History of Medieval Footgear

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Medieval Footgear, personal essay

shoe stampAs some of you know, I began my illustrious career as a Footgear Historian documenting the elusive Secret Society of the Black Shoes about a decade ago. Sadly, funding issues prohibited carrying on the investigation; it is wicked hard going undercover and costs a lot of money. I still harbored my dream but never realized that I was as close as my own attic to my next adventure.

So, I’m up there cleaning out stuff and run across this dusty old box of books. I open it up and it contained a bunch of those rare volumes of Readers Digest Condensed versions of actual novels. I set them aside for another day, there was simply too much to take in all at once. At the bottom of the box there was a book so plain and old I almost ignored it, but that it fell open and revealed the illustration above. I could not believe my eyes!

I scanned the copperplate for Medieval Footgear because this is the subject not only near and dear to my heart, but actually of my PhD. There are but a few authentic Medieval shoes shown, like the pointy toed ones, if you don’t count the Chinese one that is Medieval in attitude though not era. I am after all an Anglo Footgear Historian. I was a tad disappointed that the text of the book is in Latin, since I don’t read Latin. Not to be undone, I went to  source archives to see if I could validate the info in the book. I won’t bore you with the technical aspects, since I know you are not Footgear Experts such as I (how could you be?), but I will say that Dover was involved and proved invaluable. With the Dover historical woodcut images I am well on my way to groundbreaking exploration of Medieval Life as reflected in Shoes and Haberdashery. Yes, the Latin is a stumbling block but I make up for my lack of scholarship with imagination and common sense, common sense being sorely missed in Footgear Science.

Because so many of you are rank amateurs ignorant of the specifics of Medieval Footgear, I am beginning with Chapter 1, entitled “Barefoot”. We will explore both the Hazards and Advantages of Barefoot in the Medieval Era with the additional rare illustrations for which I am known.

I hope you will join me in the rich pageant of Shoes and Haberdashery that is not just prevalent but legion in the Medieval Era. Discovery will be slow and tedious and no doubt laborious in the extreme, but what can I do. Medieval Footgear being my passion  and stuff.

  1. Linda says:

    Bahaha-these medievel boots were made for walkin….

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