Sunday, November 25, 2012

Horseshoes: Freakish Fashion Footwear 60s Teens

Large cleats and horseshoe
"Me and my friend came walking down the avenue/Just like the girls we had nothing to do/So we both whistled but they wouldn't look back/And four little heels went clickety-clack... 'Four Little Heels' (Brian Hyland)".

I remember in the 60s when Beatle boots were in fashion. Nearly every Singapore band boy was buying a pair to show his worth. 

Some of these boots even had cleats (left image) which were metal on the sole, supposedly to provide secure footing.  They made a clickety-clack sound to announce the arrival of the proud user who would display his footwear either on the streets or the dance floors.

Then came the extraordinary.  Some of these boots and common leather sneakers or loafers were fitted with horseshoes, yes, horseshoes.  Youths of yesteryear had genuine horseshoes on soles to prance and gallop around with.

"See the way he walks down the street/Watch the way he shuffles his feet/My, he holds his head up high/When he goes walking by, he's my guy/When he holds my hand, I'm so proud/'Cause he's not just one of the crowd... 'He's A Rebel' (Gene Pitney)."

This freakish fashion footwear was the ultimate in the 1960s as teenagers would cock their fancy studs, some with cowboy Stetson hats and flowery patterned garb to boot!  Like the younger guys today, 60s kids wanted to be different. Like James Dean -  a rebel without a cause.

Horseshoe on sneakers or loafers.
I bought a pair of horseshoes myself and had them nailed to my boots for a while.  They were shiny when new and rusty when used and had holes for the iron nails to fit into.  Some boys had the horseshoes nailed loosely on the leather heels to accentuate the sound. In fact, the owner could tighten or loosen the nails until they were comfortable. They went chink, chink, chink as the owner strutted around.  Exciting it was! 

I don't remember where I bought my pair of horseshoes but they were available at the cobblers on the streets, in shoe-shops and at some hardware places but when my father saw me one evening clickety-clacking in the middle of the night on the cement floor of our home he literary put his foot down.  I had to get rid of them sooner than I thought.

"Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,/Honey, lay off of my shoes/Blue, blue/'Blue Suede Shoes'... (Carl Perkins)."

"The boots look good but the chink, chink, chink sound is annoying!" remarked my father glancing at my shoes while reading his favourite Indonesian newspaper.
Rusty horseshoes and large cleats on boots.
Of course, I didn't get rid of them but hid them in my cupboard and would only put them on when I was out of the house. So with slick, greasy hair, a pair of moon-glasses, a yellow shirt, tight drainpipe blue jeans and leather boots I thought I had it made. But it didn't go that way for me. Ah, but it was fun while it lasted.

"Now I’m stepping out this old brown shoe/Baby I’m in love with you/I’m so glad you came here/It won’t be the same now,/I’m telling you... 'Old Brown Shoes'. (The Beatles)."

#With the latest dance craze where Gangnam Style takes the world by storm and Korean singer Psy leading the pack of galloping horses followed by nearly one billion YouTube viewers, I am just wondering how effective the movements will be if he wears a pair of boots with cleats and horseshoes intact. 

These gadgets are made for the speedy trots. But there will be more noise I suppose. Someone could offer him a pair of these shoes when he comes to Singapore 's Marina Bay Sands (MBS) on Saturday, l December 2012. Perhaps you could do it?

Images from

Original Article: Andy Lim.


IRENE YAP said...

Happy Birthday Andy! Couldn't find your wall to post your birthday greetings. Many many happy returns.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Irene, you still remember me huh?

AGL said...

Hey Andy,

Saw you on "Foodage" Clear, precise explanation of rojak and kacang puteh, ha ha.

You look good.


Hey Bro. U were on Foodage tick, tocking away!! How r u Andy? Thanks for the memories.

Merlin Lim.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks AGL for the phone call and comment.

I love old Geylang and the Queens Cinema.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Merlin,

It's been four years since we last met. Thank you for the comment and compliment.

I wish you could play with the Silver Strings again.


Wishing u a Happy, Healthy & Longevity Birthday. You look really good on TV - about Geylang.

Sent from my iPhone.

DANNY KOH said...

Happy Birthday Andy. Lots more to come. Wish you well.

Teoh said...

Hi Andy,

I rarely surfed Internet during my free time for a long long while. However, I have started surfing again. Glad to know that your blog is still going strong.

Wishing you good health and happy birthday.

BC Teoh

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks for writing again BC. I miss you and your blog a lot. Not many people are doing what you did. Even today not many blogs about your kind of music.

You should carry on with the postings.

Again thanks for support and visit.


Happy Birthday Andy,
Was away for the weekends for bowling competition. Hope you have a nice day.

LIM KM said...

Happy Bdae! How was Bali?

IRENE YAP said...

Off course Andy, I never forget my friends. You write such lovely stufF about me...

SGCLUB.COM said...

Hello singapore60smus,

We at would like to wish you a happy birthday today!


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. The blog is into its fifth year today.

S.WEE said...

Did u appear in the recent TV show on Foodage? There was an advertisement of Foodage over the past few days. I thought I have seen u in it.

SingaporeMemoryProject said...

Dear Sir/Madam,

On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

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Hi Andy, firstly may I wish you a belated "Happy Birthday."

Yes I did put on "beatles boots" during my band playing days. However, my boots had only cleats fitted onto the toe and heel... sufficient to make that clickety-clack sound though :P


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Jim for birthday greetings and explaining your experience with cleats. It was fun those years showing off to others our special boots n shoes.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to Singapore Memory Project for the offer but isn't it true that if I pledge the blog I am no more the rightful owner?

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...