I've Worn Historical Shoes for 10 years (& they're comfortable?)

I started making historical shoes 10 years ago, focusing on making them with historically accurate techniques and materials. And when you make so many pairs, they're bound to get a lot of wear! And every time, I get asked "Are those comfortable?" Or, really, more often I get told that they aren't. That they look painful, difficult to walk in, flimsy, and unable to stand up to much wear. I've had an uncomfortable number of people apologize to my feet on behalf of my shoes even! And every time I explain I wouldn't wear them if they weren't comfortable. But what makes them look so impossible to wear? How do they differ from modern support? And what happens when you do wear them for hundreds of miles?

I started shoemaking with the 18th century, working at a living history museum where I needed them everyday. I've since branched out as far back as the 15th century and up to the 1920s. While not every pair is an exact copy of an original, I've been lucky enough to spend time researching in museum collections and to have started my own small collection over the years. And I've come to the conclusion that modern shoes exist because of changes in production and supplies, not because of advancements in comfort. We demand cheap, fast, and ever changing products today- so our shoes so often are oversized plastic boxes that are big enough to handle feet. If we're used to how uncomfortable those shoes are, particularly high heels, it's no wonder historical shoes look impossible!

Why the Shoe Pinches: https://books.google.com/books/about/Why_the_Shoe_pinches_a_Contribution_to_a.html?id=URU_AAAAcAAJ
Advertisements: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/
Original shoes: https://eng.shoe-icons.com/

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Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@cloche_call
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nicolerudolph

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