The Jacques Soloviere studio likes to reinterpret the great classics of footwear. With the LUCO derby in nubuck, we revisit the BUCK shoe.
Today in the ongoing spirit of the return of classes for many this week, we're going to delve into the history of buck shoes, which were especially popular with students during the 1950s.
Though they were never (in no small part because of how tricky they were to keep pristine looking) quite as widely loved and worn as their similar looking cousins, saddle shoes, bucks were nevertheless one of the most commonly sported styles of shoes amongst the younger crowd during the mid-twentieth century.
Bucks, so named because they were sometimes made of made of buckskin (but more commonly suede), found a large following with male, and to a considerably lesser extent, female wearers, and though they were often seen on those in their high school and college years, they also had a fan base with snappily dressed gentlemen of almost all ages.
Though bucks were most commonly found in white, similar (if not identically styled) suede shoes were also a hit during the rocking days of the 1950s, when none other than Elvis Presley himself made blue suede shoes an immortal classic with his wildly successful 1956 song of the same name (which, interesting, was actually recorded first by Carl Perkins the year before, though it's Elvis' version that most people think of when picturing this toe-tapping tune).
Suede shoes could be found in a range of other colours as well, but ultimately it was white bucks that - despite being a significant challenge to keep clean - proved most popular, no doubt in part because of the fact that they were often sported by another successful singer (and teen heart-throb) of the era, Pat Boone.
So well known was Boone, in fact, for his passion for this particular type of footwear, that he was sometimes called The Kid in the White Bucks, and numerous images abound of him sporting an always immaculate pair of these sturdy white kicks.
Much like Pat Boone himself, white bucks carried with them a natural sort of ingrained air of being clean-cut, presentable and youthful. Looking back on the decade more than half a century later, it's anything but a stretch to say that in a way bucks represented the wholesome image that youth culture - and by extension society itself - was supposed to represent. Good kids who did they civic duties with a smile, went to every pep rally, and were keen on using words like "gosh" and "golly".