The Dictionary of Fashion History Cover Image

The Dictionary of Fashion History

Valerie Cumming, C. W. Cunnington and P. E. Cunnington

Table of contents

  • Pattens


Dictionary entry

Page: 150

(F & M)

Period: 14th to mid-19th century.

Over-shoes consisting of wooden soles, secured by leather straps and worn with boots or shoes to raise the wearer above the dirt when walking. The shape varied according to the period. Usually for country wear, but very fashionable in the 15th and 18th centuries; until the 17th century the term was synonymous with clogs. From ca. 1630 pattens were raised on iron rings: “The women leave in the passage their pattins, that is a kind of wooden shoes which stand on a high iron ring. Into these wooden shoes they thrust their ordinary leather or stuff shoes when they go out” (1748, Pehr Kalm’s Account of his Visit to England, Stockholm, 1753. Trans. J. Lucas, 1892).

Countrywomen continued to use pattens until the mid-19th century.