18th Century Shoes – A Survey


  • Leimomi

    November 30, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    I'd rather pay ridiculous amounts of money and know that my shoes were being made by a skilled shoemaker being paid a fair wage than pay less for sweatshop labour.

    I'm not actually a fan of cut-rate historical items, as I think people start to expect our work (as historical seamstresses) to be done at sweatshop rates.

  • Lauren Stowell

    November 30, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Nobody said anything about sweatshops, Dreamstress. "Manufacturing" doesn't mean cut-rate, sweatshop, violation-of-human rights! I care as much about these things as you do, but I would not rather pay ridiculous amounts of money. Instead, I see that there is a massive hole in the market for these kinds of shoes, and nobody there to fill it.

  • Lauren Stowell

    November 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    Plus just because something is a lower price does not mean that it was made in a sweatshop and people were taken advantage of. I'm hoping I can bring in a lower price to you guys because I will be cutting out the middleman – that is, working directly with factories (and humane ones at that), and having no bricks&mortar store, no warehouse to pay for, no employees except myself, means I don't have to both pay and charge through the nose. Affordable does not necessarily mean unethical.

  • Anonymous

    December 1, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    I would be over the moon at being able to order a pair of these that fit – I have extremely wide feet. Even WW are very tight or impossibly tight.

    Because of that I would be more inclined to buy generic rather than matchy. Though if they weren't prohibitively expensive (and I'm used to paying $200 for a pair of boring shoes to get them wide enough) I'd get more than one.

  • Margravine Louisa

    December 1, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    now you're talking. I think anyone who puts the effort into costuming/dressing historically would put the $$ into at least 2 prs of shoes – and once they get all the great compliments, you would have more people demanding historically accurate shoes!

  • Margravine Louisa

    December 1, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    the thing with S Junipers shoes is they are all hand made – do you have a web board in California or nevada where people can bid on jobs? Maybe an order for 500 pair would work?
    just a thought

  • Anonymous

    December 1, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    I hope this works out – I'm dying for a good pair of 18th c shoes, but I just don't like the options that are out there right now. And BTW, I voted for plain black leather in the survey, but I would also love the option of getting some more colorful fabric ones. I ADORE all these brocade shoes – I'm just trying to be practical first.

  • Lauren Stowell

    December 1, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    I do LOVE Sarah Juniper shoes. They're so exquisite! I don't know about a bid board here in NV, but I have made contact with a manufacturer today, and it's looking promising. I would never have guessed how HARD it is to get something like this going.

    Jen, I feel the same way about what's out there (and in relation to cost). Plain black is the most practical option, especially for outdoors events where you'll be trekking through mud or dirt. I love the pretty stuff too, though, so I've had an idea…

    What do you all think about shoes that can be dyed to any color you could possibly want? They would be the same idea as, say, wedding shoes or prom shoes, a plain white satin/silk that you can order just plain and have dyed yourself, or have them custom dyed for you (by us) to match a fabric swatch, a specific color, etc.

  • Anonymous

    December 1, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    I have 4 pair of 18th century shoes…

    1 pair of Fugawee's I hate them… they are the most uncomfortable shoes I own. I would even say that the are unwearable.

    3 pairs of Burnley and Trowbridge. The higher heal in red leather… I love these shoes. The lower heal in brown… love… and the mules in brown… love.

    get the B&T's if you value your feet.

    If I could afford Sarah Junipers I'd get them because they are so very pretty.

  • Rebecca

    December 1, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    I too will be keeping fingers crossed that you can work this out because I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have a pair of 18thc shoes with a properly shaped heel! As much as I adore my B&T shoes, something in a slightly more posh style would be fantastic. I absolutely think you'd be able to collect 1000 orders – at a reasonable price and with different options available, I'd order two pairs, no question. I'm sure my sister would, too!

    Good luck pursuing this idea! I really hope it works out and keep us posted! 🙂

  • Hana - Marmota

    December 1, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    I have no idea if I'm a potential customer or not… I'm overseas, and do not have much purchase power, so to say. But still, if you produced sonmething I'd really like, I think I'd succumb and find a way. So I added my two cents in the survey just in case. 🙂
    Should we spread the word, or rather not just yet?

  • Hana - Marmota

    December 1, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    P.S.: I voted in the survey for 1 inch heels, because that seems to go with the style of the era I prefer (1790s). But I'd be fine with a 2 inch as well. Not more.

  • Anonymous

    December 1, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    There´s a LOT I want to discuss in this subject! Just remember it´s very difficult do make a shoe today that looks like the pictures. If you look at a shoe from 18th c, it´s like a ballerina shoe with a heel on, standing on heel and toetip. If you put your foot in if will change shape.
    Just be shure before ordering that the factory got lasts that will make the shoes look good.

  • Lauren Stowell

    December 1, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Debbie – noted, and I've asked for a quote about leather soles. I do want everyone to be able to use these shoes for any and all purposes, whether for historical re-enactment, for dancing, or for everyday wear.

    Anna, you said it. We're looking at having custom lasts made just for these shoes, but it's very important to me that they still be comfortable, able to be worn by modern feet, for long periods of time. Despite straight lasted shoes being historically accurate, they just aren't comfortable, and I want to create a product that is both beautiful and wearable. The costume shoes I have now cripple me after just a couple hours!

  • Anonymous

    December 2, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    If I was able to get a nice pair of shoes for $50-$80, then I might be more likely to buy another pair, etc, but perhaps it's not possible to do a really nice pair for that much. Otherwise, I'd have to save up.

    I don't have a preference on material. leather can be nice, as can a fabric shoe. Sometimes it's nice to get a shoe to match a specific dress.
    I like a heel around 1-2". I wear size 11 women's.

  • Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne

    December 2, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    One thing that I'm really interested in is straight-lasted shoes, since to me that is the first thing I notice in terms of accuracy (though they do conform after time). I love the shoes of the 1780s, so I would be thrilled to see really good reproductions of those styles for less than $500.

  • Lauren Stowell

    December 3, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Olympe, currently the style being worked on is a 1760s model. As you know, the style of shoes changes dramatically in the 1780s and 90s, to something that looks more like a kitten heeled flat of the 1960s. It's quite fascinating stuff. For this first release the most generic shape wearable with the widest range of costume is the goal, but in the future, if things go well, there could be others…maybe…possibly 🙂

  • Sandra Brake

    December 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    oh happiness if i could get a pair of 10 – 10.5 WIDE with a one inch heel in a silk/satin that could be dyed. SWOONVILLE! I love those Louis heels – talk about divine!

  • Anonymous

    December 8, 2010 at 4:44 AM

    My preference would be for a plain pale leather I could dye rather than satin. If only cos in the humid climate I live in leather is kinder to my feet than synthetic fibre satin.

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