Perhaps I’m addicted to list making (much like my strange addictions to vintage glasses frames and coconut water) but after compiling a list of my favorite movies about shoes, I felt compelled to build a follow up! Music, much like shoes, is a very important facet in my life, so why not combine the two into something acoustically pleasing inspired by that of aesthetic greatness? Shoe songs! What a concept. While there have been many, I have whittled my list down to 5 of what I consider to be the very best songs about shoes.
5. Kenny Loggins – “Footloose”
This may just be my affinity for young Kevin Bacon talking, but this is a classic shoe tune. It’s a quintessential 80’s song that can’t help but bring a smile to your face, but ultimately it is a serious ditty about a man’s inner struggle to combat his absolute need to dance with his need to fit into a strict society where dancing is not allowed. Oh the inner turmoil and torture! So dark, such overwhelming angst! Kidding.The title track from the wonderfully cheesy 80’s flick Footloose, thing song is fun, great for dancing and an absolute wedding reception staple. This song even got Grandma Joan tapping her toes when it played at my last cousins reception. Not to mention, Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this flick pre Carrie Bradshaw! Those are some serious shoe roots. So kick off those Sunday shoes (or don’t, if they are cute and you can dance in them) and enjoy.
4. The Beatles – “Old Brown Shoe”
Ahhh, The Beatles. While not everyone is a fan, it is hard to find a person who doesn’t enjoy at least one song. With such a diverse catalog, these gents covered quite a span of music tastes. This song, which features George Harrison on vocals, was originally released as a B-side to “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and displays those four blokes in all of their “we are going through a weird drug phase” glory. Plus it’s one of those tracks with George Harrison on vocals, a bit of a rarity for Beatles hits (obviously not as rare as a Ringo song…poor Ringo), which makes it even more wonderful.
3. KC and the Sunshine Band – “Boogie Shoes”
This playfully suggestive disco hit (are they really talking about dancing?) was featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and is undoubtedly a song to shake your hips to (in whatever fashion you’d prefer). This tune takes me back when John Travolta was a dreamy blue eyed babe (granted I wasn’t alive at the time, but I’ve seen photos) before he got all bald and starting sporting a weird goatee for Battlefield Earth. Yowch. It just makes me want to throw on my pair of highwaisted bell bottom jeans, which I do in fact own and are wonderful, with some far too tall heels and attempt to dance the night away. Boogie. Shoes. Yes please.
2. Carl Perkins – “Blue Suede Shoes”
While this song was made popular by the late great Elvis Presley, it was originally written and first performed by Mr. Perkins himself. A fantastic tune of it’s time, if I was a mother when this was released I would have certainly been scared of the hip shaking it induced! This song is not only fun, catchy and made of toe tapping greatness but it also stresses the importance of shoes. Shoes over everything! The lyrics state “you can do anything, but lay off of my blue suede shoes”. And he literally means anything. Arson, theft, slander, enacting violence on his FACE, but when it comes to the shoes you better back the hell off. Well put Perkins, well put.
1. Nancy Sinatra – “These Boots Are Made for Walking”
This song is sexy. Play it in your room while trying on a pair of boots and try not to feel like a vixen. I dare you. This addictive 60’s hit is the perfect song about shoes: sexy, fun, flirtatious, catchy and it let’s the shoes do all the work. The boots are the star of the song! They own the song, and some day they will own you. I don’t know about you, but I find a bit of truth in these lyrics (serious debt to a shoe addiction?). Interestingly enough, after it’s release this song was widely considered a disappointment after the career legacy of her father Frank. Admittedly, those are some rather big shoes to fill (pun definitely intended), but later on it became one of the most addictive songs of the 60’s. While she never had another hit, this iconic song lives on today as a fantastically sexy ballad to the one we call shoe. Play it again!
I know I left out plenty of greats. What are you favorites?