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The Curious History of the Back Door Shoe

( some of which may be true).

 


The significance of the back door shoe.

To understand the significance of the back door shoe and its myriad of uses in the modern world we must first understand the cultural significance of the back door itself! The history of the humble door is an exciting one and through the ages all focus was on the Grand Front Door of ancient civilisations and places of worship and the like. Think of the front door of any Cathedral or Castle you may have visited and you will likely have in mind something resplendent with the signs and icons of status and prestige. Anyone entering that door had better be wearing their best fighting gear! And even to this day it’s a fact that most people will put on their best shoes when they know they are going to be invited in through the front door.

 

Not so the back door, long the domain of only the poor and serving classes and only recently a door to be proud of. Now with our wonderful living spaces and easy to access gardens and patios the back door has become the primary focus in many homes.  Everyone from the grown ups through to the dog prefers to come and go through the ubiquitous back door. And what will we be wearing as we come and go, what exactly constitutes a back door shoe?  

Some alternative back door shoes .

In those olden times of course it was the working wooden clog, still a favourite amongst a more traditionally minded person.  The wooden clog is not known for its underfoot comfort and flexibility, and indeed it can reek havoc with your lovely kitchen floor! But if you enjoy a turn on the cloggies dance floor or want to spark your segs on the Hovis Hill then the wooden clog is for you. Check out Walkley Clogs  for some great Yorkshire-made products.

 

In more recent history the back door was the domain of the demoted best shoe. Just as your granny’s best dress gradually slipped down the scale to become her every day dress and then her gardening dress, so shoes in the pre war period were bought to be smart enough for work or school and then worn and worn again until they could walk no further. And indeed even now some folk prefer to wear a serious brown lace up in the garden and for running errands outside. In that case I recommend a pair of cleated sole Goodyear welted from Cheaneys or Crockett and Jones made in the UK and built to last. Expect to spend a months salary on them but they will last you almost a lifetime.

 

In modern times we enjoy the luxury of a diverse and oft updated wardrobe , and so with our shoes. How many young people do you know with a shoe wardrobe bigger now than your granny had her whole life? And so the choices for the back door shoe are pretty endless, but are they all they are cracked up to be?

 

Slippers are an obvious choice, you have them on when you are inside the house so it’s tempting to keep them on when you have to pop out to water your pots on a sunny evening or take the kitchen scraps down the compost heap. Nothing can beat a snuggly pair of sheepskin Ugg boots for keeping your feet cosy in the winter months and  managing to be cool enough in the summer as well, that’s the genius thing about wool. But a wet pair of sheepskin slippers is a mighty smelly thing and they can take ages to dry out….so beware wearing them after rain or when there’s some serious watering to be done! Garden muck can be a challenge too.

 

There must surely be better alternatives? In our rigorous research on the matter we have discovered two other popular options. The first is the flip flop,  a sexy summer option for those of you with long tanned legs and nothing more to do than sipping a cocktail by the barbeque;  but always avoid anything that involves stones or terracotta pots as there’s nothing less attractive than chipped toe nail polish! And of course there’s always an old pair of sneakers with the backs pushed flat - a cost effective option if your wardrobe tends to just too many pairs of sneakers and you don’t mind the Dignity Leaker association.

The Perfect Back door shoe

Honestly the perfect backdoor shoe  has to be casual and easy to slip on and off at the threshold if you choose. It has to be water and muck resistant and wipe down-able. It must be super comfy if its to compete with the slippers in this world, indeed it night even turn the tide and become the back door shoe that is worn as a slipper! We would probably like to think that it is made of some marvellous natural material that is both renewable and less impactful on the environment than many of those plastic alternatives and if so a natural rubber back door shoe might just be the one for you. Can we find such a thing that is also colourful and stylish and identifiably something special for you? A back door shoe that you can personalise and decorate if you wish to match the flowers in your garden at any given time of year.  Why yes…..we would like to think so! Head over to our web site at Poddy & Black to see our offering of brilliant colourful back door shoes.