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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: What are the best boots in the $100-$250 range money can buy         Reply with quote

I am in desperate need of some new boots. My current ones are MRL Half Calf boots that are terribly uncomfortable. Last time I went to a renfaire in them I had blisters for weeks. What I am looking for is something with a good sole that will be exceptionally comfortable yet still look period. I personally don't care if it is 100%. My shoe comfort and not having blisters form is more important than historical accuracy. No offense to pure history buffs. The price range I am looking at is listed in the title and I'm looking for something well I can have in a week or two due to the fair I am going to starts next month. So far, I have considered Sandalar, MRL, and Deepeeka. I know, don't laugh at the last one. I have actually found one or two boots from them that By The Sword has that are quiet interesting. I'd perfer Sandlar but I'd rather spend under $200 if possible.

http://www.renboots.com/index.html

They have a few Sandlar's on sale right now. I'm looking at the Strider.
http://www.renboots.com/Strider.html

I am stuck on choices though. They have a blow out on the black with red tounge but I think it looks tacky but I don't want to spend another seventy five dollars to get it straight black. Here are the other three boots I am considreing.

The Deepeeka which I am highly interested in. They have it in black and in my size.
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Side_Lac...-1006.html

And here are two MRLs I'm looking at as well.
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Black_Me...00038.html

http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Castle_T...82016.html

This is the pair I have now which are terrible and cause huge blisters...
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Medieval...00492.html


As you can see here I'm looking for a low to ankle boot in the $100-$250 price range. Perferably 13th or 14th century though not that historically accurate. I'm more intersted in something that looks semi-historical and is exceptionally comfy to wear and won't cause blisters than anything else. As far as costume goes, I have a heavy duty gamberson. This is the one I have.

http://www.darkknightarmoury.com/p-1435-deluxe-gambeson.aspx

I also have leather bracers and wear a simple draw string shirt underneath with regular black work pants. I will probably get drawstring pants eventually.

Newbie Sword collector
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Andreas Auer




Location: Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 4:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

look here...i got a pair of dortrecht boots, and they are the best i ever saw...

the guy there is Graziano and he speaks english very well so...
http://www.fabriarmorum.com/pages/scarpe.html

Andreas

The secret is,
to keep that pointy end thingy away from you...
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the problem with shoes: they really need to be fitted to your foot. Shoes from mail order sites, even off-the-shelf shoes, are not really fitted to your foot and you take a gamble that they will be comfortable. With mail order, you get the added "bonus" that if they don't fit right, you're either stuck with sending them back (paying for shipping again) or living with your mistake.

Some shoe makers though will have you send a tracing of your foot to them for last construction. Dru Shoemaker (www.medievalshoes.com) will do that and the shoes are historically authentic turnshoe construction. He has a side lace boot for $175 which might be something you'd be intereste in. The soles on turnshoes are thin though and you'd either need pattens (platforms of wood or leather) or a reinforced sole for lots of walking on hard surfaces.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you checked Historic Enterprises?

https://www.historicenterprises.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=85&c=114

http://www.historicenterprises.com/cart.php?m...&c=125

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
This is the problem with shoes: they really need to be fitted to your foot. Shoes from mail order sites, even off-the-shelf shoes, are not really fitted to your foot and you take a gamble that they will be comfortable. With mail order, you get the added "bonus" that if they don't fit right, you're either stuck with sending them back (paying for shipping again) or living with your mistake.


I agree with Jonathan here. I have spent ALOT of money over the years looking for a good renaissance/medieval boot. All my friend's bought Son of Sandler boots, but I've never tried on a set that fit properly and always thought they were just the most non-period footware you could spend $400.00-$500.00 on. I ended up just getting a set of Double H custom harness boots done (made to my foot specifications) which make my feet very happy during long days with alot of walking. For WMA, I just use the generic non-frilled low moccasin that MRL makes.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Mike Capanelli




