Choosing your Footwear

When you first start doing the Rennie thing, one of the toughest choices you make is:  What are you going to wear on your feet? How do you go about choosing your footwear.

This is a more complicated decision than you might think.  There are many factors that you need to weigh into this decision.

  • Is comfort more important than style?
  • How much do I spend on boots or shoes or whatever?
  • How far do I go to make sure that my costume is authentic (again, comfort really figures into this)?

Let’s take each one of these separately:

Is Comfort more important than style?
Remember that while you are at the faire that you are going to be on your feet, all day long.  You are going to be walking and standing most of the day.  In fact, with a few exceptions (meals and shows) you are on your feet all the time.  Obviously you don’t want to wear a pair of sneakers with your garb.  Robin Hood with a pair of Keen’s or a Musketeer with a pair of Converse might be very eclectic but it is going to look very doofus.  So, you want to find a way to pull off good looking footwear with a thought towards comfort as well.  Make sure you have good arch support.  Make sure that you have good cushion on the soles of the feet.  Make sure that you have good ankle support so that you have the security as you walk the rough terrain that most Ren Faires offer.  Balance comfort and style.

How Much do I spend on Boots or shoes?
This is a tough question and I am going to explain it one way.  If you are going to do enough faires during the year that you might wear out a cheap pair of shoes, then you might want to pay a little more and make those boots a more expensive slice of your garb pie.   The more weekends you spend wearing those shoes, the more money you are going to want to spend.  I wouldn’t blow the bank on expensive boots the first time you go to the faire (you may find going in garb is not for you).  Find some inexpensive boots that work with your costume and upgrade as you need to.  When you are ready to upgrade find a company like RenBoots or Catskill Mountain Moccasins and try some on.

How far do I go to make sure that my costume is authentic?
You can find places that supply authentic shoes.  Remember, that may mean shoes that will fit either foot (they didn’t used to have a right and a left shoes).   These are comfortable shoes (you can get a pair through Jas Townsend) but they are going to wear differently on your feet.  Going for traditional moccasins that have a simple piece of leather on the bottom of the shoes because you want to be authentic, will probably mean that you have sore feet at the end of the day.  Go authentic but keep in mind that you have to wear those shoes for potentially 8-10 hours at a wack. .