American Civil War
Due to the lack of good footwear in the Hobby in Germany in the 1990s I started to make the first efforts to reproduce authentic footwear. My man goal was to get as close to the origoiansl as possible. For this purpose I have researched the typical civil war shoe and had special lasts made for me that resemble the typical foot shape of Civil War shoes. There are many repros out there that simply have the wrong shape of the foot and the wrong shape of the sole as they are made on modified modern lasts.
The finish of the shoes and boots is absed on period recipes and leaves the outer flesh side in a smooth finish
During the American Civil War there were the folloing methods being used to attach the soles to the uppers.
1. the welted shoe: This type of shoe has a welt sewn to the upper and inner sole by hand to which the outer sole is stitched by hand as well with a heavily pitched thick linen thread. This type was the preferred one of the US Army and was preferred to pegged footwer.
2. the machine sewn shoe: Shortly after the beginning of the war the Blake Solestitcher was invented and found wide usage during the remainder of the war. With the help of the Blake-McKay stitcher a sole was attached to the upper and inner sole by two rows of stitching. To this outer sole the final sole was stitched by hand.
3. the pegged shoe: either by hand or by machine. In contrast to the vast majority of pegged shoes in the Reenactment hobby today the relation between pegged and sewn shoes during the war was 2:3. Means only ca. 40% of Civil War footwear was pegged! The Philadelphia Depot has not issued pegged footwear at all but 3.231.647 pairs of sewn shoes( either machine sewn or welted )
My pegged shoes and boots feature two rows of pegs in close distance. These are meant to hold the soles and uppers together in concert with glue. Many cheap repros have pegs attached more as decoration than for a real purpose because the space between the pegs can be very large. The instep part of the sole can also be reinforced with soling nails. The heels are attached with square cut nails like the originals. I can attach heel plates with an inner lift to prevent clay piling up in between and hob nails on special order.
Civil War footwear is available form size 39-47 European size.
World War I and World War II German footwear
My German WWI and WWII footwear resembles the same love to the detail as my CW footwear. My boots and shoes are patterned after original shoes and boots some of them are in my own collection.
I have taken great care to use the correct materials like "Fahlleder" for the uppers which is a oild stuffed cow leather which was already used for footwear during the two wars. The "longsole" is attached to the upper and inner sole with two rows of pegging and one row of stitching. To this the half sole is attached with wooden pegs. This became standard in the German Imperial Army in 1915. Heel plates and hob nails used are mostly original parts or faitfull reproductions. They are really made of iron not the cheap far east aluminium repros that disappear after a few marched because they are too soft.
The shape of the lasts give the footwear the typical "shark nose" appearance and also the shape of the soles as well as the shape and hight of the heels is faithful to the originals.
The vamps are made flesh side out while the uppers are made grain side out.