Willy Wonka and Violet Beauregarde have teamed up to create this fantastic Jelly and Plastic Shoes board on Pinterest. As Mary Quant explains, a lot of the shoes are made simply by pouring chewing gum into a mould!
Screenshot of Jelly Plastic Rubber Shoes Pinterest board
OK, only kidding. I created the board to go with the latest collection of ShimmyShim Pop Prints which feature 8 pairs of my collection of over 200 dolls shoes. Because they are all made of plastic, they are more like jelly shoes than any other 'real' adult sized shoe. I really love the aesthetic because of the vibrancy of the colours. The actual dolls shoes are less than an inch long, but the prints are 8 inches square, so you can see the 'patina' of the plastic on each one. Originally they must have been sculpted in clay and then cast and mass produced, so when you look closely you can see scrape marks.
Red plastic dolls shoes close-up
Plastic shoes - set of pop art prints in yellow orange and red
Here is the vintage film in which Mary Quant describes inventing jelly boots. I'm not sure if she was the first to use the technology or not, but her designs are certainly recognised as being at the vanguard of design. And the style of those little ankle boots is to die for!
"You just pour a kind of chewing gum into a mould... They said more or less 'come and play with our machinery' and this is how we started making these shoes... Just like making jelly."
It's sad and worrying that most real plastic shoes (let alone dolls shoes) are not biodegradable, but they can be recycled and some are described as eco-friendly.
In 2011 there was a company called Figtree Design created these wonderful looking biodegradable slip-ons, but they seem to have disappeared now. What a shame! I look forward to seeing something like this in production again soon.
This Adidas shoe sounds promising: it is made from plastic collected from coastal areas in the Maldives (presumably it once polluted the sea).
Limited Adidas x Parley for the Oceans Ultra Boost
I can't actually wear these shoes as they hurt my feet too much, but I love looking at them and they look great on display.
Melissa 'Dragon' shoes by Vivienne Westwood
You can get the collection of Pop Shoe images as an instant download from ShimmyShimShop
Collection of 8 Pop Shoe square prints
Jelly shoe shops list
Melissa - Vivienne Westwood designs and other cartoon princess shoes
United Nude - architectural 3D software style
JUJU - classic jelly sandals and chunky heeled sandals
Jelly Beans - classic glittery jelly sandals
Holster - flip flop type sandals with plastic gemstones
Crocs - light weight anti-hero style
Show me pictures of your jelly shoes!
And do you know of any biodegradable plastic shoes? Let me know here.