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).