V81: Vintage Early 1930s Sporty “Nurse” Shoes

I’ve been lurking around eBay, looking for vintage shoes.  I’ve fed my addiction recently with 3 pairs, all former shop displays from the 1930s.

These are my faves.  If only I could get my foot in them! They’re a size 5.5 A width, absolutely teeny tiny, but gorgeous to look at.  I’ve been looking for perforated white “nurse” shoes for so long – I don’t consider them dowdy, but rather sporty, don’t you?

These lovely ladies are going to take a little trip oversees, along with several others I will show you soon, and when they come back, they’ll have friends. 🙂


  • Toby Wollin

    March 21, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    OK — you're really taking me back with this. I had a 6th grade teacher in (mumble, mumble) 1963/64 who wore these exact sort of shoes (perfs and all) in May and June, but wore black versions from September through the end of April. At the time, because a) I was 11 years old and what do 11 year olds know about guessing people's ages and b) she had snow white hair and was a little bit stooped, we all thought she had to be ready for retirement, in her 60s for sure. I met her much later, when I was in college and she told me she'd just retired, that she'd finally reached the age to retire. Which meant that she was 55 when I had her. But in any case, this style of shoe was a very popular shoe for 'mature' women in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and the white perf'd version was the summer shoe of choice.

  • Terry M

    March 21, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Oh, I agree, very 30's sporty! They belong in a Marple episode. Some of their "friends" will have a home for sure. 🙂

  • Gracie Lee

    March 22, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I hope that when you say they'll return home with friends, you mean you'll be producing them, because I will buy the crap out of these shoes!!! I can't wait to see what's coming down the line!

  • Anne Kirstine Toft Jørgensen

    March 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Since you're dipping into the 30's oxford pumps style genre – what about making a pair of spectator pumps? They were really popular in the 30's and 40's…and look awesome 😀

  • Grade A Karen

    March 26, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I had some like this — but with a rubber sole & heel. They were fab; you could wear them just like sneakers.

  • Unknown

    November 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I am showing these pictures to my Sunday School class because we are reading about a boy who didn't have shoes to wear to church. The only shoes in the house his size were women's nurses' shoes. He was a child in the 30s. Thank you for sharing these pictures. It will help my lesson go well!

  • Anonymous

    March 7, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    they are my size! I've been looking for these. I've been
    a nurse for 41 years and still working, and would buy these in a heartbeat!

  • Anonymous

    November 4, 2017 at 10:20 PM

    I had a pair of these "nurse's shoes" back in 1971. My mother received a box of clothes from the church (there were four of us kids) and they fit me! I loved them till they fell off of me 🙁 Everyone at school asked me where I bought them. I remember they were very comfortable & wished I also had a pair in black. Oh if you could create a pair I would buy in both colors!! Crossing my fingers!!
    thank you, Christine in Tucson


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