Why is it called Mary Jane Shoes? (5 Things You should Know)

Mary Jane shoes are among the most popular and comfortable shoes for both School children and Fashion enthusiasts across the world. But only a few people know why it is called Mary Jane shoes and how the name become synonymous with Bucklestrap Shoes.

Why is it called Mary Jane Shoes? 

The name Mary Jane given to these comfortable and reliable shoes originated from the era of King Henry VIII. Mary Jane Shoes derived its name from a character from Buster Brown’s comic strip created by the famous R F Outcault in July 1904.

Mary Jane shoes become popular in the 1950s and were used mainly as a result of an aggressive campaign by actors and actresses hired by a shoe company called Brown Shoes Company to boost sales and adoption across several states. 

Why is the name Mary Jane stuck to the shoes? 

There are several reasons why the name Mary Jane is always synonymous with buckle strap shoes. These reasons include the following listed below;

  • Stickiness Factor.
  • Peer Influence.
  • Reading culture.
  • Price.
  • Fashion influencers.
  • Easy to remember.
  • Popularity.
  • Availability.
  • Acceptance as a school shoe.
  • Fond Childhood memories.
  • The desire for imitation.

Stickiness Factor. 

The name Mary Jane sticks to the human brain very easily. According to research, brands or products that have a sticky name will be more likely to succeed because people will recognise it better and make the decision of buying one more easily than a product whose name is not sticky to our memory. 

Because of the easy way in which women and children who are the primary users of Mary Jane shoes remember it, it becomes natural to shift towards getting one into their shoe collection.

Peer Influence. 

mother factor that increased the popularity and acceptance of Mary Jane shoes and helps in making the name stuck is peer influence. 

People are more likely to decide on a particular activity when the majority of their friends, mates and colleagues are doing the same. 

Mary Jane shoes are most popular among schoolchildren.

This is a result of both the comfort and the influence of other students among their friends that spread the popularity of the shoes through both words of mouth and advertising.

Reading culture. 

Mary Jane originates as a character in a comic book.

This character becomes very popular amongst children and makes them fond of having the same type of shoe as their favourite character. 

Children are more influenced by what they see especially when it involves Comic or Cartoon characters.

The reason why Mary Jane’s shoes stuck around is a result of the reading culture prominent in the United States and other European countries. 

Because of reading daily, the popularity of the Book increases the chances of the Shoe surviving different fashion changes. 


The ability to buy a product is directly proportional to remembering it. Mary Jane shoes though popular, are also affordable to even low-income earners in society.

The design, simplicity and durability make it the best likely choice when buying a school shoe for your child or when choosing which Fashion trend to follow. 

If the price is very high,  only a few people can afford to buy it which will make it not very much popular,  but when the majority can easily afford it, its popularity increase astronomically. 

Fashion influencers. 

Fashion influencers and celebrities help in marketing a product even if they are not paid to do so. 

What celebrity wear, the type of fashion accessories they used or What they advise have a large impact on a product especially nowadays. 

Mary Jane’s name has stuck around for all these years through the help of fashion influencers and celebrities. 

It is natural for you to remember or look for the type of shoes your favourite actress wore in a series or particular movie. 

Easy to remember. 

Human brains are daily stuffed with thousands of information that are either relevant or not to the person. 

Giving a product an easy name will increase the chances of remembering it when the need arises.

In that regard, Mary Jane shoes completely fall under the categories of product names that are easy to remember


How popular you are determined by the number of people that can remember your name at school,  neighbourhood or among fans just like a product. 

The higher the popularity of a product,  the higher the number of people that will remember it very well and the lower the popularity the lower the amount of people that can recall its name. 

Mary Jane is a very popular name which in turn makes the shoe a darling to many and increases the number of people willing to buy one and add to their numerous shoes at home. 


A product that you can get whenever you need one is more likely to succeed and receive patronises than a product which is the opposite. 

Mary Jane’s name is with you and me today as a result of its availability when people need it.

You can walk into any shoe store or even search e-commerce sites like eBay, or Amazon and buy any Mary Jane shoe that you like without going through the stress of going from one place to another looking for a product that is not available.

Acceptance as a school shoe. 

The biggest reason why the name Mary Jane shoes stay prominent in our lives is the adoption of the shoes as a school shoe by most schools main our societies. 

You can’t help but notice schoolchildren daily whether you have one or not.  On the streets, your next-door neighbour’s kid, sister or Niece, around the school in your area or your office building. 

This makes even parents know Mary Jane’s shoes intimately as a result of school acceptance. 

Fond Childhood memories. 

Although the popularity of Mary Jane shoes is declining as a result of the world having millions of other shoe brands and designs across the world,  the ability of Mary Janes to trigger your childhood memories helps in maintaining its name and reputation among the people. 

We all have our childhood memories to remember and for those born in the 70s 80s, 90s and early 2000s, Mary Jane shoes are most likely part of that nostalgic memory. 

Desire to imitate. 

Human beings are social. They tend to behave the same way others are behaving and dress the way other people are doing. 

Mary Jane’s shoes are memorable as a result of the human desire for imitation. 

When children read the comic book and fall in love with the character,  they attempt to imitate what they do,  how they behave and the way they dress which is why Mary Jane shoes first become popular with children before they later become a fashion brand for all. 

What is Mary Jane’s shoe name in the past? 

Before the creation of Buster Brows”s comic strip a long time ago, the shoes exist but not as the Mary Jane name we call them now. 

They are known as Buckle strap shoes, Bar Shoes and later Doll shoes before becoming Mary Jane’s Shoes. 

However,  people are still calling them either Bar Shoes or Buckle Strap shoes even though they are not as popular as the name Mary Jane shoes. 

Is Mary Jane shoes only for girls? 

Mary Jane shoes are initially unisex Shoes for both genders historically. 

In ancient times, both girls and boys wear Mary Jane shoes without limitation of gender. 

However,  nowadays,  the shoe is more likely to be used by Girls instead of boys which makes it naturally a girls’ shoe. 


The reason why it is called Mary Jane shoes is as a result of R F Outcault’s comic Book created in the 1900s among children which later become very popular in the early 1950s. 

The comic character in the book a med Mary Jane used the Buckle Strap comic book is what later made the shoe very popular among people coupled with some factors that make the name stuck in our consciousness which include the following; 

  1. Stickiness Factor.
  2. Peer Influence.
  3. Reading culture.
  4. Price.
  5. Fashion influencers.
  6. Easy to remember.
  7. Popularity.
  8. Availability.
  9. Acceptance as a school shoe.
  10. Fond Childhood memories.
  11. The desire for imitation. 


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