Historical Footwear – News, and Looking at Edwardian Styles

Wishbone straps on a c. 1900 white kid pump

The results of the Historical Footwear poll are in, and the Edwardian pumps took first, followed by a foot-and-foot race between the 1860-80 evening shoes and Regency slippers.  Mules and Leather 18th c. shoes were not as popular, but many of you expressed a dire *need* for leather Georgianas.  Several others of you all independently asked for late Victorian button boots.  So let’s talk about these results…

What’s coming Next-Next?
Later this year, after everyone’s silk Georgiana shoes have been delivered, we will be introducing their leather counterparts, “The Devonshires.”  These will be the hard-wearing, mud-trudging, cobblestone clattering camp followers many of you are in need of.  Don’t let those descriptors fool you, though: the leather will be high-grade, ivory colored that can be left their natural shade or colored to a wide variety of shades, including moroccan red, peacock blue, forest green, even metallics.  The Devonshires will have the same comfy fit, custom-designed French heel, and smooth leather sole for dancing.

Then What? Didn’t the Edwardian Shoes Win?
The Edwardian shoes will be released simultaneously with the Regency slippers, for pre-sale on January 1, 2012.  This upcoming year marks the anniversaries of both the War of 1812, and the sinking of the Titanic, and with the dual-period project happening over at Your Wardrobe Unlocked, we’d like to supply the lovely shoes for you all to wear with your new Regency and Edwardian outfits in 2012.

Cute and also typical Regency slippers.

So *now* is the time to start developing the Edwardian shoes.  In my research I’ve found them to be quite complicated.  Ladies, I need your input – what do you want for straps?  I’d love to be able to do all four strap styles I’ve drawn here, but for now we have to choose just one.  Which ones do you like?

Click this image for a larger view, and please leave a comment!

But Wait…Will I Ever get my Late Victorian Boots?
Boots of all periods are a possibility for the future, but it comes down to two very important issues: fit, and price.  Button boots, in their original form, literally buttoned with a special tool (a boot hook), and these boots were often fitted to each individual wearer, which we unfortunately don’t have the capability to do.  I’d be loathe to add zippers or other modern means of closure, but it may be the only way to create this style on a large scale for many different types of feet and ankles.  Also, with leather high-topped boots we would be looking at a much higher price than I could offer the Georgianas for, so this may be a style to look at in the future, when we’re not in a recession!

These are for day, and actually c. 1910, but same idea.

I don’t want to overload you guys with too much information right now, so look for more posts coming soon about 1912 pumps, 1812 slippers, leather Devonshires, later Victorian pumps, and more!


  • Noelle

    April 14, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    In order of my preference I vote for 4, then 2, then 3, and last 1.

    I simply cannot wait!

    Also Regency slippers makes me ever so happy! Thanks for being so awesome!


  • Beth

    April 14, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    How exciting! This all sounds great. For the Edwardian strap choices, I like 2 & 4 the best. 1 looks like a wishbone. 🙂 4 is the coolest, but might be more expensive and harder to fit on a variety of different feet.

  • Paula

    April 14, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    4, 2, 1 and 3 is the order I prefer. I really can't wait for these as I'm more into the edwardian styles than the georgian era.

    And finally some decent regency slippers! I've tried to create some out of cheap satin ballerinas, but they aren't as pretty and accurate as I believe you can get them.

  • Lauren

    April 14, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    I'm with Beth- #4 is my favorite, but I know the straps would most likely be too big for my feet, as most modern shoes with straps just don't fit me. BUT that said, I'd LOVE to have a pair of them- perhaps a cobbler could custom fit them to my size.

    Personally, I'd also vote for a plain, non strappy pump, like the drawing at the bottom 🙂 Or something with a large tongue (maybe with cutouts?).

  • Kat

    April 15, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    I love #2!

    What a wonderful idea to make shoes to go along with the YWU dual period project! And knowing about it gives me time to save up to get both 😀

    Thanks for letting us know about the hardships of making a late Edwardian boot. Hrm…Is a lace up off the table? These silk embroidered ones are lace up http://costumingmybliss.com/victorian_boots. Just food for thought 🙂 There's lots of time yet to think about it.

  • Lauren Stowell

    April 15, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Hi Kat,

    I won't say a Victorian boot is "off the table," but we can't do it right now. Lace up Victorian boots are very easy to find, very affordable. I have a great pair I bought up in Virginia City, NV, with the proper French heel and everything. I'm always looking for styles of footwear that are hard-to-find or under-represented, but in the future, when the "company" is more established, doing something that's also available from other companies wouldn't be such a huge business risk.

  • fullfathom

    April 15, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    All the strap styles are wonderful, although I think I love #1 a smidge less than the other 3.

