About Jelly Shoes

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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.

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