Posted by: Dahni | October 26, 2010

Ruby Red Slippers Upgrade

© 2010 by Dahni

Perhaps like you, I have always been intrigued by the Ruby Red Slippers made famous by Dorothy Gayle of Kansas in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. And no, I don’t and never have worn women’s shoes! 🙂

I just think these are cool!

The movie, by the way, came out in 1939 when my mother was just sixteen years old. Just imagine seeing this for the very first time in warm sepia tones. Then all of sudden, it changes to full color when Dorothy walked out of her Kansas farmhouse into the Land of Oz!

I still think some of the costumes, special effects and the many elaborate and hand-painted backgrounds rival techniques used today, over 70 years later.

But what about, the Ruby Red Slippers?

As was customary for important props, a number of pairs were made for the film, though no one knows exactly how many. Five pairs are known to have survived. An original pair is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Another was stolen, sometime on the morning/night of August 27 – 28, 2005. Michael Shaw’s original pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz was stolen from the Judy Garland Musuem in Grand Rapids, Minnesota [Judy Garland’s hometown]. The shoes were insured by the museum for $1,000,000.00 Whew, and no actual rubies were used in their construction!

Specs of the original Ruby Slippers



To me, the symbolism of the Ruby Red Slippers, beyond their fashion statement, is whatever is ‘comfortable.’ What could be more comfortable than the words Dorothy Gayle uttered when trying to get back to Kansas, “There’s no place like home!”

Now I’m no girl, but the Ruby Red Slippers might be OK to walk around in, in the Land of Oz, but I don’t think they were too ‘comfortable’ to run in. If Dorothy was heading out to Oz today, surely her slippers would be upgrades to reflect our modern times.

I had an occasion recently, to see such a pair of Ruby Red Slipper upgrades. They were beautiful red patent leather with synthetic flexible soles. They were worn by our niece Laurie. Laurie could easily be a modern-day Dorothy, complete with Ruby Red Slipper upgrades and her band of 3 characters in tow. No, not the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, but her three munchkin-like boys, Ian, Chase and Gavin.

Ruby Red Slipper upgrades (blue socks and gingham dress optional)



As for running in these Ruby Red Slipper upgrades, I’ll let Laurie tell you like it is.

“Remember these shoes?  I still like them a lot. But they are not good for running full speed across an airport while pushing a stroller, pulling a suitcase, carrying a diaper bag, and stopping 2 or 3 times to pick up that &%^*# monkey that Guy [son Gavin]  kept slinging overboard in order to make your flight because you forgot your wallet in your Grandma’s car in Walworth, NY and it is impossible to get it in time and therefore had to go through Special Security Clearance because your ID is in said wallet and you have exactly 1 minute to get on the plane because it is the last one leaving for JFK that will make it to your connecting flight [to Charlotte, NC] that evening.”

From a blog post by our niece, Laurie (Meech) Maddex






Just I-magine,


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