shoes like these until we were about 4-5.

One of my brothers lives in London, England and his two boys (now 10 and 8) wore shoes like these.

bevysblog said...

I remember wearing them as a child: white in the summer, navy and red in the winter. My boys didn't wear them though. They wore Angels as very little ones (white) only. And then black and white saddle shoes when they were a little older. Wait... maybe S DID wear the navy English Sandals one year? Now it's Sperries, New Balance, and Rainbows! Savor these days!!!

pink green & southern said...

LOVE English Sandals. The only way to go for children's shoes in my opinion! I still remember my mom making me wear them to school on the first day of first grade and some of the kids making fun of me--clearly those children had NO taste, lol!

When Miss Priss was little and we lived in Ohio I couldn't buy them there so I ordered them from J-Ray's in Mobile. Luckily, I saved them all for Pinkie.

The Hayden Family said...

The pink ones are footwear's equivalent of candy!!! Darling!

Mrs. Lynch said...

I used to have a pair in a maroon color. We used to call them "trugladites" LOL.So cute.

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

We love them! And have several pairs. But Baby Girl prefers (reads insists) to wear her polka-dot "squeaky shoes". We have 3 pairs of those!

mamamagnolia said...

Love Willits. My son wore their saddles til we could no longer find his size- sad day. Glad to find your site. Thanks for the post on my site. Look forward to following you.

3 Peanuts said...

LOVE them. Kate wears Primigi black or brown patent Mary Janes in the winter and these in the summer and spring (when she need closed toes shoes).

Jo said...

I love them. My little guy {who isn't so little any longer} wore them.

Jo

Gwennie said...

I puffy heart English sandals too! My boys wore them with their smocked John-Johns. I had to order them from a stopre in Alabama. We call them Christopher Robin shoes!

Susan said...

I love English Sandals. I have had a hard time finding them for Paige now. Paige has big feet for her age...which usually translates into tall. She is the tallest child (boys and girls) in her class. I look for them on eBAy and have found both Willits and Footmates. I also like Aster shoes.

Lisa said...

My three girls wore them too! It is the things like these that I miss about having little girls. Do you think I could get my college girls to wear for old times sake?

Codi Preston D. said...

I love English sandals!! They look
sooo ADORABLE on little boys, especially with longalls or jon jons. Like those made by such high end / trunk show companies as Petit Ami, Kelly's Kids, Mulberry Street, Beaux Et Belles, Just Ducky, Chez Ami/Patsy Aiken, and Wish Upon A Star. I never got a chance to wear English sandals as a little boy. I always loved them, but I'm from California, and I never saw any little boy wearing
one here even in the 1980s (I'm
33 years old now). At that time,
there were really some adorable
high quality English sandals being
made as well as T-strap Mary Janes.
I see T-straps and English sandals referred to as "Mary Janes" on EBay, but it's not really a Mary Jane, in theory. Little boys can
wear black, navy, brown, etc. And in the 1980s, they had a lot of t-straps that were in burnt orange color. Or what you might call rust or tan. Some even had wedge soles.

I happen to collect many different things, but my most precious and rewarding hobby has been my English sandal / T-strap Mary Jane
shoe collection. I have 110 shoes
now and started at age 18 in 1995
(I would have started at age 4 in 1980 had I had the money!! LOL).
Most of the shoes in my collection
are from between infant size 6
to a toddler 12, but I have bigger
ones too, up to a size 3 growing girls (~5 ladies size). All of them date from the early 1970s to
mid 1990s, so they are vintage shoes. I have old brands like Stride Rite, Buster Brown, Jumping Jacks, Kesco/Amilio, Footmates, Foot Traits, Walk-In, Child Life,
Child Stride, Mother Goose, Red Goose, Baby Deer, Alphabets (a Belk department store brand), Willits, Fleet Air, and a lot of
other companies that no longer exist anymore.

I have to continue in the next note.

Codi Preston D. said...

No one makes English sandals in
the USA anymore, except Amilio/
Kepner Scott in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. Willits and Footmates
still make English sandals but
they make it in China now and the
quality is just not as good. The
new ones even have faux (fake)
buckles). Terrible, terrible.

Gwennie - no doubt that you got the shoes from J-Ray shoes in Mobile, Alabama? I know them too!
They still carry a brand called
Self Starters by Carpenters (actually it's an Amilio brand)
that is very good. They had some
old Walk-In English sandals too
until they sold out totally in the past year or two. Christopher Robin Milne wore these shoes, correct, as well as the traditional one strap Mary Jane!!

