They were clearly powerful but what exactly could the ruby red slippers do?

5 Answers 5


Per the original book the only power the Silver Shoes (not ruby slippers which Hollywood thought would appear better on film) had was to be able to transport the wearer anywhere they wish.

The Silver Shoes would also only pass to a new owner if he/she had physically defeated the previous owner or the previous owner willingly handed them over.

In the original book final chapter after bidding her companions a tearful farewell, Dorothy holds Toto in her arms, claps the heels of the Silver Shoes three times, and says, "Take me home to Aunt Em!" In three giant steps, they take her back to the Kansas farmstead. There she finds that Uncle Henry has built a new house to replace the one the tornado had carried away. But she also finds that the Silver Shoes have vanished forever."

In that respect, the Silver Shoes act something like Seven League Boots. But, they are never again recovered/used in the Baum Books.

Hope this is helpful.


The silver shoes were actually omnipotent. While it is true the only power they displayed were teleportation, Gaylette the Good Witch of the North alludes to the fact that they are much more in the very first sentence spoken about the ancient Ozian magic artifact.

"The Silver Shoes," said the Good Witch, "have wonderful powers. And one of the most curious things about them is that they can carry you to any place in the world in three steps, "

That is power(s) plural and teleportation is only "one" of the most curious things.

And later in the first book Baum says of the Wicked Witch of the West and her recently spent magic: "but if she could only get hold of the Silver Shoes, they would give her more power than all the other things she had lost."

Hope this helps.

  • 1
    This answer does nothing to help, add to, or dispute the already accepted answer. And to call the shoes "omnipotent" is a strange interpretation. The shoes are God-like? Jan 21, 2014 at 10:50
  • 4
    I agree that omnipotent is a odd choice here but I disagree that this adds nothing to the accepted answer. This provides evidence that the shoes have more than just the power of teleportation even if this is the only power observed.
    – DQdlM
    Jan 21, 2014 at 20:43

the Silver Shoes (changed to Ruby for the 1939 film version of the Wizard of Oz) give the wearer the ability to travel anywhere they wish to go. This is the only ability outlined by L. Frank Baum in his writings about Oz.


In the movie the Wicked witch says that with the ruby slippers her power would be the greatest in Oz. The witch can already teleport so she really wouldn't need the slippers for that purpose. So possibly the shoes grant the owner the power to do what they really desire. Dorothy wanted to go home and the witch most likely wanted to enslave all of Oz.

Glinda didn't tell Dorothy how to use them because later she said she had to find out herself. Dorothy had to first go and find what she wanted.

In the book the silver shoes must have had incredible power. The other powers they could have offered could just be making that person more powerful than they already are. Also the wicked witch of the west almost ran away when she saw Dorothy with the shoes but realized she didn't know how to use them.


The Ruby Slippers, in the movie had another power that I can think of. The witch said that she would not be able to remove the slippers from Dorothy as long as she was alive, her attempt to do so caused sparks to come from the shoes. This also gave the shoes the power to encourage the murder of the wearer by someone who wanted them badly enough. I wonder why the witch would want these slippers so badly, her broom seemed like very fast transportation. Did she want to leave Oz and maybe wreak havoc on the other side of the rainbow?

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