19th Century

Talk about un-natural shoe shapes…

If you thought that last week’s red boots were un-natural in shape, check out these shoes from the Powerhouse Museum in Australia:

Balmoral boot by Menhennitt, 1885, Powerhouse Museum

Look at those insteps!  Now, I’m high unusually high in the instep and the arch, but that is ridiculous!

I do love the detailing on these shoes: the scrolls around the toe, the buttons, and most of all the tiny blue leather fleur-de-lys, or Chinese inspired patterns.

They were made as exhibition pieces to show off the shoe-makers skill, so perhaps actually fitting a real person wasn’t an important skill for a cobbler!


  1. eeee! beautiful though they are, I think you’re right, they’re…EEE, kindof awful! It’s interesting to see the idea of foot beauty, though, if this was made as an exhibition piece, I can imagine the shoemaker exaggerating it to be as attractive as possible.

  2. Jay says

    I can’t look at them, like photos of bound feet they creap me out.

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