View Full Version : Size

02-17-2006, 01:43 PM
I am going to order a pair of brogans off the internet. Anyways, I was wondering how the sizes run. How should I fit it. I wear a size 11 combat boot-I have been told that I should order a 12. Any ideas?

02-17-2006, 02:00 PM
Hey Citie:
I just ordered a pair from Jo at Orchard Hill. A pair of Tom Mattimores. Best thing to do is get a company like Orchard Hill who will take an outline of each foot. That will help you get a better fit. It may cost a little more (good ones start at $100.00) but if you get a cheapy pair you will regret it later. If you do decide to get a pair of Mattimores, I suggest you order before the end of this month. Mattimore is moving his shop and will be real slow on filling orders after that.
Good Luck
Frank Stevanus

02-17-2006, 02:05 PM
The best thing to do with ANY footwear of our period is to try 'em on before you buy. Sizes just aren't the same with them as nowadays. If you don't, you run the risk of having to send them back and forth until you get a pair that fits. Of course, that may be easier said than done. Just my 2 cents regarding the possible pitfalls and experience.


02-17-2006, 03:15 PM
and has about 4 pair listed on the A/C forum

02-17-2006, 04:24 PM
Outlines work well for moccasins and sandals, they are only helpful for shoes. Remember that shoes are built on lasts that are three dimensional. As much as length and outline help, circumference at the ball, instep, heel, and ankle greatly effect the fit/comfort.

Talk with the person that you are buying from, if you are not trying the product on first hand. How does the shoe fit compared with what you would buy at Wal-Mart? Shoe lasts are still not real uniform today, throw in the reproduction factor, it gets more confusing. Makers develop their own sizing based off of an original or develop base patterns on style. Without knowing what the base and the extrapolation for sizing, there is no easy answer.

You are probably best off to ask the seller what size will work for you, but be prepared for uncomfortable fit anyway. The best advice has been posted already, try a product on in person. Remember that as long as the shoe is built from period materials (vegetable tanned), it can be stretched easily to fit.

I'm no expert here. This is just my thoughts from making repro footwear in museums for three years and being in a modern shoe repair shop for the same length.

Pat Cunningham

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
02-17-2006, 04:41 PM

There are shoes and then there are shoes.
The better makers work not only from a tracing, but also form a number of measurements from EACH foot as one's two feet are not symmetrical.
The more "run-of-the-mill" offer stock or standard "sizes."

IMHO, the fit of Civil War shoes can be a tricky thing. I have found the three pair of have had from three of the premium makers were WAY oversized. I wear a Size 9D, and found their shoes to measure closer to a true 11 or 11 1/2. So, there were "inches" in front of my toes.
When I inquired as to the "canal boats," they explained the the shoes were designed to accomodate for the soles to bend up in use, which over time, makes the shoe actually "get smaller (shorter)." (If the size were truer to the measurement, in time the shows would be too small unless one kept them from bending up with a shoe tree...)

(I took to cheating, and purposely down-sized the size to 8 to get a shoe that was not a full 2 or 2/12 beyond a half inch in front of my big toe...)

As for some of the Pakistani and Mexican "Frankenstein Footwear" some vendors offer, one pays da monies and takes da chances... IMHO...

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

Jim Mayo
02-17-2006, 06:43 PM
Where ever you buy them, read about CW shoes at this website.


The problem with trying shoes on is finding qualitity shoes to try. Most of the ones on skinners row are not the best and far from it. I have had good luck ordering from MB&S and Jarnagin. The only shoes I tried on before I bought ended up not fitting about a year later. They were Robert Land's. I ended up giving them to a friend whose feet are half size smaller than mine and they have served him well. I guess what I am trying to say is that when new, they will be a little big.

02-17-2006, 09:29 PM
I am going to order a pair of brogans off the internet. Anyways, I was wondering how the sizes run. How should I fit it. I wear a size 11 combat boot-I have been told that I should order a 12. Any ideas?

If you wear a size 12 in Altimas, order a size 12 brogan from Tom Mattimore, they'll fit.

02-17-2006, 10:24 PM
One point that no one has brought up yet is: How many pair of socks will you be wearing, and how thick are the socks you wear? When I wear one pair, I float and slide like a boat in a storm; when I wear two, they seem tight, at least initially. So it is an important consideration.

Of course, if you wish to do it the way "they" did it, you get shoes and wear 'em no matter how they fit until they either stretch, shrink or wear out, rather than seeking a custom, comfortable fit. :wink: But, then, I'd rather not do it that way, either.

bob 125th nysvi
02-23-2006, 10:00 PM
Bought mine on Ebay for less than $70 and I can march as far as anybody in the "good" boots that cost a lot more.

I also used to sell shoes and the reality is that shoes are a highly individual fit and a lot more depends on you than on the manufacturer. Some guys have sensitive feet some don't.

One thing I did was order a size larger because I wear two pairs of socks and I never have any problems. But you should conside that WIDTH is the most important demension because your feet tend to expand in size as the day goes on, especially if you walk on them all day.

And if they don't fit great realize that your marching experieince is probably a lot closer to what most original civil war soldiers experienced than those of us who have nice comfy shoes.
But that's one experience you can keep.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY