More retro vintage shoes: Kork-Ease sandals

cork-sandalsFurther demonstrating that the entire world has gone, and continues to go, retro-crazy, the Sundance catalog arrived the other day with vintage style Kork-Ease cork sandals splashed all over the back cover. Oh, yes, I had these circa 1972 and wore them to death. I may just have to get a new pair of these classics. My only concern: Breaking my ankles in the 12 seconds it will take me to fall off them.

70s style cork sandalsThis adds to growing our retro vintage shoes collection:


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  1. says

    Wow. Is that you? Or maybe Dorothy Hamill in Godspell? I think I went to high school with about 100 of you. You should add Frye boots to the list, the ones with the straps and the big round metal circle on the ankle.

    • pam kueber says

      no, that’s the PR photo from the Kork-ease website. But, I did try a Dorothy Hamill haircut circa 1976 — it was a bloody disaster, thanks for reminding me!

      • says

        oh, yes, the Dorothy Hamill, who didn’t try it at least once? I HAD to HAVE the DH, but my hair cutter at the time refused to cut it that short because my hair was below my shoulders so he gave me a top of the shoulder layered thing. I had to go back a couple weeks later because I was SERIOUS about the DH. He thought I’d be upset about cutting off all my hair. I loved it! (I have a good back of the head for the wedge, Dorothy was cuter from the front, though.)

  2. Annie B. says

    How well I remember these: the must-have’s of my freshman year in college.

    Funny that we wore them back then because they were 1940’s retro. (Think Bette Midler.)

    • pam kueber says

      yes! bette midler as a cupie doll – that was the look. hippie chic, also – i wore them with my maxi skirts and dresses.

  3. karen says

    OMG, I went through several pair of these in the early 70’s ~ copies though, not the original. Believe it not, I think it was Target (online only) that offered a copy of these in Spring 2007, with a slightly lower wedge/heel. I ordered them but they only lasted through that one summer.

  4. says

    I love….and then. I went with my mom to a shoe party (yup, similar to a Tupperware party) and picked out these to take home with me…mine were pleather if I remember correctly. I loved them. I was in 7th grade, 1977. I think they cost $15.

  5. retrosandie says

    OMG! Yup, I had these in the 3″ platform in natural and was the first at work to wear them and received ALL sorts of comments!! Mostly that I’d break my neck! LOL My sister-in-law-to-be had bought the same ones so we were “twinsies”!! Would loove another pair with the cork bottoms, but the price now…owwww! 🙂

    • 52postnbeam says

      Tons of vtg cork shoes can be found on Etsy for a fraction of the price! I’ve directed 2 films that were in the Sundance Film Festival, but can’t support the pricing in their catalogues ($600 for distressed metal school lockers, for example). Still, it’s a nicely curated resource.

  6. gsciencechick says

    I was fortunate my mother worked part-time in a shoe store, so I had these and all the other retro goodness of the times like Chuck Taylors and Keds since she got a substantial discount. I may just have to get a pair for summer.

  7. JKaye says

    The hairdo on that model is more of the Toni Tenille look, since it’s longer in the back than the DH ‘do. I wore that hairstyle, and everything else the model is wearing, during my mid-70s college years. Meanwhile, the guys all looked like Dan Ackroyd and Steve Martin as the wild and crazy guys. I like it that we put so much effort into our appearance, compared to students nowadays who look like they just rolled out of bed. But, all our efforts resulted in us looking like clowns! Oh well, it gives us something to laugh at when we look at old family photos. By the way, my cork wedgies were super comfortable, but the soles were not nearly as high as what the model is wearing.

  8. Pja2trees says

    I think the girl’s hair in the picture looks more like a Farrah Fawcett flip-back!!
    I, too, had these shoes–not so much the higher ones on the model, but the exact ones underneath for the advertisement. I wore them with cuffed trousers…scrambling to find the pictures I know I have!!

  9. Becky Stancill says

    I still have a pair from 73-74 with wooden platforms and royal blue leather uppers. I’m sure that I too would break the ankles if I tried to wear ’em again.

  10. juliet says

    Last year I bought on etsy a vtg 80s/90s Nine West pair like the classic tan sandal.
    Anybody remember from the late 70s/early 80s the floral canvas wedge sandals you could buy at Woolworths? They didn’t last long but they were cheap so I always bought several pairs. Came in black too I think. Would love to find some now. They were so comfy.

    • julie mcfarland says

      hi! yes, my girlfriend and I would go to Woolworth’s at the Crenshaw/ imperial plaza in Inglewood, ca. in the early seventies and buy these cuties for 3.99 or so. I bought quite a few, loved them. we called them “old lady shoes. we wore them with our $2 swap meet bought levis and peasant shirts and halter tops that we had sewn ourselves. I would love to find these once again!

      • Juliet Gross says

        I have never seen them vintage anywhere. Wish I did!
        Thanks for your reply, nice to know someone else remembers them 🙂

  11. CarolK says

    I had a pair of Kork-Ease sandals back in the 70s and a pair of Olafdaughters clogs, too. I don’t know what happened to either pair, but I’d like to still have them both. They were cool!

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