21 Of The Best Songs About Shoes And Footwear

Written by Dan Farrant

Shoes can make or break our entire outfit. They are an expression of our personal style and status.

Shoes have evolved significantly over time, from simple hide wrappings to the vast array of styles and designs we have today. They cater to a variety of needs and preferences that reflect the diversity of human experience.

Songs about footwear have carved a unique niche within the music industry. They are featured across various genres, indicating their universal appeal. Today, we are going to go through 21 of the best songs about shoes and footwear. So here goes.

1. “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” By Paul Simon

Up first is Paul Simon‘s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” This was released in 1986 from his seventh studio album, Graceland.

Critics are divided when it comes to analyzing the meaning behind this song. Some say that the girl is rich enough to afford to wear the diamond-studded shoes. Some think this is metaphorical in a sense.

Others, however, believe that the song is about looking at things through rose-colored glasses. By wearing the titular shoes, you are always happy.

Whatever the case may be, this song is a celebration of music and its power to connect people from different cultures and backgrounds despite differences in their socio-economic statuses.

2. “Blue Suede Shoes” By Elvis Presley

Among popular songs with “shoes” in the title is Elvis Presley‘s “Blue Suede Shoes.” This classic rock-and-roll song uses shoes as a metaphor for something valuable and cherished.

For the narrator, this prized possession is too important to be soiled or damaged, hence the lines “Well you can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes.”

This song captures the essence of 1950s youth culture. This was an era when style and fashion — including the type of shoes one wore — were expressions of identity. For the narrator, his shoes are symbolic of status and individuality.

3. “Dancing Shoes” By Arctic Monkeys

Even contemporary acts like Arctic Monkeys have tapped into this theme with their song “Dancing Shoes.” Released in 2006, it’s about the anticipation and excitement of going out to social events.

The lyrics talk about a guy who goes to a party and spots the girl he likes. However, he’s scared to make the first move and “say the first word.” And so he keeps pretending to dance and “hope for the best.”

Here, the term “dancing shoes” is symbolic. It represents the idea of letting loose and having fun in a social atmosphere. And shoes are more than just a fashion accessory. They are a metaphor for one’s readiness to engage in the dance or possibly even romance.

4. “My Adidas” By Run-D.M.C.

The American hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. wrote “My Adidas” as a love letter to the brand. It was written as a response to the stereotype of sneakers being associated with crime or delinquency.

Notably, Adidas wasn’t a popular brand in the early ’80s. The song made Adidas the apparel of choice, presenting the brand to a wider audience and lending it credibility.

However, “My Adidas” is more than just a song about shoes. It represents the journey that the group has traveled over the years. Through this song, they were making a statement about how black men can grow up in bad neighborhoods but still become successful without resorting to crime.

5. “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” By Kenny Chesney

Up next, we have “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” by Kenny Chesney. The track was released in 2003 from his sixth studio album of the same name.

In the 1960s, hippies embraced the counterculture movement and were often seen shirtless and barefoot. People thought it was bad for business and put up “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” signs in their establishments. This inspired the title of Kenny Chesney’s song.

Here, the song uses the concept of shoes — or the lack thereof — to represent a carefree and relaxed state. The narrator dreams of leaving his job for a while in exchange for a much-needed beach vacation where it doesn’t matter if he has shoes or a shirt.

6. “Old Brown Shoe” By The Beatles

One of the lesser-known hits of The Beatles is “Old Brown Shoe.” Penned by George Harrison, the shoe is a metaphor for the narrator’s position and feelings. In particular, it symbolizes the inferior or underappreciated position that Harrison felt he occupied within the band.

“Old Brown Shoe” offers a witty look at love with a sardonic flair. Harrison used this song to express his frustration at the constant scrutiny that being in the music industry involves.

At the same time, he uses the concept of “stepping out this old brown shoe” to pursue artistic freedom and be his real self.

7. “New Shoes” By Paolo Nutini

Anything can turn your life around. In Paolo Nutini‘s “New Shoes,” he sings about how a new pair of footwear brings changes in his life.

