The American Duchess Renoir Button Boots are Here!!! (Quick Review)

Today Yesterday I was staining the west side of the house, and I heard the mail carrier scan something.  Ooh, a package!  I’d been wondering if a button hook might arrive today (even though it is coming all the way from England) if I were lucky, but when I spotted a box by the door it was rather large.  Then I saw the sender was American Duchess with L as the recipient.  Surprised, I carried the parcel inside and tore into it, because I knew the Renoir boots were on pre-order and supposed to ship in 6-8 weeks!  I didn’t figure I’d get to see them until nearly Christmas.  Perhaps he had ordered another shoe as a surprise?  After all I’d emailed him a short list detailing my desires.  😀  Shockingly it turned out to be the Renoirs after all!

This photo is after moving the buttons and two long walks:

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I’m giddy with happiness about these boots.  Seriously.

When I was a kid I was in love with all things from the 18th and 19 centuries.  My focus shifted from time to time, but I especially was fond of the second half of the 19th.  I taped Dr Quinn, I read American Girl and the Little House books, and I watched the Shirley Temple version of The Little Princess quite a few times.  So, at some point I noticed high button boots and became obsessed.  Later, when I spotted impossibly tiny Victorian boots in antique malls I wished so badly that I could fit in them (although of course they likely wouldn’t survive being worn.)  I never really dreamt that some day anyone would offer brand new, real, buttoning boots for purchase.  I’m not even sure why it didn’t occur to me since plenty of 18th century reproduction shoes are available now, but I sure never saw button boots anywhere and assumed that the buttons themselves were the reason.

The nearest style, which I do love thought they lace up, are Capezio dance boots that they named Can Can.  They are extremely comfortable, well made, and durable, but my feet grew in the 10+ years that I’ve had them.  Unfortunately they are now only custom made, and I found the Renoir boots before L committed to getting me a new pair as a birthday present.

Yesterday I nearly finished this post but decided to wait until I could add the button moving process before and after etc.  I’m sure that the boots will evolve in their fit with time, but moving the buttons was pretty dramatic.  They still do not have the amazing curves of the real deal, but maybe I’ll shift the buttons again later on after wear and stretching a while?  I do think that they’ll never quite make it to the real curves since the heels are lower and apparently women had much smaller ankles and calves back then?

Last night we took a walk, and I found the boots comfortable.  I’d also worn them as much as I could inside too.  It appears that they are nearly as well constructed and durable as the Capezios?  As far as I can see they look comparable.  The heel is lower on these which is welcomed although it looks a little less pretty I guess.  My feet are picky, and I get pain and blisters from all of my shoes it seems, but two walks have proven the Renoirs to be some of the best to jump into that I’ve ever worn.  No hint of rubbing or blisters and no pain.  Very comfortable indeed.

This morning I spent performing button relocation surgery.

The right is snug now, but I’ll have to adjust the left for equality.  It seems that my left is a little narrower, which I knew, and the feel is not agreeable since I was afraid to take things in further than the other.  The time spent was annoying, one or two hours, so I’m not too quickly adjusting now.

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The right is done but that left is as it arrived:

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We walked for a bit and voted today, and I wore them:

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Review:

They are as comfortable as can be and surpassed my expectations on that point.  I do love them, but I’d be even more thrilled if American Duchess would make them in a style closer to the Can Can boots (curvier with the higher heel) and especially with the broguing and cherry colour of her new Oxfords.  That would be incredible!   The price is reasonable to me and a lot better than custom Capezios, and you can’t find real buttons anywhere else that I know of.  I’ll be having a cobbler rubberise the sole and heel, because they are a little slippery, and I know that the plastic heel cap thing is going to wear out like crazy.

I cannot wait to see how these look after breaking in more!

 

3 thoughts on “The American Duchess Renoir Button Boots are Here!!! (Quick Review)

  1. They look great! and good to know they are comfortable. What a nice surprise.

    I have a pair of ecru fake button boots (they have a zipper and the buttons are decorative), I still love them regardless. They have a completely round toe, which I need for my very square feet, I’m afraid the toe on these (and basically all AD shoes) is too narrow for me.

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    • I do have fairly narrow feet, I think. With your comment in mind I just took a look at all of my shoes. The Renoir toe area is significantly wider than any of the shoes in the cabinet actually. (Except the Doc Martens. Those are really big.) At US8.5 these are my largest pair ever, and my feet are finally happy with the toe room thanks to that.

      I opted for the standard width but saw a wide option for them. Shipping to Europe for untested shoes is a big leap though.

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      • The thing is, that my feet are actually very narrow! but I have no tapering of the toe at all, they’re the widest part of my foot, I have to customise the toes when I knit socks. So I actually need Doc Martens type of round toes on all my shoes (I live in military type boots and classic high tops). And a roomy toe that then tapers beyond the toes is a no-go for me, since I already have a Euro 39 shoe size which is enormously long for my height. Not only does it look ridiculous, but they make me trip 😀 I only have a pair of booties that taper ever so slightly and, I do trip in them now and then.

        So yeah, I am hoping AD will at some point release a completely round toe shoe I like, because I am very interested, but indeed as you mention the distance/taxes and the shipping (very costly too) is a hindrance, I’d have to be in love with absolutely every aspect of the shoe.

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