November 29, 2014 posted by

A Really Big Shoe


Those shoe commercials always promised that you’d be a better athlete if you purchased a pair of their wares. Magic wedges, super-arch cushions, and torsion-air ride would see to that. Well, I did buy a pair of those miracle shoes, and indeed I broke the school record at the track event… I ran the four minute mile in eighteen weeks. Now watch these commercials and see what those shoes can do for you…


When you think of virility, you think of parrots, right?

Buster Brown – Train

Animated by Fred Wolf. This spot from 1974 features a cuter version of the venerable boy and dog, just right for the times.

Keds – Train

Keeping up the train theme, we have this spot from Paul Fennell Productions featuring Kedso the Clown and Keddy Bear.

Keds – Moon Rocket

Another one from Paul Fennell. By this time you are probably noticing that Keddy Bear doesn’t actually do anything.

PF Flyers

Can anyone identify what kind of creature this is supposed to be? Directed by Grant Simmons.

Karl’s Shoes

Produced by Playhouse Pictures in 1959.


  • Swifty Flyer looks like what happens when a chipmunk and a monkey love each other very much.

  • Gimmicky Shoe Commercials B.N. (Before Nike)

  • MK-
    Two for the show-
    1. You say the P.F. Flyers spot is directed by Grant Simmons. Does that mean this ‘un is by Grantray-Lawrence?
    2. I have a suggestion for a future post for CAA- Drive-in ads! Although I suggested a column idea to Jerry called “On With the Show!” to show those symbols of Americana…

  • Omg!! Now I’ll be humming Poll Parrot til Thurs.!!!!

  • The best part of buying shoes for many of us – the “March of Comics” giveaway.

  • You have to love the blatant overpromising here. Heck, even the cheesy parrot ring is sold as a technological wonder.

    Another animated shoe mascot was Red Goose, who waddled around and promoted a “golden egg” with each purchase — sort of like Buster Brown’s Boodle Bag. And on the Jonny Quest DVDs there’s a commercial for either Keds of PF Flyers. It has Jonny saving Race from a volcano because he can run faster and has the giveaway premium with a “signal mirror”.

    As a boomer kid I remember shoe ads offered premiums as often as cereals did. But my parents seemed to be sensible shoppers, and I tended to end up with Converse or other brands that didn’t pander to kids.

  • Harry Karl of Karl’s Shoes married Debbie Reynolds…and gambled away both her fortune and his own, at least $65 million. After their breakup, she worked for years just to pay off debts he’d run up in her name.

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