18th c. Shoes – Survey Results

LACMA 1780s

I thought you all would be interested to know the results of the survey you all took a little while back.  I’m still getting responses (which is awesome, thank you!), but the trending is very obvious, and here it is:

70% of you do not have proper 18th century shoes
(24% have shoes that aren’t accurate, and a whopping 46% don’t have any shoes at all!)

48% of you expect to pay between $80 and $120 for good 18th c. style shoes.

In terms of fabric choice, it’s very close – 35% of you wanted light fabric, and 30% wanted smooth leather.  Dark fabric was right behind, but suede leather wasn’t popular at all.

Almost half of you want a color besides black, red, cream, or brown.  Black was the second chosen, trailing at only 19%.

60% of you voted for a 2 inch high heel.

70% of you wear between a size 7 and a size 9.5 (USA).  Next come sizes 10 to 11.5, and very few of you wear smaller than a 6.

I want to thank each and every one of you who participated in this survey and shared, tweeted, and facebooked it.  Thanks to you all I’ve been able to design a shoe that I hope will fit everyone’s needs.

To Answer a Few Questions
We’ve developed the design to fit a range of decades in the 18th c., from about 1750 to 1790.  They have a historically accurate shape, with latchet closures able to worn with buckles, or turned back to be worn with bows.  The heels are 2 inches and fit closest with the styles of the 1770s-80s.  Where we diverge from historical accuracy is in that the shoes are left and right lasted, which means maximum comfort for long days in-costume, and no “breaking in” period.

The shoes will have a smooth leather sole, which will make them great for dancing.  The upper material will be dyable silk, which means any color you want, and the ability to match your shoes to your various gowns.  This dyable factor has been extremely important – it means you can decorate your shoes (or have them done for you) in a way that makes them one-of-a-kind.

We are doing a very limited run of 200 pairs, which will be dependent on achieving enough pre-orders to be able to have the shoes made.  There will be a nice 20% discount off the regular price when you pre-order, and you will be guaranteed your size, even up to size 12.  The regular price of the shoes will be around $100, with spiffy extras like custom colors and cockades additional.

While we are only in the very beginning stages of prototyping, I want to impart to you all how excited I am about this.  I’ve been adamant about heel style, fabric, and quality, and I plan to share the progress with you as the prototype comes to be!  Here is the first little sneak peek of the 2″ heel:


  • Anonymous

    January 9, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    It´s such a great idea!
    I hope I will be able to preorder a pair. I am going to save my money!
    Little question, will they be shipped to Germany, too?

  • Unknown

    January 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    18th century shoes are beautiful. Although I personally reenacted the Regency/Napoleonic period, I am very fond of 18th century fashion and should like to design an outfit for my own pleasure. 😀

  • Nycteris

    January 9, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Wow, I'm so excited! I will try to save my money. The most exciting part is that they will be in size 12… not just any shoes but historical ones! <3 <3 <3
    This is such a great idea and I applaud your efforts!
    So… is your closet going to be filled with these soon? (Lucky…!)
    Love, Julietta

  • Lauren Stowell

    January 9, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Hey ladies! To answer your questions – yes, international shipping to everywhere! We have a world-wide community of costumers and you should all have shoes 🙂

    MrsC – I'm not sure what you mean by a "waist?"

    If all goes according to plan, we will be presenting other historical styles later on – this could be a Regency shoe, a 1920s pump, a Victorian boot…you'll have your say in what you want!

    My closet won't be full of them, but the garage will – Mr. C has been devising ingenious methods of suspended storage, so there won't be shoe boxes all over the living room, hahaah 🙂

  • Sandra Brake

    January 10, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    It looks lovely but I was hoping the base of the heel would spread out a bit more like the reference photo – perhaps that's what Mrs C meant by a waist? The heel goes in from the top and then out just a little at the base. It just gives such a delightful line! In any case I am in and happy to pre-order once we know what the sizing is like.

  • Carly

    January 10, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    I am so excited for this! It's coming at the perfect time as I was just looking into my 18th century shoe options. I will definitely be pre-ordering a pair! 🙂

  • Lauren R

    January 11, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Traveller – (and everyone else) – the most recent development is that we will be able to get the Louie heels after all! Before, the cost quoted me was prohibitive, but I was able to make a deal with the manufacturer and they are going to do the molds for a much better price, and it will only raise the price on the final shoes by $5!

  • Lauren Stowell

    January 15, 2011 at 2:31 AM

    The majority of votes was for a 2" heel, so they will indeed be 2" Louie heels – high enough to be charming, low enough to be comfortable 🙂

  • The Dreamstress

    January 27, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Woohoo! I finally had time to read this, and am happy to let you know that my shoe fund/birthday present for this year is now spent on these shoes! I wonder how many pairs I can get away with ordering!


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