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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Advice==late 14th c. shoes with sabatons?         Reply with quote

What style of shoe did men-at-arms wear under sabatons? Was it a low boot to the ankle/ Was it a low poulain? Something else?

Strapped?
Buckled?
A slipper?

I'd love to know. i did search this site before asking...

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Lloyd Clark




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out the shoes/boots at Viking Leather Crafts. They have done a pretty good job at producing close-to-period footwear, especially 14th century.

I would assume something along these lines:


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Emil Andersson




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't speak for all sabatons, but the ones I have (these) require a raised heel on the shoe in order to secure the leather strap that goes underneath the sole, as well as pointed toes, although pretty much every example of period footwear I've seen has had those. The reason for the raised heel is to let the leather strap avoid pressure when you take a step, or else the expanding shape of your foot in motion will push the top of the sabaton down on your shoe and constrict your movement, or the leather strap might undo itself with the risk of dislocating the entire sabaton. I use a pair of boots like these boots from Get Dressed For Battle, though mine appear to be a bit pointier.
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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My sabatons point tie on the toe. They're almost identical to the ones pictured here in the top left thumbnail (the ones with the brass decoration). I sent him my turn-shoes and he built the sabs around the shoe.

http://halberds.us/armour.htm

I use a similar boot to the one Lloyd has pictured above. I recommend laced as buckles will interfere with sabatons and greaves. Laces can remain low profile enough to compress underneath the bottom portion of the greaves or top of the sabs, otherwise you will be painfully aware of any buckles underneath the steel.

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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
My sabatons point tie on the toe. They're almost identical to the ones pictured here in the top left thumbnail (the ones with the brass decoration). I sent him my turn-shoes and he built the sabs around the shoe.

http://halberds.us/armour.htm

I use a similar boot to the one Lloyd has pictured above. I recommend laced as buckles will interfere with sabatons and greaves. Laces can remain low profile enough to compress underneath the bottom portion of the greaves or top of the sabs, otherwise you will be painfully aware of any buckles underneath the steel.


Fragment of an alabaster from Dijon showing points on a sabaton



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James Barker




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would imagine any shoe or low boot they felt comfortable in. Likely a side lacing shoe/boot or a slip on shoe would create the smoothest fit under tight fitting armor.
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Mark Shier
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject: sabaton shoes         Reply with quote

Mine are a custom pair of side laced elk hide shoes from Dru at http://medievalshoes.com/ . They lace onto the sabatons like the Dijon alabaster.
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since mine don't have a heel plate (they're styled after the ones at Chartres), Mac made them point at the toe and at the side. They work beautifully.

Whoever said above that you need a slight heel is mistaken: When I wear my spurs the strap goes under my foot and I don't even notice it, and my shoes are flat.

I have changed the shoes from those pictured to side-laced ankle shoes because I find the edge of the sabaton would gouge my ankle at the instep with the lower shoes.



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Emil Andersson




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Dec, 2011 9:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Whoever said above that you need a slight heel is mistaken: When I wear my spurs the strap goes under my foot and I don't even notice it, and my shoes are flat.


I did say that I was speaking only for my own pair. Wink

I remembered that I had taken some pictures from a little more than a year ago, back when I first received my sabatons. I'll use them to illustrate what I mean more clearly. I have since then changed the shoes out for another pair - side-lacing is indeed superior here. Happy

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Dec, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent--thanks to all of you, and especially thanks for the alabaster. I'll post the result.
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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Emil Andersson wrote:
I can't speak for all sabatons, but the ones I have (these) require a raised heel on the shoe in order to secure the leather strap that goes underneath the sole, as well as pointed toes, although pretty much every example of period footwear I've seen has had those. The reason for the raised heel is to let the leather strap avoid pressure when you take a step, or else the expanding shape of your foot in motion will push the top of the sabaton down on your shoe and constrict your movement, or the leather strap might undo itself with the risk of dislocating the entire sabaton. I use a pair of boots like these boots from Get Dressed For Battle, though mine appear to be a bit pointier.


For what it's worth, heels are not a feature of medieval footwear; they don't appear until well into the renaissance. Proper medieval shoes place very little if any pressure on the sole under the arch of the foot so having a sabaton strap under there is not a big problem. Also, medieval leather being a different, and often stronger, material than is generally available today, the strap needn't be more than 1.5-2mm thick at most. Your foot expands very little in girth around the instep when you walk, so if the minor change in shape during walking is enough to force the sabaton to constrict your foot, then I'd say it is too tight.

I'm afraid the only thing those GDFB boots really have in common with medieval footwear is that they go on your feet. They're a small step up from modern combat boots but to put them in the context of arms and armour, passing those off as medieval is like trying to pass of a rambo knife as a bollock dagger.

Unfortunately that's just a sad reflection on the state of reenactment footwear in general, and especially what's available on the Internet. Good medieval shoes are expensive and / or require a fair bit of practice and expensive materials to make well and there are very very few makers with a good eye for what looks right. If you wouldn't accept visible mig welding on your armour, you shouldn't accept visible machine sewing on your shoes, let alone shoes that are just completely the wrong shape, style and construction.

