What were Victorian Era Shoes like? What fabrics were used? What about buckles and bows – how durable were these shoes? Take a look at some interesting facts:
Victorian Boots, Shoes and Slippers
Boots and shows in the Victorian era were often hand-made and therefore very expensive. They were an investment because of that, and so only wealthy Victorian ladies would have several pairs of shoes and boots.
High black, lace-up boots were popular and have seen a continuous popularity, right up to our day. Leather boots were of course, practical for outdoor use especially since streets were often cobbled, muddy or both. Cloth boots or shoes would be worn inside.
Button up boots sometimes replaced lace-up boots. Sturdy boots for women were often embellished with embroidery, ribbons, or lace.
Heels were added to boots in the late 1840s and the 1850s and to slippers between 1860 and 1865. On both shoes and boots, the heels were small. High, straight on the inner side and curved in from the back; the toe might be squared at the tip, rounded or pointed.
Colored satin or fine kid leather was used for formal slippers and boots, and kid leather, sometimes combined with cloth uppers in white, black or bronze for informal. Elastic-sided boots continued, but lacing on the inner side of the boot increased. The tops of boots might be decorated with bows or tassels, enchantingly and provocatively glimpsed under billowing skirts.
Evening shoes were made of satin with many luminous colors and intricate designs that matched the dress a woman was wearing that evening. While these shoes were slightly more comfortable than the boot, the idea at that time was to fit into the smallest size possible in order to hide the feet below the large hoop skirt. During this era, a woman held an image of innocence.