By Dakota Elliott, Intern.
Ladies, the next time you hop on a bike, be thankful you don’t have to strap on knee-high leather boots beforehand. Long before tennis shoes came about, women wore boots made specifically for biking to protect their legs while biking with skirts. Women’s bicycle boots became fashionable in the 1890s up through the early twentieth century. However, they decreased in popularity around 1910 when women began to prefer shoes with stockings for biking.
Women’s bicycle boots were typically front laced leather boots, usually black or brown, and often times had a rough sole in order to prevent the boot from slipping off the pedal. The lower part of the boots were laced through metal eyelets, like a typical shoe. However, the top part of the boots were laced through metal hooks. The top part of the boot had metal hooks to give the laces more wiggle room to allow the user more flexibility and comfort.
The pair we have here are in great shape and are a light brown leather with the same laced pattern as mentioned above. The toe has a moccasin seam pattern and the heel sole has metal rivets for lasting durability. In our pair, each insole is labeled with, “Active Maid, Milwaukee, WIS,” which was the trademark for the Ideal Shoe Manufacturing Co. of Milwaukee.