Across the Ages – Pattens: Medieval Shoe Protection

Across the Ages – Pattens: Medieval Shoe Protection

Today, I’m working on a pair of pattens.  I have been making do with a pair Japanese tatami sandals as “Japanese pattens” for a couple years now, and I have still never gotten around to making a proper pair of wooden pattens. So today I took some scrap pieces of cedar fence planks (wrong wood, I know, medieval pattens were most often made of alder or poplar, so says Grew & Neergaard, Shoes and Pattens, 2001, p 93) and some scrap leather, along with a box of 1/2″ cut nails and a few rosette tacks, and set about making a pair of circa 1400-style pattens.  These are flat (no wedges underneath) with a cut across the toe, which is hinged with leather. At this moment, I have the soles finished and I need to cut out the uppers, decorate them, and attach them. With luck, I will have pictures of my finished first pair of pattens by the end of the day. Meanwhile, please take a few minutes to follow the link above to a similar project carried out by a fellow reenactor. I’m not much for embroidery, so don’t expect mine to be as pretty. 🙂

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