“Period” shoes

08 May

I have Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT), which I’ve had all my life. I have had a number of surgeries to stablize my feet, that make finding shoes difficult. I wear skateboard shoes pretty much all day, every day. Finding shoes for late period SCA is even harder. I’ve tried many different types of shoes, all with limited success. I am a reasonably good costumer, but often get comments on how my shoes detract from the over all appearance of my clothes.  I am also a sword fighter.  I need close toed shoes with reasonable arch support in order to fence on grass and uneven surfaces.

On the Elizabethan costuming FB group, someone posted a link for how to modify a pair of loafers into a period-esq latchet shoe. Loafers generally do not pass the CMT shoe flex test, so I needed something with a bit less flex. I modified a pair of black/black vans to simulate a latchet shoe. Rather than experiment on a new pair of shoes, I took a pair of Era that I had a hard time wearing on the list (don’t mind the pennsic that is still on the shoes). They are black with black soles and laces. Only equipment needed was a black sharpie, sharp fabric scissors and a little bit of fray check.

I cut along the seam line to create the open shape of the latchet.


I had pressure points on my foot with the full tongue, so the tongue was cut into an hourglass shape.

This is the final result. Fray check the seam and use a black sharpie to blacken the red logo on the back of the shoe.

On my feet:
shoes1 shoe2

So far they don’t hurt and they will pass a 2-3 foot rule. I’m calling this a win as I can also fence in them. Now that I know they work, I can get the Atwood flavor of van and do the same treatment as these work best for my feet.  And I will have time to break them in for the upcoming war/fence all the things season.

Original instructions on this site


Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


2 responses to ““Period” shoes

  1. Isidora

    May 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Those look nice! Quite convincing unless you look *hard* – and anybody who has a problem with people needing to be a little more creatively anachronistic to deal with a health condition, can shove my old basket-hilted shortsword in the traditional location. Sideways.

    The only thing I’d change is plain blah leather cord for shoelaces. But then I’m a Visigoth. 😀

  2. Liz/Nuala

    May 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I am very impressed with the innovation displayed with these “quasi-period” shoes. Considering your foot issues, you have come up with a very impressive way to deal with your foot problems yet still look quite period. Terrific job!!


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