Reenactment Shoe PatternBy
Reenactment Shoe Patterns- Make Or Buy Your Own
With the expense of purchasing proper period shoes, finding a good quality reenactment shoe pattern is a good alternative.
Making your own reenactment shoes has a reputation of being very difficult, but in reality, there are a lot of very simple and comfortable shoes that you can make. For some, you may not even need to use a pattern! A traditional pattern, that is.
True, for some of the fancier shoes and boots, it can take considerable training to come out with an attractive and usable shoe. Also Civil War, Colonial, and later period shoes are much more complicated than the typical bag shoe (Celtic brogues) or Roman sandals. For those more complicated shoes, you’ll be better off simply purchasing the shoes or boots that you require. Historical costumes are never complete without period shoes, but, of course, each period has its own particular style of footwear.
However, for the adventurous or on a budget, the medieval, renaissance, and Roman reenactors should find fairly simple patterns that can be made with only one or two pieces of leather per shoe, a whole punch or awl (for poking holes in the leather) and twine or leather thongs to tie them up with. You may not need to sew the leather at all!
Should you need to stitch soles together, or wish to add several layers of sturdy leather or neoprene to add longevity to your simple project, many shoe repair shops (and possibly dry cleaners that offer repair services) should be able to do so for less than $20 per pair. Be prepared for odd looks when you bring in your floppy looking shoes, but if you’ve been reenacting for a long time, you’re probably used to that by now.
If you want to get into shoe making professionally, it will take a little more than a simple pattern and a few pieces of leather. For that you’ll need to invest in how-to books and do a LOT of research online, or seek out a willing professional to teach you the basics. Since they won’t be wanting competition, you’ll do best finding someone who’s shop/s are at least an hour away from where you’ll want to set up shop, and that distance will limit how much time you can spend under their tutelage. If you can’t travel that far, consider trying to convince a local shoemaker to take you on as an apprentice.
If all else fails, you could build a business modifying modern shoes to be as close to period as possible. That will take some practice, but at least you’ll have a never ending source of material, and probably your own loyal costumers in the form of reenactors who want to look period, but want the comfort and support of modern shoes.
Reenactment Shoe Pattern