Review: (Early 18th Century) Colonial Buckle Shoe

Rating: ★★★★☆
C&D Jarnagin Company

When it comes to period clothing, shoes are one of the biggest hangups around. For a true pirate reenactor (which I am not), the first challenge is just getting into the “shoes, not boots” mindset – boots would rarely have been worn by pirates, if we’re to be perfectly accurate. But even then, the trouble is just starting – historical shoes should be straight-lasted (meaning no left or right), have relatively large tongues and small buckles, be butt stitched, etc. etc. The sad truth is, there’s really no perfectly accurate shoe on the market for the golden age of piracy. There are many close-enough shoes for the casual pirate – some of very high quality. But almost none that would meet the standards of a true, dyed-in-the-linen historical reenactor. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Buckle Shoes

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

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 Continue reading

Review: Big Bell Swashbuckler Boots

Rating: ★★★★☆
Champion Attitude Boots

Ordering footwear online is always a scary experience, especially from a company that has no real return policy. Nonetheless I decided to take the plunge and order a pair of Champion Attitude’s Custom Big Bell Swashbuckler Boots – they looked to be some of classiest pirate boots available, and I figured a company that’s spent generations making cowboy boots probably knows what they’re doing.

Let me start off by reviewing the boots themselves – they really are top notch. The leather seems high quality and the craftsmanship is superb. The sizing was based on foot tracings I’d sent in, resulting in an almost-perfect fit (they were a little loose in the heel, but this was easily remedied with some inserts.) The break-in period was surprisingly short, especially considering the all-leather sole. All in all, these are a far cry from costume boots – these are durable and battle-ready. I could wear these every day if it were socially acceptable. Continue reading