What are pattens, besides really really cool? Pattens were ladies’ shoe accessories worn to protect one’s fancy shoes, to raise the wearer up out of the mud and muck of the street, and to keep the heels of the shoes from sinking into the various street substances. They served to protect hems, and prolong the life of the shoes they covered.
18th century pattens are fancy affairs, which seem to have been as much a fashion statement as one of practicality. They were made of leather, but also velvet and fancy brocades, and tied on to the shoes with latchets. Most interestingly, Georgian pattens have a little wedge under the arch of the shoe, tucked up between the heel and the ball of the foot. One would often purchase shoes and matching pattens together, though mixing-and-matching is often seen in museum examples. With all the buckles, straps, bows, and fancy materials, the two items worn together made quite a display.
What do you think about pattens? They are not an item commonly seen on the feet of costumed ladies these days (in fact, I don’t think I have ever seen *anybody* wearing them), but do you think this is something missing in our representations of the past? If pattens were available, would you wear them?