    Yay for both Edwardian and Regency shoes! Please please consider using lasts that are relatively wide. There are no overhead shots of the toe of the Georgiana shoes, but from what I can see they look like they'd be uncomfortably narrow for someone with a wide foot, so I have not ordered any. I'd buy both the Edwardian and the Regency if they fit. Thanks for making such beautiful shoes!

  • bauhausfrau

    April 15, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    I thought I'd just jump in with a comment about button boots. I have two pairs of repro boots that I got in the early 90s that have buttons down the sides – but the buttons are NOT functional and there is no zipper. So how does one get them on? On one pair clever elastic sides stretch to get my rather ample foot in! The other pair's buttons are actually snaps.

    I can send you pics if you're interested in seeing either of these.

  • Maggie

    April 15, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Woah, colored leather? Count me in! Actually, count me in for all of these. I'm so excited to see how all these turn out! I love 4 best and number 2 second for the shoes above. 🙂

  • Beth

    April 15, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    Haha – I just realized that I commented that the straps for #1 look like a wishbone, but that's how you described and intended it. Teach me to be clever.

    Sounds like #4 is popular enough that people might be willing to buy it even if it did cost more than another style.

    Tomorrow's payday, so I'm planning to get my pre-order for in for my Georgies before it closes!

  • The Dreamstress

    April 15, 2011 at 2:00 AM


    The other three have been offered in slight variants on the modern shoe market, so I wouldn't be nearly as tempted to buy them (especially as I already own dead ringers for #s 2 and 3).

  • Jen Thompson

    April 15, 2011 at 2:25 AM

    NUMBER TWO!!! I don't know why, but the crisscross straps make feet look fatter to my eyes. #2 also seems like a more common style of the period. I can't remember seeing many examples like 1,3, or 4. I'd much rather have a style that is typical for a period than one that is rare.

  • chemspin

    April 15, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    I love the look of #4 but as others have said, they might be hard to fit. #3 might be easier to fit and I would definitely buy a pair. #2 is just okay and #1 is a definite "no" for me. Will they be in satin or leather, or will that be determined later?

  • Anna

    April 15, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    So so happy about leather Georgies and Regency. I do hope you'll let us know the final count of how many orders you got in the pre-order period! I was bragging for you about the over-100 in the first 24 hrs to some of my co-workers today. They were talking about how costumers could refurbish just any old shoe for "dress-up purposes" and it would work, and I lectured them heartily and let them know just how much demand there really was.

  • Geekyfood

    April 15, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    I have to say I love 4 and 2 as a close second. (No pun intended!) Number 1 reminds me too much of flip flops and number three is just alright.

    Will these be similar to the Georgiana shoes in that they are kind of an "inside only" shoe? Or will they be hardy enough to handle wear from outdoor walking?

  • Anonymous

    April 15, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Oooh these are lovely. I've always wanted a proper pair of multi strapped shoes.

    My vote in order of preference:
    4, 2, 3 and then 1.

    Would they be in ivory silk? If so, then imagine them, dyed (or remain the same colour) and then beaded!!! Oh my!

  • Jenni

    April 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    I vote for #4. You know what's funny…I own a pair of shoes that look exactly like #2. I bought them at a modern shoe store about 15 years ago (payed $80 for them as a teenager…tons of money at the time!) this was right around the time when the movie Titanic was popular and modern clothing was being influenced by the movie.

  • Julie

    April 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    I definitely love #2 best.

    And yeah, I would totally go for a pair of button-up boots. It's not like we couldn't move the buttons ourselves if they weren't quite in the right spot for each person…

  • Lauren Stowell

    April 16, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    Sorry for delayed responses, guys, I've been out sick for a couple days. Looks like 2 and 4 are the most popular so far. I like them both too, but it's going to be so hard deciding which to go with!

  • Anonymous

    April 17, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Wewt – I voted for leather versions of Georgiana, so I'm glad they're coming!! I can justify buying those as leather's a bit more practical than silk (which I fear I'd ruin within hours!).

    Liking the look of the Edwardian shoes, though it seems I'm the only person who likes the option 1!!

  • Green Martha

    April 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    In order of preference : 4, 2, 3 and I really don't like 1. As has been alreayd mentionned, though, the 4 might be a little harder to fit, but I haven't seen anything close to them on the market yet, while I have seen some strapwork similar to 2 and 3.
    Trying to put a little money aside for the Devonshires…

  • Anonymous

    April 17, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    I love #4 as well!

    #2 is also beautiful and elegant looking — but I'm in the camp where I already have a pair of shoes with that particular strap detailing.

  • Gail Kellogg Hope

    April 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    #1 & #3 best, then #2 & #4… though I like all of them, #1 seems to be the closest to what I think of as Edwardian shoes. I think I've seen something like #4 in Sears recently.

    Can't wait for the kick-around leathers to come out!

  • Ketutar

    April 21, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    I like the three straps (2) best, then the four straps crossed in diamond (4), but all of them are nice. I have a pair with single strap (mary jane wise) and I love them.

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