Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Monday, May 9, 2016

Shoes Are Not Your Thing? Are Your Sure You're A Mod?

Shoes are such an integral and important part of the Mod wardrobe that some are known by the Mod band that wore them. Yes, I'm refering to you Jam shoes! I don't know of any other subculture that obsesses as much about their footwear. We can maybe make a case about how the Skinheads are particular about their Docs but having a wide array of taste is not what they're known for.

When it comes to Mods and their shoes, certain styles have been associated with them since the very start. The Chukka boot, in particular the desert boot, is a prime exemple. The very first Mod I ever came accross in high school wore a pair of suede crepe-soled Clarks. It had a lasting impression on me.

Clarks were not the only brand that had the Mod stamp of approval but Hush Puppies were also popular.

For those that are addicted to fashion
The Bass Weejuns, also known as the penny loafer, adopted by the American Ivy League students of the late 50s were soon embraced by the Mod contingent. They're the perfect type of footwear to dress up a casual outfit or to give a more relax look to a formal ensemble.

I remember back in the 80s, I had bought a pair of black Dr. Martens tassled loafers. Say what you will about some of the current fashion choices of the company but that pair lasted me a good 15 years. And they still looked good!

The Chelsea boot is a personal favotite of mine.

Loake Petworth Chelsea boots

60s vintage pair
Easy to put on, simple to maintain, versatile and above all very confortable, it's easy to understand why so many Mods stroll around in them.

A pair of hand stitched leather shoes for $14? Yes please!
Every Mod should aspire to owning a nice pair of brogues. Classic, timeless and elegant are all words that come to mind when images of brogues are evoked. Some good quality brogues can cost a pretty penny. But just like any other pair of shoes, you usually get what you pay for. A well maintained pair of well-made brogues can last you decades.

Loake brogue boots
Vintage pair of brogue slip-ons.
Let's not forget the winklepicker, the shoe worn by people that have toes shaped like a pointy triangle. A lot more confortable then they seem, they have graced many Modernist's closets. Some more extreme than others, they still look good.

Scan from 1968 Eaton's catalog
Salut Les Copains magazine - 1968

Most of you are not surprised or shocked by any of the choices presented up to this point. We covered the basics. This is when it starts getting exciting. From now on, feast you eyes on scans from 60s catalogs I've acumulated over the years.

This is when you start saying: "Oh! If only I could go back in time and buy every pair at those prices!" If that crosses your mind, welcome to the club. You're a true Mod.

Of course, some Mod favorites were left out but between you and me, when was the last time you wore a pair of bowling shoes?

Trainers were not mentioned in this post. That doesn't mean Mods don't wear them. Just don't expect to see me wearing them on the dance floor.

For all your Mod shoe needs, stroll over to my mate Andy's website at and tell him Parka Avenue sent you.




  3. I wear bowling shoes all the time... not as much as my chelseas, but still a lot...