The magical shoes that were originally owned by the Wicked Witch of the East but passed to Dorothy Gale when her house landed on the Witch. As gathered from the clues throughout the various books and films, the Silver Shoes will only pass to a new owner if they have physically defeated the previous owner or the previous owner willingly hands them over.
The shoes first appear in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Major Story Arcs
They are the property of the Wicked Witch of the East until Dorothy's house lands on and kills her. They are then given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North. When Dorothy is captured by the Wicked Witch of the West, she tries to steal the shoes. She finally gets one by tricking Dorothy into tripping over an invisible iron bar. Dorothy then melts the Witch with a bucket of water and recovers the shoe. In the final chapters of the book, Glinda, explains that the shoes can transport the wearer anywhere they wish. If the Silver Shoes have any other powers they are never outlined in the books, however the Witch of the West was obsessed with obtaining them, as they would give her much greater power than any other thing she possessed, suggesting the shoes hold immense magic. After saying goodbye to her friends, Dorothy knocks her heels together three times, and commands the Shoes to carry her home. When Dorothy opens her eyes, she has arrived in Kansas. She finds that the shoes are gone, having fallen off during her flight and landing somewhere in the Deadly Desert. Though they are mentioned several times in sequels, they never appear again in the original series.
The Wizard of Oz
In the 1939 movie the shoes serve the same purpose as in the book but are changed to the Ruby Slippers, and given a notably different appearance than in Denslow's illustrations. This movie proves that the shoes are magically protected. When the Wicked Witch of the West reaches for them, they shock and burn her hands and she cries out in pain.
Return to Oz
In Return to Oz, the Ruby Slippers are used once again. In this movie, the slippers have more power than simply transporting people. They allow the Nome King to conquer Oz and turn every one in the Emerald City to stone. Dorothy later uses the shoes to reverse this process. This extra power is due to the fact the slippers replace the Nome King's Magic Belt. In the original draft of the script, the Nome King had refashioned the slippers into the actual Magic Belt from the novels. Upon his death, they reverted into the form of slippers. This was cut from the final filming of the movie.
Dorothy, who's portrayed as a cold, merciless assassin, found that she enjoyed killing after being hired by the Wizard to kill the Witch of the West. However, she loses them on the way back to Kansas over the Deadly Desert, and goes to great lengths to get them back. She has several encounters with Cinderella, which climaxes with them facing off in the mini-series Cinderella: Fables Are Forever. After deducing that they are actually too big to fit Dorothy, Cinderella takes them and pushes her out of an airship over the Deadly Desert to her apparent death, though her body is not seen. Cinderella then looks over the shoes and decides they're just the right size to fit her.