Fur-topped boots for motoring are practical and warm corrected from time to time of the feet that are to be fitted.

By taking special means to ensure comfort as well as a beautiful aspect, such pedal disfigurements as enlarged joints, corns, and callosities are avoided.

When the girls of the present day look at their prettily embroidered shoes of exquisite modern workmanship do they realise that the privileges they enjoy at the present time were shared in olden days by the belles of those periods ? Happily there remains to us in many collections examples of the wonderful skill of the boot and shoe makers of the past.

During the period of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs shoes made of velvet, brocade, silk, and coloured leather were supplied to the wealthy classes, and in many cases gold and rich silk embroideries were added, and also sparkling jewels. In still earlier times, and specially during the reign of Henry III., from 1216 to 1272, when dress was regarded as important, and made a most sumptuous affair, the boots and shoes were as elegant as the rest of the costume worn.

The Shoes of a Great Queen

Among the precious items of Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe that has been preserved to us is a pair of shoes made of white satin exquisitely embroidered with silk and metal wire in green, blue, pink, and yellow colourings. Another pair composed of salmon-coloured silk with embroideries of silver and crimson upon them, has a lining of dark red leather on the inner sole. The toes are cut square, and the heels are of sensible form, though they vary in form, one being quite of the recently introduced " Cuban" shape, and another " waisted."

It is to the eighteenth century that we have to look for the fashion of very high heels, introduced by Madame de Pompadour to add height to her rather short physique. Very graceful and dainty-looking little shoes of the reign of Queen Anne show the heels and soles formed in one in what we now call the Louis XV. fashion.

The heels were waisted, and tapered down to a very small base, and from that day to this such an arrangement has flourished intermittently, despite the condemnation of the physicians.

It is only fair to add that not only women but men have been in their time addicted to high heels, and there are still to be seen in museums, latchet shoes for men with extra high and very narrow heels. One pair preserved in the museum at Whitby has heels six inches tall.

Special footgear has always appertained to special occasions, and for the most important days of a woman's life, that of her wedding, particularly pretty shoes are naturally chosen. Many modern brides are now wearing silver or gold tissue shoes, to emphasise the silver or gold brocade of the dress.

Bridal Shoes

With weddings is connected the ancient custom of throwing old shoes to bring luck to the happy pair, and in very ancient days at Jewish weddings the husband offered not only a ring to his bride, but also a shoe.

It was in all ages customary for a bride to wear white at her wedding, and therefore it is not surprising to find an exquisite old bridal shoe made of pale yellow silk embroidered with silver flowers. On the sole of another shoe beneath the ball of the foot is traced a heart, suggesting that the shoe was that of a bride worn at her wedding.

One of the most recent types of shoe might well be a wedding shoe. It is made of satin, and has a high front, elaborately decorated with pearls and silver beads. What makes the model appropriate for a bride is the fact that at the sides of the shoes are ribbon bows fringed with silver, which one can imagine the bride removing and tearing in pieces to give to her girl friends. This idea is strongly reminiscent of the old method of dealing with the bride's garter.

The modern mother is very careful of her little one's needs, and by giving them boots that fit well and are long enough, keeps their feet a beautiful shape, and avoids the terrible infliction of enlarged joints, which are usually traceable to short boots.

Following the theory that freedom is good for the feet, some children are allowed to run about without shoes and stockings, though there have been many dreadful cases of tender feet pierced by sharp stones or bits of glass. It is said by the doctors to be far more sensible to give a child socks and sandals, or sandals without socks, than to let him run about absolutely barefooted.

Every pastime, such as golf, skating, hockey, shooting, and climbing brings with it the necessity of special footgear. Upon the links women wear laced boots with high top pieces buttoned at one side ; and for hockey and other sports similar sturdy footgear.

It is declared that much outdoor exercise has enlarged the size of the feet of the present generation of girls. This fact has not been without advantage to the makers of boots and shoes, who have been obliged to turn their attention to the production of elegance despite physical drawbacks, and thus it comes to pass that the footgear of the present day is quite as beautiful as that of other centuries, when boots and shoes were representative of the artistry of the craftsman.

No material seems too delicate for the modern shoemaker to handle. Cinderella's glass slippers were scarcely less fragile than a pair made entirely of feathers of the tiniest possible size, in the graduated colours of the pheasant.

On the other hand, there are fur-edged and fur-lined boots, some with the buttonholes rimmed with fur, a new freak, and an amusing evidence of the present supremacy of fur. And in between these extremes there are myriads of patterns of fleeting or permanent interest; patterns with barred and buttoned fronts, patterns of the old Cavalier design, splendid with big buckles, and mules of quilted silk for the boudoir, with a little bunch of flowers instead of a bow decoration ; over-shoes for frosty days, and for the rain the ever-faithful golosh.