Those Shoes

Album: The Long Run (1979)


  • This song is about men who take advantage of lonely single women. While the men in the song take on a predator role, the woman appears to compromise her principles by putting herself in a bad situation. Her shoes, which apparently are high-heeled (and very uncomfortable) with "pretty little straps around your ankles," are a metaphor for this compromise. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Aaron - Manistee, MI
  • The song is not to be taken altogether seriously. In a statement before The Long Run was released, Don Henley said the album was "tongue-in-cheek cynical," and that "most of the humor is so dry nobody will think its funny."
  • Don Felder and Joe Walsh did a double talk-box guitar solo at the end, which is very unusual. Joe Walsh was an early practitioner of the device, which he used on his solo hit "Rocky Mountain Way." In a 1981 interview with the BBC, Walsh talked about the device: "There's a Country singer from Nashville named Dottie West who's a longtime friend of mine, and her husband is a pedal steel guitar player named Bill West, who actually came up with the concept of the talkbox, but never really got the credit for it. There was a record which I think was called 'Forever' by Pete Drake in the late '50s, and they used it on that and various people used it. I met Bill and Dottie in Nashville, and Bill showed me this talkbox and gave me a prototype that he had, which I used for 'Rocky Mountain Way', and Don Felder and I pursued that in the Eagles and worked out some double guitar parts, and it turned into a song, which was 'Those Shoes,' and that's actually both of us playing through talkboxes, which hadn't really been done. It's an old idea, but that was a new innovation."
  • Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey wrote this song. Henley sang lead and Joe Walsh played the guitar solo.
  • The Eagles were not on the best of terms when recording The Long Run, which was their last album before they re-formed in 1994. They frustrated their record company as it took them 3 years to follow up their very successful Hotel California album, which was released in 1976. Ironically, sessions for The Long Run took place at Love 'n' Comfort Studios in Los Angeles.

Comments: 7

  • Dan from Columbus, Ga@Eric from Cincinnati, not at all. The women is certainly not out on the prowl. She is framed as naive, most likely due to youth, simply looking for a good time and good company. She gets dolled up, looking to attract, not realizing that she is painting a target on her back for less than decent men, or predators to put it bluntly, who looking to take advantage of just such an insecure (i.e. can't believe her reviews, thus easily flattered and suceptible to drop any remaining defenses) and naive young lady. Her shoes are the icing on the cake that is her vulnerability, mostly from a physical sense. Imo, this suggestion, assuming I am correct, is a pinch of very dry humor. In actuality ofc, should just such a situation befall a woman, it would be just about as far from humorous as reality gets, even for the most cynical among us. Real. Dry. Humor.
  • Randall from Des Moines IaThe eagles are dear to my heart I love you guys and I believe if Don came up on some kind of a situation to where he could not play the drums and needed somebody to fill in that I could
    fill in and guaran-damn-tee I could play every song that's right I said every song

  • Jg from Joppa, MdWhat a great song.
  • Dane from Green Cove Springs Fla., FlLOVE this one.So underrated.Shreddin' guitars over a slow beat.My favorite off the Long Run.
  • 8 My Foot from Mesquite, TxI heard an interview with the Eagles, and at the end Walsh is saying "Butt out, butt out". It had to do with their feuding.
  • Brian from Dallas, TxJoe Walsh is talk boxing "burnout, burn out, burn out" throughout the song. It is most pronounced at the end guitar bit.
  • Eric from Cincinnati, OhThis song a "sarcastic" (for lack of a better term) look at single women and the bar lifestyle. A woman on the prowl for a good time so to speak. Hence the lyric "all the jerkoffs in the singles bars" The Eagles sing most of their songs about "lifestyles" and social interaction, mostly between man and woman and the sexual tension that is present. Not a suprise coming from the 70's.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Gilby Clarke

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Grunge Bands Quiz

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.

Kevin Godley

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

80s Video Director Jay Dubin

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.