Soon, the high-heeled pumps of the 18th century disappeared, as did the stripes and embellished patterns seen at the turn of the century. Regency-era shoes were crafted in a variety of colors and often came with ribbon ties. These flat, delicate shoes were little more than ballet slippers and were mainly worn in the evenings or indoors.
Emma was not inclined to give herself much trouble for his entertainment, and after hard labour of mind, [Lord Osborne] produced the remark of its being a very fine day, and followed it up with the question of: ”Have you been walking this morning?”
“No my lord, we thought it too dirty.” (Unpleasant, stormy.)“You should wear half boots.” After another pause: “Nothing sets off a neat ankle more than a half boot; nankeen galoshed with black looks very well. Do not you like half boots?”
“Yes; but unless they are so stout as to injure their beauty, they are not fit for country walking.” – Jane Austen, The Watsons
Although still a minority in women’s footwear at the beginning of the 19th century, ankle boots would become the dominant style of daytime footwear by the 1830s. Let it here be noted, however, that most of the women in Europe rarely owned more than one pair of shoes. I cannot but think that their half-boots were far sturdier than those of the upper classes.
I hope you have found my article a little diverting and that you have gained, even if only just a little, more knowledge of our ancestors' foot-trappings. One can be quite certain my heroines were all properly shod in the shoes of the day.
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Cheerio, until next month!