Location: Whitestone, NY
Joined: 04 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When you say Sandlar you mean son of sandlar the boot maker? Because if you do those strider boots are not his work. Renboots is a separate company making their own boots. Do you want these boots for just the faire? Are you looking for historical accuracy? (Most ren faires aren't even close to accurate) Do you want both? If you just looking o walk around the faire all season and want comfort I'd go with Sandlars. If you have a normal calf size you should be able to get a pair of high buckle boots from them from not too much over your price range. I have a par of low lace ones from them I picked up at the NY ren faire and they are very comfy. They should have a booth at the Florida faire so you could just pick them up there. There not accurate in the least, but again it's a ren faire. The best boots I've had so far are mocs from sodhoppers. These were made fro me from a cast of my foot and calve. Again not close to accurate but man are these things comfortable. There above your price range but if your a regular fair go'er they'll pay for themselves after one season. Just like Jonathan said before, you just can't beat having something custom fit for you. I'd steer clear for the MRL stuff altogether. They look nice on a budget but will KILL your feet if you plan to walk in them all day. I've had two different pairs from them and it's all the same. If your looking for accuracy then I'd suggest putting together separate kits. I have a soft kit with a focus on accuracy and another I use to tool around the ren faire with my family and friends. It's not easy to find something that will be good for both AND be comfortable to the modern wearer for an all day walk.

Heres a link to the REAL Son of Sandlar
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseacti...d=68258057

And one to my favorite Ren Boots, Sodhopper.............
http://www.sodhoppers.com/

Hope this helped.

Winter is coming
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are the Renboot stuff knock offs then? Truthfully I want something that looks the part but has a modern sole for comfort. So not truely historic, more I can wear it at a renfaire and not destroy my feet as well as to be able to run around in them comfortably. Oh I have a question, I've tried multiple times to go to Sandlar's website and its always down. Though their myspace works. Who carries them? I know By the Sword sells what appears to be Sandlar boots but are they knock offs too? I'm so confused! I did want you all to know that I thank you for your links to the other makers. Interesting stuff and I know there are a lot of purist here no offense, I can be to at times, but I want a modern sole.

Oh I have looked at Historical Enterpises before. I really like their clothing but their foot wear is extremly limited and not what I want. Good stuff though but I need a modern sole!

Newbie Sword collector
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 660

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven,

I sympathize with your quest to find comfortable yet attractive footwear. I'm currently wearing custom Bald Mountain moccasins (no longer in business - also cost me over a grand Eek! ), but I hear Windwalker moccasins are identical. Son of Sandlar are also similar, but equally expensive. When I first began going to faires, I used Minnetonka tall boots, cut off the fringe, and inserted some thick Dr. Shoals gel-pads. Works OK as long as there's not a lot of large sharp gravel. Looks pretty good, too, good enough for ren faires. i agree about the MRL boots - too risky and not comfortable for all day walking. I think MRL still sells the leather (suede) MInnetonka boots, in both short and tall style, for less than your price range. Good luck!

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well thanks again, for now I ended up buying the Renboots. I'll let you guys know what I think. They seem good and of the same quality as the Sons of Sandlar. Yes I know, non-historical, however its what I want. Thanks though!
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Josh MacNeil




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 23 Jul 2008

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been eyeing these for a while. Not sure how historical they are, but they look pretty cool Happy

http://www.reliks.com/merchant.ihtml?pid=2433

I think they'd look good with MRL's Locksley Gambeson; again maybe a bit non-historical. I'm still not super knowledgeable about historically accurate period clothing.
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andreas Auer wrote:
look here...i got a pair of dortrecht boots, and they are the best i ever saw...

the guy there is Graziano and he speaks english very well so...
http://www.fabriarmorum.com/pages/scarpe.html

Andreas


Those look like some very very nice work.

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
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Posts: 309

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Steven,

Steven Janus wrote:
Are the Renboot stuff knock offs then? Truthfully I want something that looks the part but has a modern sole for comfort.


Not to knock your choices, but nothing you've linked to so far is remotely historical. If that's what you want, there's nothing wrong with that but if you want historical, those aren't it. I'm not such a purist that I have big problems with people wearing things like that at ren faires but I don't like to see people thinking - or being sold them - as historically accurate. As a shoemaker I personally despise those places that advertise grossly modern footwear as "historically accurate" because it miseducates people as to what historical footwear looks like, but that's a rant for another day. Imagine someone selling modern plastic hilted tactical fighting knives with kydex sheaths as historically accuate daggers and you might understand where I'm coming from.