Pink Green Southern - they used
to make these kinds of shoes even
for little girls that were 6-8
years old. Most companies though
stopped at size 12 (about what a
6 year old would wear). I can just see your friends teasing you wearing these, and they were just jealous, I'm sure. LOL. I never even knew little boys could wear shoes like this till I was in college, and looked at old parenting magazines from the 1970s and 1980s. Of course, Prince William and Harry wore Mary Janes
and T-straps in the 1980s (Princess Diana had good taste!!
We all miss her!).

I have Autism, and I have other
hobbies besides collecting vintage
Mary Janes / T-straps. I also collect oldies music (I have lots
of 45 rpm records), and I collect
maps too (I have 1,000 maps in my collection; all street maps of
California cities and Deep South
towns/cities. I'm particularly big on North Carolina and South Carolina). I want to move to western North Carolina within 1
year, and that is what my plan is
now. With my autism, and the fact
that in many ways I'm like a 4-5
year old emotionally/socially, it's very important for me to find a city/town where I have community support and the neighbors look after each other. And of course, they would be more understanding towards my interest in English sandals and longalls. I've met
several people on EBay that I've
become friends with this way (I
get a lot of my shoes from Southerners!). I also collect
longalls and jon jons. I have 55
longalls/jon jons. All the brands I mentioned above. I love the smocked longalls and jon jons,
so artistic and beautiful. My
grandmother (who died last year at
age 88 from pnuemonia) made children's dresses in Hong Kong in
the 1960s (I'm Chinese American).
I guess some of her taste in clothes rubbed off onto me, eh??
LOL. But then she never made longalls, just made dresses for little girls. My grandfather marketed them and sold many many
to department stores (which labeled them under their own brand). It was a successful business to say the least. I just
like the detail in the applique and smocking in some of the longalls. I didn't collect longalls
till 2004, had a late start. And
didn't really get really deep into it till Fall 2006. Now it has become like an obsession for me to buy them on EBay and other places!
LOL!

Jo - that is so sweet that your
little boy wore them when he was a toddler. I assume that he isn't a child anymore? Or at least a teen?

Thanks for letting me read all of your comments, I loved reading it.
I love how Southerners dress up
little boys and girls in longalls
and T-strap Mary Janes. Nothing more adorable!! :-) It's beyond
adorable!! I've heard of little boys as old as 6 years old+ wearing longalls/jon jons and English sandals. Little boys should
wear longalls and jon jons and look
like little boys. And little girls should wear smocked bishop dresses and not wear clothes that make them look like they are 25!!!
Children should be dressed like children!!

I am planning to move to a town
between Charlotte and Asheville,
North Carolina

If you want to email me, my email address is preston1632@yahoo.com

Take care and God bless!!

Preston from Central California
(where we have no taste at all
in children's clothes or shoes!)

Codi Preston D. said...

No one makes English sandals in
the USA anymore, except Amilio/
Kepner Scott in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. Willits and Footmates
still make English sandals but
they make it in China now and the
quality is just not as good. The
new ones even have faux (fake)
buckles). Terrible, terrible.

Gwennie - no doubt that you got the shoes from J-Ray shoes in Mobile, Alabama? I know them too!
They still carry a brand called
Self Starters by Carpenters (actually it's an Amilio brand)
that is very good. They had some
old Walk-In English sandals too
until they sold out totally in the past year or two. Christopher Robin Milne wore these shoes, correct, as well as the traditional one strap Mary Jane!!

Pink Green Southern - they used
to make these kinds of shoes even
for little girls that were 6-8
years old. Most companies though
stopped at size 12 (about what a
6 year old would wear). I can just see your friends teasing you wearing these, and they were just jealous, I'm sure. LOL. I never even knew little boys could wear shoes like this till I was in college, and looked at old parenting magazines from the 1970s and 1980s. Of course, Prince William and Harry wore Mary Janes
and T-straps in the 1980s (Princess Diana had good taste!!
We all miss her!).

I have Autism, and I have other
hobbies besides collecting vintage
Mary Janes / T-straps. I also collect oldies music (I have lots
of 45 rpm records), and I collect
maps too (I have 1,000 maps in my collection; all street maps of
California cities and Deep South
towns/cities. I'm particularly big on North Carolina and South Carolina). I want to move to western North Carolina within 1
year, and that is what my plan is
now. With my autism, and the fact
that in many ways I'm like a 4-5
year old emotionally/socially, it's very important for me to find a city/town where I have community support and the neighbors look after each other. And of course, they would be more understanding towards my interest in English sandals and longalls. I've met
several people on EBay that I've
become friends with this way (I
get a lot of my shoes from Southerners!). I also collect
longalls and jon jons. I have 55
longalls/jon jons. All the brands I mentioned above. I love the smocked longalls and jon jons,
so artistic and beautiful. My
grandmother (who died last year at
age 88 from pnuemonia) made children's dresses in Hong Kong in
the 1960s (I'm Chinese American).
I guess some of her taste in clothes rubbed off onto me, eh??
LOL. But then she never made longalls, just made dresses for little girls. My grandfather marketed them and sold many many
to department stores (which labeled them under their own brand). It was a successful business to say the least. I just
like the detail in the applique and smocking in some of the longalls. I didn't collect longalls
till 2004, had a late start. And
didn't really get really deep into it till Fall 2006. Now it has become like an obsession for me to buy them on EBay and other places!
LOL!

