It has been said, and argued, that pegged sole shoes last longer as once the linen thread portion of the sole stitching was worn away, the soles separated and the shoe came apart.
Sizing is an issue, often times.
The better shoemakers utilize a series of actual measurements of your left AND right feet (they are seldom, if ever, totally symmetrical). More "lower" Mexican, Chinese, and Pakistani imports are a "standard" commercial set size and width.
The second "issue," is how many lasts the shoemaker has. I personally need a "D" or even "C" width, while some makers only have "D" widths that are closer to actual "C." And to give me a 'D" they do not provide a "true D" but rather just give the next size or two LARGER "C" width size shoe. What that does, is give me a shoe that extends 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and sometimes even 3.0 inches beyond my toe front.
And three, are the soles.
Period writings talk about the issue shoe a lot of times in disparaging remarks such as their being "canal boats." they were so long. Where that can get complicated is that the soles on CW shoes have a tendency to bend upwards with time, wettings, and use unless kept "straightened" ' with a shoe tree. Aside from the "randomness' of CW clothing issuance, part of the excess length to give toes room is one way to deal with shoes getting shorter and shorter over time as the soles bends up giving the toes less and less room.
For me personally, this was a major issue and fit problem. I got to the point of cheating or fudging even actual measurements ND/OR tracings because I wanted a shoe that was ONLU a half inch or may be a full inch beyond my big toe. NOT 2-2.5-3 inches of dead space. In my biases and druthers, while I will go up or down on clothing sizes for the Period experiences, I "farbed out" on sometimes historical Period crippling, bleeding toe and foot blisters due to poorly fitting shoes. (I did the crippling, hobbling, straggling, blood, infected, blisters experiences twice.
I am a heretic though. While the saying and belief may be that an army marches on its stomach, IMHO they get father marching on their feet.
Others' mileage will vary....
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt
Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.
Don't forget Jan Berger at the LederArsenal and Jesse Cantrell, who is on Facebook, make some good, authentic minded bootees with different variations available. On the top end of pricing, but probably the most accurate bootees out there this day.
semper ubi sub ubi
Robert Land is as low as I would go.
thanks for the replys. I got a used pair from a friend that has hob nails and heel plates. they fit pretty good, a little loose in the heel but I think thicker socks will help. (I've only had them on with athletic socks so far)
With time you will want a MBS pair of brogans. I have had Robert Lands, and others over the years. However MBS is the only ones that fit my feet properly and last. Save yourself years of the Agony of de feet and get yourself a pair as soon as you can. IF you do ANY amount of marching and walking, please do yourself a favor. If you feet hurt, the event will suck, no matter how awesome it is.
I will probably be shunned for this, but recently bought a pair of brogans from Fugawee because I was hearing mixed things about their products. Most comfortable brogans I have personally had to date. I have not owned MB&S or Robert Land, but mostly just sutler row quality. The inside of the bootee is a little farby, but the outside looks pretty good. Also, their customer service was outstanding. Ordered the wrong size first time around, had the right size within 2 buisness days of contacting them for exchange.
As for rough vs. smooth, I personally go with smooth out, and encourage others to go with smooth out because of an army regulation I came across when doing research on this subject (dont remember which one off hand, will try and find it/repost it).
As one can see from all the above comments, different people believe that different vendors are "the best". This is to be expected. What's more comfortable to one person won't be for another. This is going to be more so for shoes than of most other things we purchase, due to the variability of people's builds and shapes. I've bought high end shoes, only to find that some "lesser" ones felt better on my feet and held up better for me.
Best advice is to try them on whenever possible and walk around in them. That's not always possible, as with MBS custom orders.
I Got A Good Pair From Blockade Runner….. Iv'e Heard WONDERFUL Stories About Jarnagan Brogans, Due To The Fact That They Are Comfortable, Reasonably Priced And They Have A LIFETIME WARRANTY!!!!! But I Personally Havent Bought Any From Jarnagan, Due To The Fact That My Blockade Runner Brogans Are Still Kicking…… Just Put Mink Oil On Them After Each Reenactment…….