Why do you call those shoes? Aren’t they boots?

Not necssarily. The distinction between boots and shoes is a tricky one. Often people see tall shoes and think of them as boots. There is certainly a height above which something is a boot, and another below which something is a shoe, regardless of how they fasten. To me, those lines are above the knee and below the ankle respectively.

Personally, I try to use the terminology set out by Olaf Goubitz in Stepping Through Time. In that, boots are fully enclosed (think of a gumboot, or a cowboy boot)  and shoes have openings which are then closed by a lace or another fastening (think sneakers, or Doc Martens). For example, the late 14th century high shoes I count as shoes despite their height because they have an opening which is closed by a lace.


Can you share your patterns?

Unfortunately, no. I don’t work from stock patterns, I develop them individually for each pair of feet I’m making shoes for so even if I had them in an electronically shareable form they wouldn’t be much use.

So where can I get patterns?

Your best bet is to learn what the general form of different styles of shoe are and then pattern them yourself. Patterns made for someone else are unlikely to fit you or the person you’re making shoes for and if you learn how to pattern your own shoes you can make anything without having to find a pattern someone else has made.

Can you help me make patterns?

Stay tuned. I will be putting information on patterning up here as soon as I’ve got it ready. In the meantime you can contact me and ask questions and I’ll do my best to help you, provided you aren’t a commercial maker (in which case you’re welcome to ask, but we’ll be negotiating rates before I answer).