Boots On My Mind and a Hat In Progress

Italian Vintage Worker Boots
I need new boots. It’s not that I don’t have proper footwear for fall or winter. Oh no, there are plenty of boots in my closet to last a lifetime and beyond. Even my very own blue suede boots, which of course I never wear. So buying another pair seems really wasteful. And I won’t. But, but, but…..we all have our weak spots. Mine is shoes. Just one more pair, the “perfect pair”… and maybe I could make it myself…
Here’s the reality check. Making sandals is one thing and making boots a whole different matter altogether. There’s soling and cutting and pattern and all these things to consider. Dry feet are also required. So I’m not really sure how, but I’ll try…maybe with some house shoes to warm up my feet and creativity. Stay tuned for my very first attempts this week.

But first a little bit of inspiration from a time without sophisticated shoe making machinery, because I don’t own any. This is what I found. “SONS: Shoes or No Shoes?“, is a very apt title for a website to deliver some inspiration.  Featured are several different collections, including shoes by contemporary artists and a fabulous treasure of ethnic footwear, with more than 2700 pairs from more than 155 countries and regions. Right down my aisle. (Images below © Shoes Or No Shoes?):

Prisoner’s Boots, French Guyana, 20th century
Italian Shepherds Clog Boots
Men’s Boots, 20th century, Sahara Desert
 Ladies Shoes,  19th century, Turkey
 Girls Shoes, 19th century, Pennsylvania, US

Guess, what I just did? Spent an hour going through ethnic footwear, from 18th century french wedding clogs to ankle boots from Burma to children’s house shoes from Afghanistan. And I haven’t even begun viewing the artist’s section, yet.
It’s fascinating to go back in shoe making history and see intelligent low tech problem solving with beautiful results. Are these comfortable? Some look more like torture devices, but others look quite cozy. Ultimately, we’ll never know.

I’m gonna go now and stare the my humble thrifted wool sweater to get inspired.

For the shoe obsessed:  SONS – Shoes Or No Shoes

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6 Responses to “Boots On My Mind and a Hat In Progress”

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  1. Charissa - The Gifted Blog says:

    Very ambitious! Have you heard of the Makeshift Project? Artist Natalie Purschwitz wore only handmade clothes for a year and just finished up!

    She made her own shoes along the way. She mentions that they weren't that comfortable, but I was blown away by her learning curve and how cool they ended up looking!

  2. suschna says:

    Meine Stiefel damals hatte ich gemacht, indem ich alte Schuhe nahm, das Leder weitgehend wegschnitt und an der Sohle plus Umrandung das neue Leder befestigte. Es wurde so eine Mischung zwischen Mokassins und Galoschen. Ich habe die Stiefel dann zur Schule getragen, aber nicht viel. Hauptsächlich erinnere ich mich an die Geschichte, weil ich beim Kauf des Leders glaubte, nur 5 Mark zu investieren (ich hatte das Preisschild falsch gelesen), stattdessen musste ich für das bereits abgeschnittene Stück dann 70 Mark bezahlen. Das waren damals meine gesamten Ersparnisse und ich hätte mir von dem Geld leicht ein paar Stiefel um Schuhgeschäft kaufen können. An den Schock erinnere ich mich bis heute, der Spass an den selbstgemachten Stiefeln war mir sofort vergangen.

  3. Michelle York says:

    Sheep shearers make their own boots..They're called 'bag boots' made from burlap bags..I'll try to find a picture and send it through to you..

  4. annekata says:

    @Michelle: Thanks so much for all your comments! I'm glad you find some useful ideas on the blog.
    I'd be curious to see the burlap shoes made by sheep shearers….
    Your jewelry is stunning!

  5. That insight’s perfect for what I need. Thanks!

  6. Betsey says:

    There’s certainly a lot to know about this subject.

    I love all of the points you’ve made.

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