In the song, new shoes symbolize a sense of optimism, renewal, and change. For a long while, he had experienced discontent or stagnation, as symbolized by an old outfit and old shoes. But with new shoes comes a fresh start and a shift in perspective.

Suddenly, everything seems brighter and better. This is a reflection of how small changes can positively affect our attitudes and perceptions.

8. “Sand In My Shoes” By Dido

In “Sand in My Shoes,” Dido sings about lingering feelings and memories. The lyrics talk about a woman who returns from a holiday and reminisces about a romantic encounter she had.

The sand in her shoes is an analogy for these residual feelings and memories, much like how sand can remain in your shoes after a day at the beach. It’s a symbol of the emotional residue that makes it difficult to forget and let go.

In the context of shoes, the song uses this everyday object as a container for emotions and memories. It signifies how our past experiences can remain with us, affecting our present and future.

9. “The Red Shoes” By Kate Bush

In this song with “shoes” in the lyrics, Kate Bush explores themes of desire, obsession, and the consequences of indulging in one’s passions. “The Red Shoes” was released in 1994 from her album of the same name.

The lyrics follow a dancer who wears a cursed pair of red shoes. They make her dance uncontrollably until her legs fall off.

In the context of shoes, this footwear represents an irresistible allure, a passion that can consume and overpower you. The color itself stands for passion and desire. The shoes that cannot be taken off once worn represent how our desires can take over our lives.

10. “Crocodile Shoes” By Jimmy Nail

Released in 1994, Jimmy Nail‘s “Crocodile Shoes” represents one’s yearning for love and connection. It was featured on the TV drama of the same name, where Nail himself starred.

The lyrics find the narrator finding comfort in drinking as he tries to fill a void in his life. He is in a relationship with someone, but another woman keeps invading his thoughts.

In the context of footwear, the crocodile shoes represent his regret over his choices. These shoes symbolize his material possessions, which might present him as someone successful. However, this contrasts with the inner turmoil he goes through.

11. “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” By Nancy Sinatra

Sometimes, it comes to a point when you’ve had enough of someone. And that’s what the narrator in Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” experiences. The song conveys a message of feminine power and independence.

The boots represent her strength and determination to walk away from someone who did her wrong. She has put up with his behavior for as long as she could. And now she’s had enough and will no longer tolerate it.

Now, she is ready to take control of her situation by walking all over it. Walking symbolizes moving forward, leaving behind what no longer serves her.

12. “In These Shoes” By Kirsty MacColl

Another female empowerment-themed song on our list is one from Kirsty MacColl. “In These Shoes?” conveys a message of independence, spirit, and fun.

“In These Shoes?” is told in three parts, each one narrating her interactions with three different men. They offer her exciting adventures, but she refuses all of them because her fashionable shoes are not appropriate for those activities.

The song celebrates the spirit of self-assertion, where the woman refuses to sacrifice her footwear for pleasure. She prioritizes her comfort and individuality over conforming to the men’s expectations.

13. “Footloose” By Kenny Loggins

The chart-topper “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins is up next. This song, released in 1984, appeared in the film of the same name.

One of the lines that stand out in the lyrics is “Kick off the Sunday shoes.” These Sunday shoes likely refer to the formal footwear worn to church on Sundays. From this context, these shoes represent traditional values and expectations.

The song invites listeners to break free from these societal expectations and embrace freedom and individuality. It tells us to let loose, break rules, and experience liberation.

14. “Goody Two Shoes” By Adam Ant

Up next is a song that mentions “shoes” metaphorically. Adam Ant‘s “Goody Two Shoes” is considered his first and biggest hit in the US. Released in 1982, it addresses societal expectations and personal integrity.

The term “goody two shoes” describes a person who is very well-behaved. Ant uses this term to sarcastically comment on his public image and the media’s interest in his private life. The shoes represent conformity and the pressure to maintain a clean image in the public eye.

However, “Goody Two Shoes” also conveys the message of resisting these pressures and staying true to one’s values. It emphasizes the importance of individuality and questions the need to conform when we can be anything we want.

