Archive for August, 2011

Shoe Cross Sections

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Al Muckhart ( has put up some excellent cross sections of a 16th C. shoe and a 14th C. shoe – cross sections like these are excellent for understanding the detailed construction, as they give us details that are not always apparent from the extant evidence, which for obvious reasons, we cannot destroy! I’ve provided low resolution pictures here, but for high resolution images, do see the direct link on Al’s blog here.

The 16th C. Welted shoe – the heel stiffener is whipped into the quarters at the top, and then the upper is closed with the stiffener caught into the side seams. There is also an oblong reinforcement piece for the strap. The outsole is attached through the welt, and there is a heel lift.

The 14th C. Turn shoes – the heel stiffener is whipped into the upper, and there is a stiffening cord along the vamp opening. There is also a leather reinforcing band along the quarters opening.

Lesson #9: 1580s Cork Wedges

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
I just posted a new Lesson on Late 16th C. Wedges (Cork). This lesson is based upon some engravings done in the late 16th C. of corked shoes which have a bit of a wedge heel.

These shoes have a carved cork interior acting as the wedge, and an extended rand which envelopes the cork wedge (often referred to as “envelope” construction). Enjoy!

Dyeing Issues and New Shoes

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I agreed to trade a pair of shoes for a couple of hats, and was thrilled to get the better end of the deal (the joke being that a good deal is defined by each party thinking that they got the better trade =). The order was for a pair of shoes similar to those in Lesson 8: Late 16th / Early 17th C. Heels (Timber), except that they were to be done on crooked (left and right) lasts, and with a very particular color of orange.

Oh yes, I almost forgot – the finished products! Do forgive the poor quality of the picture, but it gives a good representation of what the shoes look like.