Early Period

New shoes!

My sweetie made me a new pair of shoes!


You can read all about them over on his website.

So, lately I’ve been really digging the whole “early period” thing (which in non-SCA terms translates roughly to “Viking/Norse”). I’ve been building up a 10th c. Slavic wardrobe over the last year or so, but I’ve been forced to wear my 13th c. English shoes (gasp! the horror!) for lack of anything earlier. So, I begged hinted to The One Who Makes Shoes that I could really use a pair of something earlier to go with the new wardrobe. I have this on-going joke about how “the cordwainer’s girlfriend never has shoes” (which is an obvious over-exaggeration because I think I own more pairs of Francis Classe originals than anyone out there, possibly including Francis. There’s just usually a three to five year wait between pairs) and so I really didn’t expect that he’d actually make me a pair any time soon. Usually there are a few paying customers that jump ahead of me in the queue, and money obviously takes priority over a whingy fiancée trying to lightly guilt trip her sweetie out of a new pair of kicks. However, a couple of weeks ago, he dumped a pile of reference books on my lap and told me to pick out a style and then he disappeared back into the basement after I had made my choice. That was probably in mid-July, and then Costume College happened and that tends to overwhelm our lives for several weeks, and with no hard deadline for the shoes, I figured he would be working his way through the commission queue, so the shoes slipped from my mind. I’d even forgotten what style I had picked out!

From Goubitz’s “Stepping Through Time,” or as I like to think of it, the Patterns of Fashion of the shoemaking world.

Then, last night he comes up out of the basement with this gorgeous pair of slippers, based on a 9th-10th century Norse find at Vlaardingen in the Netherlands. So, of course I had to try them on immediately (please excuse the lack of appropriate sockwear — I grabbed the first pair of socks I could find). They fit like a glove — or, more appropriately, like a custom pair of shoes (crazy, right?). My favorite thing is how the sole comes up over the back of the heel in a little point. He could probably tell you why they did that, if there was a reason, but stylistically it’s a commonly found characteristic of this period and culture and it just looks super cool.


The uppers are from this gorgeous vegetable tanned calfskin that Francis recently came into possession of. He did a simple offset row of decorative stitches around the opening in gold silk cord. It adds a nice little bit of visual interest and coordinates nicely with the gold veg-tanned elk hide he used for the straps. All said and done, I cannot wait to get a chance to wear them, which unfortunately probably won’t be until January at the earliest. At least it gives me some time to make a new gown to go with the new shoes. 🙂

One thought on “New shoes!

  1. I love your new shoes! They are shiny! I would like to add though- it irritates me to no end that ‘early period= Norksi Norseguyson’ in the SCA. Or Roman. I’m 8th c Frank. People see me and they like I’m lower-class Byzantine, or an oddly dressed Russian. I say ‘Come enjoy Frankish Goodness!’ but they run away!

    There are Franks, Saxons (who are NOT Anglo-Saxons), Lombards, Visigoths, and all manner of people out here who get no respect!



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