I must admit to a certain degree of snobishness regarding straight shoes, considering them the poorer cousin of paired shoes. I had thought all the benfits were for the maker and in the process missed one of the advantages of the wearer.
Sue was wearing her rather nice pair of Kevin Garlick seventeenth century latchet shoes at Linwood House last weekend and observed that she had been wearing her straights one way around and had noticed they were starting to wear on the heel, so she had started wearing them on the other foot to even out the wear. I think she’ll probably get 30% more wear out of her straights than I will out of my pairs, gaining much better economy over the life of the shoes.
Maybe paired shoes were yet another form of conspicuous consumption by the Puritains along with the black clothing.