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Earth Shoes (1970s)

Earth Shoes

1970s Ad for Earth Shoes

Does anyone remember Earth Shoes? Somehow these things came up in a conversation the other night.

These were the ugliest shoes ever made, and I owned a pair. Introduced in the 1970s, and unlike other shoes, the front of the soles were thick and the heels were thin. “Negative heel technology”, as they were called. I wonder if they were inspired by the keep on trucking guy of the ’60s. He looked like he was trucking uphill.

I did a little research and the company that made them is still in existence and has recently reintroduced “negative heel technology” shoes again. It is to be hoped that this time around they are much better looking.

Did you own a pair of these shoes? Let me know what you think…

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Last updated: April 30, 2012
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  • Donna

    I must admit, I owned a pair of these shoes. I wore them in the 70′s. I’m sure I bought multiple pairs over the course of a year. If you wore them all the time as I did, the natural dirt that was picked up by everyday wear and tear made the suede shiny. Then they looked crappy and you had to get another pair. I remember buying them at a shoe store in the old Rockingham Mall in Salem on Rt 28.

    I wasn’t much of a “sneaker” wearer back then. I always wore the Earth Shoes or I would wear what we called “sh!@ kickers”. These were just leather, high ankle work boots that seemed to be in style when I was in high school. I remember going to the Army/Navy store on Essex Street in Lawrence to buy them. I also bought Levi’s jeans there and those off-white painters pants. Earth Shoes and “sh!@ kickers looked good with these pants. Or so I thought.

    Throughout the years when searching for a comfortable casual shoe, I often wondered if there was a store that still sold the Earth Shoes. Ya, they were kinda ugly, but honestly, they were comfortable.

    Oh, by the way, I still know a certain someone, maybe someone like an ex-husband, that still wears these out-dated shoes. I have no idea where he gets them, but I always laugh when I see him wearing them. One more reason why he’s my “ex”.

  • David

    I remember them but I can honestly say that I never owned a pair. I was always wearing sneakers or work boots.

    Donna…way too funny!!!!!

  • http://www.pudnshop.com Andy

    Earth shoes are pretty ugly, but if you’re the type of person that needs comfy shoes and can sacrifice the looks, well this is the brand to wear. I want Earth to manufacture a men’s dress shoe, because I can’t wear their current styles with dressier clothes.

    So fed up with ugly Earth shoes, I recently submitted designs for men’s dress shoe that have the traditional narrow shape. The look is fresh and they have the negative heel technology.

    If you’d like to support my cause for Earth to design a pair of elegant mens dress shoes please go to (http://www.earth.us/display_forums.aspx) and reply to NEED DRESS SHOES by Andy Schultz at 10/21/2008 9:57:57 PM ( 0 replies ). Anything you can add is greatly appreciated and thanks!

  • Carlos Contreras

    These shoes were the uniform here in Miami. You also had to wear cordiroy straight legs and a rock concert T-shirt.

  • Pattison1

    Right on Carlos, hilarious…Levi cords in all colors…with those stylin Earth Shoes…we were really happening lol

  • Pattison1

    Yes, those ugly shoes that we all wore in the 70′s…My first pair were made by Roots in Toronto.

  • Kari James

    I wore these in high schooadl. M gf and I had a matching pair that we wore to football games. We loved them. I had the brown sandals that I completely wore out and I loves their design.  I haven’t been able to find them since even though the Birkenstock Store On Maui has the new Earth shoes and I bought the Tennis Shoes for Nursing because you can stand in them for 12 hours at a ytime and I bought the Mary Janes which are Beautiful bit buy 10 pairs! I loved them, no matter what anyone says. Back when I was in high school we all had them. We never thought they were ugly.  Kari James

  • Juliezz61

    I had them in a blue suede lace up. I loved them and didn’t care what anyone thought. I wore them with my Levi cords too and my white painters pants. I was about 16 yrs old and I’m a female.  I don’t know whatever happened to them after we moved down to Florida in 78, but a few years ago I started looking for them and was looking under “Duck shoes”  I just couldn’t remember what they were called, but I found them and ordered a pair and they are still just as comfy as I remembered them.  They still make them and you can find them online @ Zappos.
    They arn’t outdated shoes either as some post. They still make them and they have mens & womens styles and they are pretty nice looking.

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

     Thanks for the find!

  • karolanne2002

    I am wearing a pair right now… I have horrible foot issues if I wear anything else. EARTH shoes saved my feet and my back. They are not cheap though… BUT when I think of all the money I spent on other high end brands that were supposed to help, but didn’t… Well they are well worth the price!

  • product of the 70′s

    haha i didn’t think they were ugly! i wore mine with ‘dittos’.  :)

  • Iaelen

    I had 3 pairs one of which was sandals.  I loved them.  I wish I still had them.  1975 oh what a year.  :)  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QOBFUQHYX7XOVTROXSVGLNALTI Sue Fender

    Oh yeah, I remember these shoes.  I wore them everyday with my high school uniform.  They were the most comfortable shoes ever.  I bought mine at the “Roots” store in Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn, Mchigan — wasn’t their logo something like a beaver tail or something like that?  I just remember the wood carving at the front of the store and running my hands over it everytime I went by it. Those were the days of comfortable shoes–now all we have are pointed toes and high pencil thin heels.  No wonder so many people have foot problems nowadays.

  • Gamegoddess1

    Holly is that you??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1440317358 Aviele Wms

    I had a pair in the 70s, and like others have commented on here, I loved them. I didn’t care what they looked like, they were comfortable and wore well. When mine finally died, I was crestfallen and have, for years, asked and looked for them. With the advent of the Interwebs, once again, I wear a pair of Earthshoes, and I still love them. As a old person now, wearing them really helped with my hip pain. Love them, love them.

  • redmaverick

    I had several pairs and My Favs were white that I wore to work as a CNA. Loved Them!!

  • http://twitter.com/rondaroodle Rhonda Hutton

    Did your blue suede shoes have orange laces? Mine did. I loved those shoes, I’m going to check out Zappos for a pair.

  • Borissgal

    I wish I still had mine! I wore mine out by the 80′s. The best shoes I ever owned! I wish I could find the originals! The suede lace ups with the wide toe! haha I loved those things! I’d wear nothing else if I could find another pair!

  • hssw

    i had the blue suede ones too in the 70′s. best pair of shoes ever

  • Christofer

    I had a pair of the blue suede Earth shoes. I loved them and would pay $100 to find another pair of mens size 10 – 11.