The Great American Shoe

The Great American Shoe - (notice the pink Thunderbirds, not the Alexander Wang bag or Garrett Leight shades), photo by

The perfect summertime shoe is Minnetonka’s Thunderbird Moccasin. Cute and quirky, released in 1960 and still going strong, the shoe is as classic as Winnie Cooper in cut-offs on a banana-seat Schwinn. Think barbeques, beach houses, sundresses on Saturday, lawn chairs on the porch.

The moccasin is the Great American Shoe. The only thing better is barefoot. I’ve been rocking the smooth leather boat sole Thunderbird in pink, always in pink, since I was about seven. I used to get a new pair every summer at the bait shop in the little town where my grandparents had a lake cabin. After summer faded, I would ask if was okay to wear, “mocs, no socks,” acceptable to be that casual, which is funny, as I rarely wore shoes. I had one lapse, where I picked out the pink pair with rhinestones instead of the Thunderbird; I blame it on the 90s, and it only happened once. My little sister, though not as devoted as I, wore them when she was little also. I picked them out. In college I started wearing them again, getting a new pair every year or so since then – still in pink.


I also used to ride a green 1962 Schwinn Hollywood Cruiser to work. And just as I had to let that go when it was stolen after having been chained to a Lower East Side signpost, I may have to let go of the 1960s mauve-pink slip-on after this pair wears out. I cannot seem to find them anywhere online. I’m slowly getting used to the idea of white… or maybe navy. Sigh. Other colors are available on Minnetonka’s website, which are pretty cute also, and I didn’t want you to have my pink ones anyway. On this August afternoon, I have them on.