Jo - that is so sweet that your
little boy wore them when he was a toddler. I assume that he isn't a child anymore? Or at least a teen?

Thanks for letting me read all of your comments, I loved reading it.
I love how Southerners dress up
little boys and girls in longalls
and T-strap Mary Janes. Nothing more adorable!! :-) It's beyond
adorable!! I've heard of little boys as old as 6 years old+ wearing longalls/jon jons and English sandals. Little boys should
wear longalls and jon jons and look
like little boys. And little girls should wear smocked bishop dresses and not wear clothes that make them look like they are 25!!!
Children should be dressed like children!!

I am planning to move to a town
between Charlotte and Asheville,
North Carolina

If you want to email me, my email address is preston1632@yahoo.com

Take care and God bless!!

Preston from Central California
(where we have no taste at all
in children's clothes or shoes!)

Codi Preston D. said...

Oops oops oops, posted my second half of the note two times by mistake. I didn't see the second part posted again until just now. I
thought it didn't go through. I'm
very sorry for that. Just bear with
my annoying blunder!!...lol.

Take care

Preston from South San Francisco Bay Area, California
(planning to move to Western North
Carolina)
email me at: preston1632@yahoo.com

Bill said...

My daughter and I are writing a book on closed-toe sandals and would like to quote information from your blog on English Sandals. Is this ok? Also, any other information on this subject would be wellcome -- you can e-mail me at bllbolen@netscape.net. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

My son has worn English sandals in brown, navy blue, red, and white for many years, as well as saddle shoes in various colors. Now nine, he has been asked to serve as a ringbearer at a very formal wedding. His same age female cousin will be the flowergirl. They are wearing all white outfits in which the tops match (button back with large lace-trimmed collars). Jeremy will wear white shorts and kneesocks, while Ashley will wear a white skirt with white tights. We thought identical shoes would be so cute, but sadly our first choice - white English sandals - seem to be unavailable above size 12, and we need a youth size 3. We've chosen white Nina Bonnett strap shoes which will be suitable for both children. The overall shape of these shoes and the modest heel look feminine for Ashley, yet boyish for Jeremy, especially for such a formal occasion. We're practical people, so I'm already thinking of some dressy outfits for Jeremy, e.g. church, dining out, etc., in which he can get more wear out of his new white shoes.

Anonymous said...

I remember those very well from my childhood days. I wore a pair like those in Navy Blue right up till the age of 12. I am now in my mid 40's and wish I could wear them right now, and would if I would not get a pile of funny looks. It was the most comfortable pair of shoes I ever had and I loved them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous-
Dr. Martens makes English Sandal styles in adult sizes (No. 8065 and 1B62). I am a male and have worn them to stores, etc. and nobody has commented or given me any strange looks. They are unisex and have both men's and women's sizes printed on the box and inside the shoes. So go for it! These shoes were known as Barefoot Sandals and were sold in men, women, and children sizes in ads I saw "For the Entire Family." It would be nice if you wore a pair along with your son. I believe J_Ray sells them in children's sizes up to 3, but I'm not sure since I haven't been to the site lately. Two or three years ago Dr. Martens was making them in white up to an adult UK8, so these would definitely fit your son if you can locate a pair. Let us know how you make out (you can always e-mail me at bllbolen@netscape.net on the subject of English Sandals.)

Anonymous said...

I agree that English Sandals are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. This might explain why they have been arround in one form or another from the Roman days.

Patti McGovern said...

They should actually be called Chinese sandals since Willits makes all of their shoes in China.

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Anonymous said...

A followup to my son Jeremy's experience in 2010 wearing white Nina Bonnetts. The wedding went great. Jeremy and his cousin were quite the hits at the wedding dance. Jeremy did indeed wear his shoes a few times over the next few months, and remembers them well to this day. Now a six-foot teenager he is well on his way to becoming a fine young man. As for shoes, he continues to like shoes that are certainly not the norm, with the exception perhaps of his penny loafers. He has a couple pairs of black and white saddle shoes which he wears often for both dress and casual, and has worn out two pairs of Dr. Martens 8065's (the double t-strap style). And for the record he has his first serious girlfriend, who happens to be a lover of mary janes and ballet flats. Coincidence??