Review: Pirate Buckle Shoes

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders
www.flyingcanoetraders.com/

No matter how great your pirate attire, the entire image can be instantly spoilt by a pair of chuck taylor sneakers. That’s only one reason why choosing the right footwear is so important. Comfort and durability rank right up towards the top as well.

When thinking pirate, many folks instantly picture a glorious pair of bucket boots. But the benefits of a simple buckle-shoe should not be forgotten; they can be more affordable and comfortable, and their understated appearance can create a wonderfully different look from that of boots. Flying Canoe Trader’s own shoes are of good-quality and reasonably priced. Their all-leather construction (with the exception of a rubber heel) is durable and stylish, making them a fine addition for any wardrobe.

What first struck me about these shoes was their immediate comfort. I’d expected some serious break-in time, but the fit was nearly perfectly right from the start. Part of this can be credited to the fact that these shoes are built with a left/right construction – a non-issue for many of us, but of particular interest to reeanctors who might prefer a more historical (but less comfy) straight-lasted design. The other chief contribution to these shoes’ comforatble fit is the extreme care taken by the Flying Canoe staff. They don’t customarily sell their shoes online, as they prefer to fit the shoe to the foot. I was fortunate enough to meet up with them at a trade fair, and the lengths they went to with both myself and their other costomers was highly impressive. I tried on several different sizes, and quickly learned why they don’t like to sell shoes through the mail – I normally take a size 7, and yet by the time we were done I was sitting comfortably in a pair of 5s, which they had stretched out for me in a few key points to establish a near-perfect fit. Once we’d established my shoes I then chose a plain brass buckle (this was an additional cost) which they installed for me.

I’m very happy with these shoes, and look forward to trying them out more this summer, epecially on hot days when my bulky boots might feel a little combersome. That they don’t offer their shoes online will make them unnaccessible to many, but they do offer a list of upcoming trade fair appearances. If they’re coming to a town near you it would be well worth your while to check them out.