Indeed the conservative decade of the 1950's did mark the first decade where mules, slides and other backless shoes entered the fashion world for the mainstream. Their stay was not initially widespread or perpetual as styles since then have come and gone. These two Web articles (1) and (2) give partial credit to Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch as being the final straw that was broken that led this shoe style to be accepted by the masses, to a significant degree. The Springolator shoe was actually invented in 1952 by Beth Levine and was an important step in popuralizing the mule. Before then, mules were usually worn inside as bedroom slippers. Sexier styles were associated with bordellos. These earlier mules were not designed for walking outdoors since they came off too easily. The elastic strap insole of the Springolator was designed to address that problem. After brief popularity in the mid-50's, backless high heels virtually disappeared until the Candie's wooden slides appeared in the late 70's. Clogs and the Dr. Scholl's exercise sandal surged in popularity at the same time and all three faded by the mid-80's. Backless shoes did not begin their comeback until the early 90's, but this appearance has been by far the longest and the best received as practically all women today include backless shoes of one type or another in their wardrobe.
Additional stories, set in current day, feature Local TV News anchor/reporter - Melissa and Pharmaceutical Sales Representative - Jennifer. Melissa loves to wear backless shoes because they are
comfortable and easy to remove and meets conflict with those who
think backless shoes are inappropriate. Jennifer likes to wear the
latest fashions, including fashionable mules and slides. (She has
a near obsession with Ann Taylor) but her travels often challenge
Story 13: Slingback Red - a story that takes Mark from the Melissa stories on a new adventure with Rhonda, the coffee barista.
Story 14: A Chance Encounter on the Beach A story I actually began in 2000 before the Trisha series is very loosely based on a real-life experience. The story begins in Miami Beach in 1979 and ends in Oklahoma in 1980.