I’ve heard of Kitten Heels before…but Mouse Wedgies?

1950 news photo of mice inside a plastic wedge heel

Twenty-five years before someone put goldfish inside a platform shoe some shoe designer, probably inspired by the idea of coachmen mice and glass slippers from the 1950 Disney film Cinderella, decided it might be fun to put mice inside a hollow plastic wedge heel. Before you freak out, I am guessing this was a one-off made as a publicity stunt for a shoe convention and, if worn, probably saw one fashion show. I wouldn’t be too quick to assume the worst fate for the mice either – those guys can chew through a wall!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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7 Responses to I’ve heard of Kitten Heels before…but Mouse Wedgies?

  1. Daniel says:

    How EXACTLY did those goldfish platforms work anyway? I’ve heard of them but can’t for the life of me work out the logistics.

    • Jonathan says:

      I don’t know how they were constructed – from what I can tell only one pair was actually ever made as a promotional item for a New York shoe company but they were never put into production – I suspect the tops were probably glued to the base using something like crazy glue. There has since been some other ones made as jokes – Austin Powers wears a pair into a 70s disco, and I recall seeing a Rick James wear a pair in a video, but these are all one-offs, so they could be made in any number of ways. The only commercial type version are made with ‘snowglobe’ type plastic heels – Patrick Cox did a series in the mid 1990s with iconic architecture inside water filled PVC heels, but the metallic finish peeled off the buildings within a few months, and the water got cloudy, and eventually evaporated through microscopic fissures in the plastic. The last time I looked online I found a Chinese manufacture also producing platform boots with fake fish inside snowglobe type heels – like Cox’s.

  2. Daniel says:

    Those Patrick Cox shoes look dreadful now – not only did the metallic finish peel off and the water evaporate, but the jelly plastic used was incredibly unstable and went really sticky, cloudy and gross after a while. If you see a pair now, it looks like they’re in the process of reverting to primoridal plastic sludge – a cautionary tale about what you choose to buy as an investment piece!!

    • Jonathan says:

      Investing in anything made of modern plastics is iffy… Wet look vinyl gogo boots from the late 60s – early 70s self destruct by either flaking or gooing — and 1950s-60s rubber swim caps turn into brittle brown caps that crack like a brulee.

      • Daniel says:

        Yet, go figure, my Betsey Johnson vinyl dress with the stickers is still in fundamentally good shape… and that was meant to be chucked away after one or two wearings!

  3. Jessamyn says:

    I just have to say, “mouse wedgies” gave me a mental picture of some poor, nerdy mouse with his underwear in a bunch!

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