M18169.1-2 | Cleats

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Creative Commons License
About 1862, 19th century
3.5 x 4.5 x 4.8 cm
Gift of Mias J. Scott
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cleat (1)
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Keys to History

Many Montrealers wore shoes with cleats to keep from slipping on the icy sidewalks.

These cleats with little metal studs were attached with leather straps under the heels of the shoes. The straps were inserted into the little rectangular slots in the side shanks of the cleats, then tied on top of the foot. This pair is quite narrow, suggesting that they were probably intended for women's shoes. The semi-circular metal band would have fit perfectly around the back of the heel of a woman's boot.

Rare today, cleats were very popular in the 19th century. Advertisements published in the newspapers of the day extolled the qualities of various models of cleats.

  • What

    These cleats are made of brass and steel, two very strong materials.

  • Where

    Some fancier models of cleats were equipped with a hinge. That way they could be folded down to walk outdoors and folded up to go indoors.

  • When

    Cleats were used especially when the sidewalks were icy.

  • Who

    These cleats were designed to fit the soles of women's boots.