Hi Ladies! Today I’d like to show you just what makes up a pair of American Duchess shoes. It’s good to know what you’re wearing on your feet! Chris and I ripped apart an Astoria to show you all the different layers of goodness that go in to making our shoes. All of our shoes are made in a period style, but a modern way, so you won’t experience the usual “joys” of “costume shoes”. So we’re literally spilling our guts! …
Firstly, the sole and heel, joined as one. The real leather sole is thicker in the middle, under the ball of the foot, and tapered elegantly at the sides. A layer of batting cushions the sole. You’ll see our heels are plastic inside – why? because we don’t believe your heels should ever break!
The next layer sits on top of the sole and heel – it’s the padded under-structure that contains the real steel shank that supports your arch. Without this piece, you would not be able to walk in these shoes, and would be quite uncomfortable!
Here’s our insole, or the footbed piece, with the AD logo. We use perforated, man-made, vegan leather for the insoles. Why? It’s not only breathable, but it won’t stain your stockings when you sweat or get wet feet.
Here’s the lining, with all its parts. Inside there is what rests against your foot, but on the upper layers, you get the reinforced toe and heel, along with interfacings, and the leather heel lining. This layer keeps your shoes in shape, literally.
Finally, it’s the upper, 100% calf skin, hand-stretched and molded over the lasts. Inside this layer you will find additional interfacing at the toe and heel, plus twill tapes inside the straps, to keep them from stretching out.
All the layers together make up one shoe! It’s a complicated item, but all these layers of padding, stiffeners, shanks, and linings are what keep your feet happy all day long. 🙂
Remember, your feet carry you through fields, over cobblestone streets, and across country lanes, at re-enactments and events – don’t mistreat them with ill-made, ill-fitting shoes. Make sure your shoes are made with all the padding, structure, and shaping necessary to keep from damaging one of your most important parts!