I'm not sure what these shoes were really called, but this was always our pet name for them. My dad had a pair from somewhere back in the 1940s (I would guess), and since his foot size was the same as mine, I took them for my own. They were a light tan color with cream-colored mesh on the top portion and the sides.
The idea, I suppose, was to be stylish in a dress shoe while still airing out the feet.
You could be sure they would be noticed. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen another pair in action aside from the ones I inherited. If anyone has more information about this particular style of men's shoes, I'd love to hear about it.