Quote:

Interesting stuff and I know there are a lot of purist here no offense, I can be to at times, but I want a modern sole.
[...]
Good stuff though but I need a modern sole!


Can I ask why? I'm curious because one of the more persistent myths I come across as a "shoe guy" is that medieval shoes are necessarily uncomfortable to walk in and that misconception leads people to chose shoes with gigantic modern rubber soles that are really no better than combat boots in terms of appropriateness when they would in all likelyhood be fine in far more accurate footwear which can be had for pretty reasonable money if you know where to look.

The soles of turnshoes are flat, which if you're very used to walking in substantial heels can be a bit odd but converse chuck taylors are completely flat soled too and people don't have a major problem walking in those. You do have to walk slightly flat-footed so you're not slamming the back of your heel into the ground the way most people do in heavily padded running shoes, but if you can walk in bare feet or socks you can walk in turnshoes.

If you want extra grip, then a thin rubber outsole or a layer of spred-sole will do the trick. If you want padding a 10mm felt insole or a sports shoe insole cut down to shape does wonders. It's even possible to put a small heel lift on turnshoes without completely compromising the look of them. Quite a few places will sell pretty accurate looking shoes with a thin vibram sole glued on.

Personally I think the revival.us ankle shoes are about the best you can get for the money. The construction is a compromise but in design they are far, far better than anything sold by the renfaire sites linked to in this thread and they have good substantial soles on them.

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
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Mike Capanelli




Location: Whitestone, NY
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Janus wrote:
Well thanks again, for now I ended up buying the Renboots. I'll let you guys know what I think. They seem good and of the same quality as the Sons of Sandlar. Yes I know, non-historical, however its what I want. Thanks though!


I almost got a pair Renboots from their booth. There alright but I'd have gone with the Sandlar. Low buckle boots off the rack only cost about $250 on average and in my opinion are way more comfortable. Good luck with your purchase.

Winter is coming
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, I don't know, I thought havinh a flat shoe would be more uncomfortable but I'm not sure. I am anything but a shoe maker. Interesting products in the link you mentioned. I will definitely check it out. I still need some pants or maybe just chausses with braies. Though I'd rather just have drawstring type pants. You know, I think I will still try to get a pair of historically accurate boots. Maybe not today but in the near future.
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 5:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Steven,

Steven Janus wrote:
You know, I don't know, I thought havinh a flat shoe would be more uncomfortable but I'm not sure.


It is pretty much like walking in bare feet, only with a bit more protection for your feet from gravel etc.

Quote:

I am anything but a shoe maker. Interesting products in the link you mentioned. I will definitely check it out. I still need some pants or maybe just chausses with braies. Though I'd rather just have drawstring type pants. You know, I think I will still try to get a pair of historically accurate boots. Maybe not today but in the near future.


Good on you. You could do a lot worse than the revival ones I linked to above, or a pair from Dru Shoemaker.

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
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Marc Blaydoe




Location: Maryland
Joined: 29 Sep 2006

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Armlann Boots         Reply with quote

Armlann Boots has a good reputation for a very sturdy boot. You also might want to check into Bohemond Bootmaker. His products look pretty reasonable.

Marc Blaydoe
Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem: Dulce est desipere in loco.
Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus 65-8 B.C.)
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Gordon Clark




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you are looking for strictly historical, I recommend http://www.medievaldesign.com/eng-prodotti.asp?form_chiave=24

If you want "ren fair" then they also have a sister fantasy outfitter: http://www.fantasydesign.it/products.asp?form_chiave=201

I have seen the 15th century historical boots and they look very good and accurate to me.
Gordon
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Mar 2008

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue 20 Jan, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recieved the pair of Ren Boots. They are actually very good. I was impressed. Putting them on was a nightmare fighting with the shoe laces but they are superbly comfy. The sole is very sturdy too. They are however NOT historical at all. Still an excellent set for going to renfaires.
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Chris Arrington





Joined: 06 Apr 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Wed 21 Jan, 2009 6:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the update Steven. I'm going thru the same decision right now, and I appreciate the information.
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