As there was more and more Western influence in Chinese life in the early 20th century, so the shape of lotus shoes had also changed. Instead of a cotton base covered in silk for the uppers, many were made in leather with a cloth covering. Some were still embroidered, but others were made out of woven brocade materials that were purchased from outside sources.
Shoes from the 1910 – 1930 period often included instep straps, sometimes fastened with buttons at the ankle, following contemporary Western fashions. In addition, other types of heels were used such as the low kitten heel and the Louis heel made from stacked leather rather than the traditional wood or cotton forms. The leather versions were often nailed onto the shoes rather than sewn. Another difference was that instead of cotton outer soles leather forms were more and more often used.
With the coming of Communism in 1949 the use of colourful silk lotus shoes was forbidden and as a result many women wore plain leather shoes in public. These shoes had the advantage of not drawing attention to the tiny feet of the wearer. A very different attitude from that of the previous century. These continued to be produced in a small number of special factories until the 1990s.