V47: Results of the Great Button Boot Survey

Awhile ago I asked you lovelies to take a survey on your preferences for Victorian button boots.  Here is what you all had to say…

About 455 of you participated.

It was a dead heat in terms of historical accuracy – 41% of you try to be period correct, but will make concessions, while 40% always try to be as accurate as possible.

Met, early 20th c.

All-leather, black button boots were in the clear majority – all leather materials won out with 224 votes against the next closest, leather and canvas combo at 92 votes; black held 191 votes against the next closest, ivory and black at 92 votes.

Snazzy, but not popular – early 20th c.

The scalloped edge around the button closure was the most popular, with about 70% support.

Another clear majority – 68% of you want a low, French heel, and 64% of you like your button boots of medium height, between the ankle and mid-calf.

1863 – mice scallops, but not a popular color or material.

More than 60% of you have “B” width (average) feet.

90% said they expect to pay between $120 and $180 for an authentic button boot.

So this makes my decisions easy – going into development soon will be a Victorian button boot, all black leather, with a scalloped edge, jet buttons, and of a medium height.  They’ll be built on lasts similar to Astoria in shape, with our signature 1.75 inch custom French heel.

1883 – yep, something like this.

It is my goal to make these fully functional, historically accurate button boots – that means NO zippers.  This also means buttons hooks – don’t have one?  don’t worry … I’m working on those too :-).


  • Carly

    February 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    I'm bummed people didn't like the black and white option. There just aren't many good two tone repros out there. No way you could do two different color options like the Astoria? One all black, one black and white? I really like the design but probably won't be getting these in all black any time soon, especially as I can find black lace ups for much less. The black and white I would!

    • Lauren R

      February 17, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      Hi Carly – starting with the most demanded color choice is the plan, but if this style is popular, other color choices for the future are a definite. I love the black an white ones too, and was really quite surprised that black/black won over them.

  • Maggie

    February 16, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I'm a little bummed about the two-toned option too – I love those black/white boots you pictured above! (Plus I'd love a pair for an Alice in Wonderland movie costume. ๐Ÿ™‚ The black ones are pretty though!

  • ZipZip

    February 16, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Dear Lauren,

    This is so exciting! These could be worn for 1870s right up through the early 20th century. Oh my goodness, wouldn't they be fantastic with jeans, too!

    Very best,


  • Anonymous

    February 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    What maximum size will these go up to and what ankle measurement might they end up with?? The problem with getting button boots to fit is the positioning of the buttons. If they came in a size 12 with a larger ankle I'd be falling over myself to snap up a pair!!

  • Kelly

    February 16, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    This is super exciting! Maybe a two-tone in the future? ๐Ÿ™‚ I usually have a problem with modern reproductions because they are -too- big in the ankle. The ball of my foot is usually the problem with vintage boots. I can't wait to have these available. Thanks for being willing to put up with all the hassles for us.

  • VirginiaO'Possum

    February 16, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    I understand how much more complicated and expensive it is to carry shoes in multiple widths — no, really, I am entering six years' worth of retail data into QuickBooks, I actually *understand*! But I read your statistic as "only a little more than 60% of you wear B width" ;-). Here is the thing. If you have wide feet, you really can't (and shouldn't, for your long-term health) "just go a size up" — you have to go three sizes up to get a width change comparable to the difference between B and C. Nor can we cut off a toe or two like Cinderella's sisters. I will leave it to the narrow-footed to tell you their woes, but until you offer a C or D width, you leave dozens of potential buyers weeping by the roadside. I hope your business grows to the point that you can afford to stock multiple widths.

    • Lauren R

      February 17, 2012 at 8:47 PM

      Hi Virginia – I wish it were so easy, but it's far far more complicated and expensive to carry wide and regular sizes. We just can't do it right now. I'm glad you understand ๐Ÿ™‚

    • BrigittaV

      April 18, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      I, too, sigh over the lack of wide sizes, but oh well.

      In the late 70's, while I was in college, I volunteered for making costumes for the theater department. It wasn't very well funded, but they had the use of a large hall for making and storing costumes. It wasn't very well organized, and sometimes we would have to paw through boxes of old stuff just to see if we could find something we could use. I remember we found some high, lace-up shoes, that looked brand new, yet were a very old style — very similar to these button shoes, but laced. We wondered where they had come from and someone suggested maybe from a convent. All of them were black, and undecorated in any way, so that seemed to make sense, but they had to have been old, as I'd never before seen shoes of that style. (I didn't know the term at that time, but now I'd say they must've been new old stock.) I was the only one who had feet small enough to try them on, and despite how ungainly they looked in their shoebox, they were absolutely the most comfortable shoes I'd ever worn. We all marveled at them, but put them back as not only did we not need them for our production, but they were small enough that few women could've worn them. Wish I'd been lest honest and scrupulous and just snitched them!

  • Anonymous

    February 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Those boots are just gorgeous. I'm also saddened by the lack of wider widths, though I suppose that, being leather, they may stretch a bit. Perhaps if interest grows enough you might add an all white pair? It would be easy enough to paint them into a two-toned pair, and the rest of us could have any hue we like-I for one want red boots.

  • Noelle

    February 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I have never seen a button hook before but with that single image, you just changed my life. I am also totally on board for the boots! YAY! If you wanted to make a 2-toned option too, I'd probably buy both! Please don;t make the top TOO tight, I always have a problem finding anything above the ankle that will go around my calf!


    • Lauren R

      February 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      Noelle – aren't those button hooks cool ๐Ÿ˜€ As far as fit, generally our shoes tend to run on the comfortable side rather than the hard-core vintage side – they're very much made for modern feet, but with the vintage look. I will be sure to let my engineer know to not make them too tight at the top. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    Awesome boots! I have all of your shoes so far. If you do decide to make these would it be possible to get the measurement for how wide of a calf they would fit? I have goofey legs. I have a small average width foot, but I am short and fluffy, so my calf is a little chubby. I will sure order them if they will fit. Do you see any plans for a Regency half boot in the future?

  • Caroline

    February 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Very exciting! I was hoping for all black. And lucky me – I already have a button hook! Actually I have one listed on etsy too… Can't wait for the boots to come available!

  • Apollonie

    March 30, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    This is just purely wonderful news (even though I realize that it was news two months ago and that I'm hopelessly behind ;)). I agree with the people who longs for a two-tone option, but if it hasn't got a zipper – I'm saving up to buy a pair!

    • Chris B

      June 7, 2012 at 2:43 AM

      did you get button hooks made yet? I need 200 of them. I can't find anyone to make them for me for a legit price. I just came out with the mens version of these button boots ( the old edwardian spat boot).

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