The “IT” Shoe of the Spring Season: The Mule

The spring and summer shoe silhouette is officially and unequivocally the mule.  Also known as a slide, a mule refers to a backless shoe style.  Imagine your favorite loafer, sneaker, or flat – backless.  Mules are not a new thing; in fact, their origins date wayyy back to ancient Roman times. “Calcei Mullei/Mulleus” was the terminology used to describe the red shoes worn by esteemed Roman politicians and men of power.  In later centuries, mules were backless slippers, intended to be worn only as house shoes and never in public.  Yet, the house mules were quite ornate and embellished, as seen as this centuries-old museum relic from MOMA.

In the 1860’s, the mule became quite risque, when prostitutes took to wearing them, (likely as they were easily removed during “working hours.”)  Thus, non-prostitutes quite naturally frowned upon mules, and they all but disappeared for a century and a half. 

In the 1950’s, the mule made a comeback as kind of a sexy boudoir shoe.  Marilyn Monroe wore them best, and knew how to rock them with a lucite heel and a furry-tip. 

Fast forward to the 1990’s, and the mule was back in a big, big way.  Carrie Bradshaw wore various takes on the mule on Sex in the City.  But the most iconic mule of that decade, of course, was from designer Steve Madden.  Who is old enough to remember these?  The noisiest shoe you ever did hear, it was seen on every other female clip-clopping down the street during those years.  Steve is no dummy, and has re-released these throwbacks, for anyone who wants a little noisy nostalgia for $39.95.

You will not go wrong adding a mule or two to your summer shoe repitoire.  This is THE it shoe for the summer.  They might be open toed, or not.  They may have a block heel, a kitten heel, or no heel at all.  Anything goes!  Here is some mule inspo to get you off on the “right foot!”

Patti Suede Mule, $39.95

Image of Soludos Frayed Loafer Mule

Donald Pliner Rothkosp Leather Slide Mule, $140

Miriam Crossband Quilted Mule, $32.99

Here’s a genius idea for storing your mules – Shoe Stax!  It holds all types of shoes: pumps, wedges, flats, and MULES!  Shoe Stax™ (Set of 8)Shoe Stax™ (Set of 8)

images via target, neiman marcus, nordstromrack, pinterest, wikipedia, moma


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.