Some of the better medieval shoes available online are
Meister Knieriem. I've never seen any first-hand but they look excellent, and he has some of the best looking mules I've ever seen for sale.
Plantagenet Shoes. Good accurate styles and good, if basic, pattens. Most of the medieval shoes seem to have a cemented on outsole though.
Sarah Juniper (Lovely Tudor & renaissance shoes, but her medieval ones seem to be closed with the seams on the outside, in the fashion of 17th century shoes which I believe are her mainstay)
Dru Shoemaker. The one pair of his I've seen were very good for the price though I didn't think they were in the same league as the others I've listed here. The pictures on his website are apparently very out of date and don't reflect his current standard.

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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In terms of what to wear under sabatons, I agree with James; I doubt it would be any different from the footwear worn in armour without sabatons. and all of the period illustrations I've seen indicate that the styles of footwear worn by armoured fighters were the same as worn by everyone else at the time though low shoes seem to be prevalent, which makes sense when you consider the interaction of fitted greaves with high shoe tops.

Buckles probably aren't a great idea, and if it were me I'd fingerloop up some cords rather than use the honking great leather thongs you often see, but so long as the sabatons are made to fit the shoe and the shoes are made to fit the feet, then you should be fine with any accurate shoe style for the period you're looking at. Personally I'd go for a below-the-ankle turnshoe laced either over the instep with a single cord or spiral laced at the medial side.

Shoes for fighting are a place where the shortcuts in modern reproductions start to bite. Most of them have soles that are far far too heavy and inflexible so they have almost no grip, which they then try and make up for by sticking rubber on the bottom. Proper turnshoes have soles that can be thick but are flexible and let you feel the ground and grip it properly with your feet. In feel they are a lot more like bare feet than what people who have grown up wearing modern shoes are used to.

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Emil!

First, nice looking sabatons!

I'm a little suprised that you're having the issue you describe that requires the heel. I have two pairs of sabatons that are set up like yours and don't experience that. I also have another without the heel plate that points to the shoe (a most comfortable arrangement).

I'd have to see them move to have further commentary, but a heel shouldn't be necessary. I don't wear heeled shoes with any of my armour.

Yours,

Christian

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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah.

I'm an authenticity nut, and I have a degree in Medieval history--I know a little about shoes. I gues smy question was 'So, what did actual 14th c. men-at-arms wear under their sabatons" because although I fight in harness pretty frequently, I'm now getting sabatons. I currently fight in late 14th c. heeless high boots from NP Historical Shoes http://www.np-historicalshoes.com/home.php?lang=en and I would say that they understand period shoe making very, very well. I wear Sarah Juniper's boots for riding (and fighting on horseback) in 1776, but I felt the NP historic folks were a little better at 14th c.

Why boots? Well., you see boots with 1/2 armour in Fiore, and it s an excellent rig for fighting longsword and for light work on horseback. But I digress.

There's a movement--a growing movement--among serious distance runners to wear either no shoes or the lightest possible shoes.with no padding or 'heel cushion." I've noticed that, since I started wearing only GOOD period shoes (lightly soled) for fighting longsword, some techniques work better (volte stabile comes to mind) and more important, I no longer hurt my knees, because I'm no longer wearing shoes that grip the floor too much.

Or maybe I'm just old....

Anyway, I started this thread because the received wisdom was ankle length early 15th c. boots, which didn't seem to fit what I was seeing in mss illustrations. I had no idea about pointing the sabaton to the shoe, but now that I do, I think I might go with something like this.



i'm planning on fighting (on foot) in a tournament this summer, and trying to make my harness as authentic and as workmanlike as I can afford...

thanks again. this site is a mine of knowledge.

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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian G. Cameron wrote:
Why boots? Well., you see boots with 1/2 armour in Fiore, and it s an excellent rig for fighting longsword and for light work on horseback. But I digress.


I'm curious--not that it matters for this discussion, but where do you see a picture in Fiore showing half armor and boots? There's a figure in the Novati spear section who's in half armor, but he's in hose just like all the unarmored figures, not boots. I tried looking at the Getty version and couldn't see it there, either, but then my copy of that MS is not very high resolution. I only have a few of the plates from the Morgan MS, but I didn't see it there, either.

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Emil Andersson




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Dec, 2011 3:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:

Hi Emil!

...

Hi Christian, and thank you for the compliment! I think that Al might be right when he says that the strap grips too tightly. The first pair of shoes I used (the ones in the pictures with the sabatons) worked very well in this regard, since they were made together with the sabatons to fit correctly. I encountered the constricting problem (although more often the leather strap would just undo itself from the pressure while I was running or walking up stairs) when I was looking around for alternative footwear to use, more specifically without heels since I'm more familiar with that type.

Al Muckart wrote:

For what it's worth, heels are not a feature of medieval footwear; they don't appear until well into the renaissance.

...

Al, thanks for the enlightenment. The craft of medieval footwear seems every bit as important as the rest. I'll keep your recommendations in mind when it's time to replace the pair I have. Happy

And now it appears that my example with renaissance-time boots (I didn't know, honest!) have no relevance at all to the topic of this thread. Sorry! Razz
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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Dec, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Getty, it is the 2nd counter master of the lance or the 8th master overall--I may have miscounted--the companion is wearing boots--you can see where they turn down.

But let me try and get you an image.


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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Dec, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian G. Cameron wrote:
In Getty, it is the 2nd counter master of the lance or the 8th master overall--I may have miscounted--the companion is wearing boots--you can see where they turn down.

But let me try and get you an image.


Interesting, thanks!

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Hugh
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