LARP costuming is not rigorous in its accuracy like reenactment gear. LARPs may style themselves as medieval, but accept watches, zippers, and many other non-medieval technologies. Where to draw the newness cutoff line is a matter of constant disagreement with strong reasons on all sides. But can a thing be so new that it is actually old? Let me show you what I’m talking about…
Many people find wrist watches immersion breaking. Some people can disregard this and others can’t, Even though watches actually date back to the 16th century, we associate them with a more modern era. Even a beautifully crafted mechanical watch incorrectly invites the assumption of battery power. For some people, the modern association is more significant than this historical evidence.
Now, the flip side! Check out these shoes. The style started catching my eye at Walmart and Ardene stores in the last four or five years, which makes it waaaay more anachronistic than the wrist watch. So why does it feel so medieval-y? Because the Ardene’s lace up flat is actually a medieval Frankenstein’s monster. It is the lovechild of two starcrossed medieval shoes at opposite ends of the “medieval” timeline: the poulaine and the iron age shoe. If the mental association is medieval in spite of the modern origin, do they pass the immersion cutoff? For $23 LARP shoes, I hope so!
Would you wear these shoes for costuming? Weigh in!