15. “Head Over Boots” By Jon Pardi

Our next song mentions footwear in the form of boots. Off the album California Sunrise, Jon Pardi‘s “Head Over Boots” uses the metaphor of boots to express love and commitment in a romantic relationship. The title is a playful twist on the common saying “head over heels,” which means to be deeply in love with someone.

In relation to shoes, they symbolize the sincere and enduring love the narrator has for his partner. He yearns to grow old together and maintain a long-lasting love. This suggests that just like a good pair of boots, their love is strong and built to last.

In addition, the song talks about dancing. This activity requires the right kind of footwear. In this context, it represents the harmony in a relationship.

16. “Fire In Your New Shoes” By Kaskade

In “Fire in Your New Shoes,” Kaskade uses shoes as a metaphor for change, risk-taking, and pushing boundaries. The song features Dragonette singer Martina Sorbara and was released in 2010.

When we say “fire in new shoes,” we’re talking about a burning desire to embrace change. It’s about trying new things despite the uncertainty that goes with it.

In relation to this, the shoes symbolize new experiences. Setting them on fire means igniting excitement and enthusiasm for these new experiences. It spurs us to take bold steps regardless of the potential risks involved.

17. “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” By George Jones

Released in 1985, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” is the title track to George Jones‘ 45th studio album. At its core, the song talks about the irreplaceable nature of iconic country music legends.

Here, shoes are a metaphor for the unique roles, contributions, and legacies of these artists in the music industry. The shoes also symbolize the big steps they took in their careers and the impact they left on country music.

The lyrics pay tribute to these people, with the narrator expressing concern over who will be able to carry on their legacy. The song is also a call to appreciate the unique talents of individual artists.

18. “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” By Shania Twain

The country-pop song “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” by Shania Twain is up next. This became her first hit on country radio and her first Gold single.

Lyrically, the boots here serve as a metaphor for infidelity in a romantic relationship. Boots are often associated with movement. In this context, they represent the man’s journey away from his partner and into another woman’s bed. They also symbolize the man’s physical presence and his unfaithful actions.

In essence, the song explores themes of suspicion, cheating, and betrayal. The boots serve as the man’s proof of his infidelity.

19. “Dancing Shoes” By Dev

Singer-songwriter and rapper Dev reflects on her journey as a performer in “Dancing Shoes.” Here, the shoes symbolize her role as an entertainer and her commitment to her chosen career.

The song captures the excitement of performing before an audience, particularly one that consists of “ten thousand people.” The act of putting on her dancing shoes symbolizes her readiness to step onto the stage and entertain her fans.

In addition, the dancing shoes symbolize the narrator’s connection with her audience. They represent the energy and movement that are central to her performances. These allow her to engage with her fans on a deeper level.

20. “Boogie Shoes” By KC And The Sunshine Band

Moving on to our next song, we have “Boogie Shoes” By KC and the Sunshine Band. The shoes here are a metaphor for joy, and the shared connection one can find in dancing.

In the context of shoes, particularly boogie shoes, the song embodies the spirit of the dance floor. These shoes symbolize the liberation and exhilaration one feels when dancing.

While the shoes represent the act of dancing itself, they also represent the emotional high and the connection between people on the dance floor. In particular, the narrator expresses his desire to dance with someone, likely a romantic interest.

21. “Red High Heels” By Kellie Pickler

Last but certainly not least is Kellie Pickler‘s “Red High Heels.” The single was released in 2006 from her album Small Town Girl.

Thematically, the song uses the imagery of red high heels to symbolize independence, self-confidence, and moving on from a toxic relationship. Thus, the red heels are not just fashion accessories but represent a statement of self-empowerment.

In relation to shoes, the song is about a woman who’s asserting her independence and refusing to be held back by a toxic relationship. She’s putting on her red high heels to show her ex that she’s moved on and is better without him.

Summing Up Our List Of Shoes And Footwear Songs

In wrapping up, these songs showed us how shoes can be powerful symbols in music. They represent various emotional states, emotions, and life experiences.

These songs also showed that even everyday objects like shoes can hold profound meanings. They are not just functional items. But they also embody our emotions and personal journeys.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these songs and maybe found some you can add to your playlist. And if you want to see more songs that fit in this category, let us know, and we’ll add them for you.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.