Shoes in fairy tales

Blog - shoes in fairy tales

In the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales …

  • “Cinderella” she lost her slipper.
  • The little sister in “The Almond Tree” gets a pair of shoes from her dead brother.
  • The shoemaker in “The Elves and the Shoemaker” worked very hard and was very honest: but still he could not earn enough to live upon; and at last all he had in the world was gone, save just leather enough to make one pair of shoes.
  • In their version of “Snow White” the queen is forced to dance in hot iron shoes until she dropped down dead.
  • “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” wear out their shoes.
  • The soldier’s helper in “Blue Light” takes the princess’ shoe, which serves as the messenger of the whereabouts of the Princess.
  • The hero in “The King of the Golden Mountain” comes across three giants who have inherited three treasures from their father, one of which is a pair of boots that will instantly transport you anywhere you want to go. They ask him to decide who gets what, so he “examines” each of the treasures and the boots last, and takes off with all three. 


In E.T.A Hoffman’s fairy tale …

  • Clara in “The Nutcracker” defeats the mouse king by throwing her shoe at him.


In Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales…

  • Inge, “The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf,” uses some bread to protect her precious shoes from water.
  • The “Little Match Seller” has her shoes stolen by ragamuffins.
  • Karen, in “The Red Shoes,” had a rough pair of red shoes before her adoption; then she has her adoptive mother buy her a pair of red shoes fit for a princess.
  • “The Little Mermaid” feels as if she’s walking on knives all the time, though that isn’t really shoes.


Most of the fairy tale references are courtesy of Sur La Lune Fairy Tales.

Additional Brothers Grimm references are courtesy of Authorama.