Featured Item: Red Cross Shoes

I’ve come across pretty interesting items in our little shop, and decided I wanted to know a little more about some of these.  So I’m dedicating a section of this blog to “Featured Items.”  Featured Items will be those that I can find some information about online, information I deem to be awesome and interesting 🙂

My first pick is a pair of Red Cross Shoes.

They are quite beautiful, aren’t they?

Don’t let the name fool you though, Red Cross Shoes has no affiliation to THE Red Cross.  Red Cross Shoes were first produced by Krohn-Fechheimer Shoe Company in Cincinnati, circa 1896.  Red Cross Shoe became a hot selling brand, maybe due to Mad Men savvy advertising it as the “noiseless” shoe.  The company had to adjust after World War I, when high-topped shoes started going out of style.  A six month strike in the Cincinnati shoe industry in 1921 made these adjustments difficult to make. Due to these difficult times, eight different shoe companies, including Red Cross Shoes, merged together to form the United States Shoe Corporation in 1931.  One marketing technique to revive the failing shoe market was to produce a $6 pair of Red Cross Shoes, that previously sold for $10.  Demand soared, and by 1939 Red Cross was the most popular shoe brand in the United States.

Red Cross expanded to the international market throughout the 1940s, and for a brief period of time voluntarily stopped using “Red Cross” due to complaints from the American Red Cross.  It took back it’s name in 1948 with the blessing of the Federal Trade Commission.

Red Cross continued to grow throughout the years, reaching production levels of 100,000 pairs of shoes a week in 1955.

United States Shoe Corporation began to diversity in 1955, with it’s biggest success lying in Lens Crafters.  By the 1980s, shoe sales accounted for only one-third of the company’s sales.  The company continued with ups and downs, but according the source of this information, it seems that it’s still chugging along. If anyone has recent information about the brand, this specific shoe or the shoe company, I’d love to read up on it!

Anniversary Collection Postcard

Main source of information: I read it on the internet, it must be true! 


2 thoughts on “Featured Item: Red Cross Shoes

  1. Anne Foster says:

    I bought some lace up red cross shoes in the 1990s from Bealls Store in Ocala, Fl. Didn’t like the old lady look but were soooo comfortable. Now I am having trouble with my feet and shoes in general. Went looking for the Red Cross and can’t find them! I would like to have some. I have a white moccasin type from them , bought at the same time. I dragged them out and am wearing them but they are all stretched out. Could use a new pair. The arch was just right for my problem.
    . E-mail me if you hear anything about them or if they are under another company name. Thanks.

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