rating: 0+x

St. Crispin to the shoemakers said on a Christmastide:
"Who fashions at another's feet will get no good of pride.
They were bleeding on the Mountain, the feet that brought good news,
The latchet of whose shoes we were not worthy to unloose.
See that your feet offend not, nor lightly lift your head,
Tread softly on the sunlit roads the bright dust of the dead.
Let your own feet be shod with peace; be lowly all your lives.
But if they touch the Charter, ye shall nail it with your knives.
And the bill-blades of the commons drive in all as dense array
As once a crash of arrows came, upon St. Crispin's Day."

(from) Christmas Song for Three Guilds G. K. Chesterton

Basic Information

A shoemaker (also known as a cordwainer) is, as one might suspect, someone who makes shoes (or footwear in general) for a living. The profession is not especially high status as crafts go - despite there being significant skill involved (and expense at the higher end of the market), but is still regarded as a cut above that of the cobbler who merely repairs shoes1. Prior to industrial mass production and retail, a shoemaker would also be likely to sell shoes - indeed, for much of history, shoes would need to be made to order.

Historically, most shoes were made from either wood or leather, with the occasional indoor example made of cloth, although some cultures preferred rope like materials woven from things like jute. In the modern era, shoemakers have expanded into using synthetic materials like plastic and rubber - and in less developed areas, these may even be used by craft shoemakers, who have been known to fashion some remarkable effective sandals from discarded vehicle tyres. Means of construction will also vary depending on culture and tech level.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • For some reason this seems to be a popular profession amongst the more benevolent members of the Fair Folk … it's probably safer not to inquire why.
  • Only in the relatively recent past did it become possible to go to a shoe-shop and buy shoes, prior to that it was necessary to visit a shoemaker.
    • Come to that, the idea of left and right shoes is a fairly modern invention as well: originally a pair of shoes would be mostly identical and the wearer would frequently swap them betwen the feet so that they wore out evenly. This is less the case for sandals, where the position of the toe thong is more significant.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License