About Jelly Shoes

by Bonny Brown Jones

It's more than just '90s nostalgia. Who wouldn't want to walk a while in her own favorite childhood shoes? No wonder jelly sandals are back, not just on the beach, but on fashion runways, on the streets and on celebrities' well-heeled feet.

On the Beach

Frenchman Jean Dauphant is credited with introducing plastic fisherman's sandals in 1946 during a post-war leather shortage. They caught on in the '80s and '90s as beach wear, especially with small fry. Designers brought them back a few years ago, and the PVC shoes have made their way back into mass market stores in varieties as diverse as multicolor cork heels, acid-bright open toe flats and the original fisherman's sandals with strap that snaps, textured soles and a rainbow of colors, including black and clear with glitter. Prices vary from hundreds of dollars to $20 or less.

Art and Sole

Jellies make sense for the beach, of course, and for rainy weather -- although they might slip and slide on the feet when wet, and tend to get stinky when worn a while in the heat. They're free of animal products, and recyclable, says JuJu, a Northampton, England, company that's made them since 1986. British artist Tom Hackett fashioned a sculpture of 1,000 pink jelly shoes featured in Northampton's museum in 2013.

Photo Credits

  • Timur Emek/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Bonny Brown Jones has been a writer, columnist, copy editor and senior copy editor for newspapers that have included the "Orlando Sentinel," "Miami Herald" and "Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch." Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University.