18th Century Women’s Shoes

Additional Resources

BauhausFrau’s instructions for converting a modern lady’s shoe to a fabric-covered 18th century shoe: parts 1, 2, and 3

18th Century Western Fashion at the Bata Shoe Museum

Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Foot

The Costumer’s Manifesto:
18th Century Shoes

Colonial Williamsburg:
An 18th Century Trades Sampler
Experience the Life

M. de Garsault's 1767 Art of the Shoemaker: An Annotated Translation Shoes and Slippers from Snowshill, one of the world's leading collections of costume and accessories from the 18th and 19th centuries Shoes at the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Annals of Philadelphia describes women’s footwear:

It is deserving of remark, that no females formerly showed any signs of crumpled toes or corns. They were exempted from such deformities and ills, from two causes, to wit: their shoes were of pliable woven stuff, satin, lastings, &c., and by wearing high heels, they so pressed upon the balls of their feet, as necessarily to give the flattest and easiest expansion to their toes; while, in walking, at the same time, they were prevented from any undue spread in width, by their piked form. There was therefore, some good sense in the choice of those high heels, now deemed so unfitting for pretty feet, that has been overlooked. In a word, ladies could then pinch their feet with impunity, and had no shoes to run down at the heels.

Materials noted in the following links refer to what covers (at least the upper) of the shoe.

Slippers & mules

Pattens, clogs, and overshoes

The Annals of Philadelphia recalls that “in the miry times of winter [women] wore clogs, galoshes, or pattens.”