The Ravens Warband


A simple yet effective pattern for shoes comes from a bog find from Damendorf in Germany. They can be made from medium-thick leather without a seperate sole or from thinner leather with a reinforced sole.

Enlarge the pattern (using a photocopier) until your foot covers the sole-piece with about 5mm spare all round. Draw round the pattern in pencil on the inside face of the leather and cut out the right shoe using scissors or a sharp knife. Turn the pattern over and repeat for the left foot.

The shoe is made inside out (a 'turn-shoe') so that the seam lies on the inside and the stitching is protected from wear. Sew the upper to the sole with the outside faces of the leather touching. At the heel, overlap the right and left sides of the upper and sew up the heel seam. Finally turn the shoe right way out. Punch or cut holes for the laces.

Dark age shoes do not provide the same level of protection as modern shoes and are best worn with a pair of thick woollen socks.

Figure 3: Pattern for shoes from Damendorf, Germany

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