Published by Editor on September 21, 2012. · · Share this Article

Published under Memories

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Do you remember jellies? No…not jams or fish…shoes! I have been reading about the comeback of the jelly shoes of the 1980’s. Actually, jellies have staged more than one comeback, Since the early 1980s, jelly shoes have been in and out of style on the roller coaster ride of fashion. They began in Knoxville, right in our own back door, at the 1982 World’s Fair, made a fashion comeback in the mid 1990’s and again in 2006 when some 131 million pairs of jelly shoes were produced. Now, in 2012, they’re on the scene again, predicted to be the star of the summer fashion season.

After introduction of jelly shoes at the 1982 World’s Fair, they sold like hot cakes. Jelly shoes hit the stores and were immediately bought by girls everywhere. If you don’t remember them, they were made of a rubbery material with much the feel of jelly, but a lot stiffer. They looked very cool, came in all the colors of the rainbow with glitter, inside the jelly substance, and other embellishments. They were every girls fantasy and we embraced them with open arms. These were sleek, ballerina style, close-toed sandals, with lacy cutouts along the sides and tops. They were dreamy to look at and girls, both young and old, tiptoed around in the new fashion rage. They even made appearances on the fashion runway. Who wouldn’t want jelly shoes?

Well, there was a downside! Remember the way they made your feet sweat? And…if prone to stinky feet, the smell was…phew. And how about walking through dirty places, remember the lacy dirt pattern on your feet, upon taking your shoes off? If the dirt didn’t stain your feet, the sun tanned you in the cut out design of the jelly shoe. And, several jelly shoe wearers complained of blisters, but that didn’t stop them from wearing the very cool shoes. I’ll have to say, they were not made for walking in gravels, or fine crushed rocks. Not only did the rocks get in your shoes, they sometimes imbedded in the jelly soles of the shoe, making them sound like tap shoes.

Even so, who could resist? They arrived on the scene as sandals, but soon followed, pumps and heels. These shoes found their way to proms and other dressy events. The pumps were fashionably worn with skorts and sometimes rolled down socks, as well.

What will this generation do? Will they embrace the jelly shoe, creating a jelly craze? My bet is, yes! With the new styles and adjusted comfort, the roller coaster will once again reach a high peak and ride the wave of fashion coolness!