High Button Shoes!


A feisty widow; a dashing outlaw– something’s

definitely afoot.


The Widow

Beautiful Maggie Turner was the soul of respectability, determined to earn an honest living for herself and her town children in rough and tumble nineteenth century California.

 The Outlaw

Dominick Sanders was shrouded in mystery, known to Maggie as the notorious Kissing Bandit—a man who kissed the women in the stages he robbed!  It was enough to make Maggie’s blood boil—and heart pound faster.

The Marriage

But now these two are thrown together in a mock marriage designed to deceive the world. Maggie has no choice but to play along—or else risk losing everything she’s ever worked for, including the man she has no business loving.


The right shoe can take you to all the right places!

I loved writing this book because it takes place in one of my favorite towns, Santa Barbara, California.  I actually walked the old stagecoach road searching for the right spot to send a coach over the mountainside–literarily speaking, of course.  Surprisingly, the ruts of the stagecoach wheels can still be found. 


It was also fun to write about a female shoemaker. Having learned the trade from her deceased husband, Maggie Turner is determined to open her own shop. She knows a thing or two  about High Button shoes, popular from the 1870s until World War  I. 

Nothing makes you forget your other troubles faster than a tight pair of shoes!  

The shoes were well suited for Victorian times;  only the most morally challenged women would be seen without high collars, long sleeves and boots designed to keep ankles appropriately hidden from the male eye. Women paid dearly for such modesty; once the shoe was on the foot, a hook had to be threaded one by one through twelve or more holes and each button grabbed and pulled back out. 


The overlapped panel hid the closure and allowed women to wear the smallest possible size.  Flesh bulging over the tops of the boots were hidden under long skirts. 

In fairy tales, shoes are often an escape

 from a humdrum life. 

-Linda O’Keeffe

A shortage of leather during the war and women in the workforce made the flapper shoe more practical. But then, as now, women still wanted something larger– in the same size.



So what is your favorite type of shoe? 

How many pairs of shoes do you own? 

How about cowboy boots?

 Come on, fess up!



+ posts

21 thoughts on “High Button Shoes!”

  1. Those boots look painful! I like anything comfortable such as a pair of sketchers/tennis shoes because they don’t have any shoelaces. With kids it’s easier for me to be able to put on my shoe quickly. I own only about four pairs; two are dress up and two different types tennis shoes and one pair of sandals. Currently no cowboy boots but I used to wear them. Thanks for the interesting bit of history Margaret!

  2. Hi Margaret! Great post. I love, love, love shoes. The higher the better!!! My tag line says it all:

    Cinderella is proof a new pair of shoes can change your life!

  3. Margaret, I’m wearing my favorite pair of shoes right now.
    black boots.

    I have very specific needs in shoes.

    Low heels, I mean FLAT
    Non-skid soles. I need help staying upright

    I do own one pair of red high heels that I’ve worn exactly ONCE, but I do love them so. But I could barely walk in those stupid things. I probably don’t even remember how to walk in high heels. It’s ME not them.

  4. Dang,Id be in a mess back then,Im from the south an I hate to wear shoes,since I was a kid an im 57 an still hate them,,now my feet swell an ive had to go up a size just to fit them,,so high tops wouldnt have been option for me,,I quess Id just have to wear my dress long enought so they couldnt tell I was barefoot,,my kids an grandkids make fun of my barefeet but I dont care,ive gave my orders when I die my feet are not to be covered with socks or shoes,lol,creeps the kids out but it wouldnt bother me if I never wore a pair of shoes again

  5. Hi Vickie, you and I are cut from the same cloth. I run around barefooted all the time. The first thing I do when I walk in the house is kick off my shoes. Wouldn’t you know? I’m married to a man who wouldn’t be caught dead without his shoes. He practically wears them to bed!

  6. Just reading about those tight shoes made my feet hurt Margaret. I LOVE shoes. I’ve never counted them but you’d die if you knew how many pairs I have. I buy most of them from an online outlet store that gives me good brands at great prices.
    Around the house, I tend to change shoes as the day goes on–one pair’s too warm, another’s freezing my toes, another’s for gardening, etc.
    Beautiful cover, by the way.

  7. Margaret, this is a must-read for me. I love Santa Barbara, and one of hubby and my upcoming adventures is traversing the old stage route. I’ll email ya privately for some hints and helps.

    Best wishes with yet another winner! xoxo

  8. Tanya, ah, another Santa Barbara lover! All that stuff in the book about stages turning over in the sand during high tide and ships coming and going on a whim are true! It wasn’t all that long ago that I saw an obituary in the newspaper for the last Ventura stagecoach driver. Wouldn’t he have been a fun one to interview?

  9. I’ve almost died now twice wearing flip flops. I trip over them.
    So I switched and now in the summer and in airports I’ve got a pair of Sperry boat shoes, topsiders, whatever they’re called.
    I went on kind of a bad run of shoe buying a year ago. I had to…like…practically HAVE AN INTERVENTION AND CHECK INTO A REHAB CLINIC.

    But I’m all better now.

    Just because I like them flat and comfy doesn’t mean I don’t like a lot of pairs. 🙂
    Which is really stupid because I always wear the same pair of black boots or run around in socks at home.

    Oh, in that run away shoe spree, I bought a pair of GRAY cowboy books. I wear them quite often, they’ve got a little bit of a heel but they’re pretty good. I’m scared to wear them if the weather is shady though. Afraid they’ll be slippery. So I haven’t had them on since….November? Maybe?

  10. Funny you should mention flip-flops, Mary. There’s an article in today’s paper criticizing people who wear flip-flops to church, weddings and so forth. Personally, I can’t walk in the things.

  11. Loved this post. I do have two pairs of cowboy boots. Living in the Sierra Mountains in California I don’t have reason to dress too properly because I rarely go down into civilization. I’m an barefoot kind of person and shoes have never been a high priority with me. I can’t wear all the pretty highheels so that takes away a lot of options.

  12. First the button ,high-top shoes. I personally think they are ugly, but have you noticed how the younger girls (I mean teens and up) like all of these old fashion shoes(like my granddaughters) . Some even wear them for weddings. Yuck! I told them I couldn’t believe they liked them. I said it looked like shoes my grandma’s and greats wore. But,if the ladies of that generation of tall button shoes saw someone in sandals they would not have approved (in public), then privately were thinking how comfortable they looked.! How many shoes depends on whether we’re talking about those I wear that are comfortable I would say my SAS brand shoes , but they cost so much for I need a narrow, and the cheaper stores don’t carry narrow. I’m sure a hundred isn’t much to some, but is to me.And, I also have some comfortable sandals. My foot doctor wants me to wear the SAS kind, but when I get some I have to wear them a long time. I do have others that have been given to me that I caan wear for short times, but they are really too wide. As to heels, I’ve never walked as comfortable as lmost do. So, is something I just don’t wear. If so, they have the wider heels and only abiut 2 in. I do have 2 pair of boots tho. The dressy ones are a eggshell color and I have really worn them a lot. They were the only one I could be on my feet for long periods. Good support also’ The other pr. are brown and the flatter heels.When I was some younger and my hubby was still around, we lived in OK. and KS. and he wore jeans, western clothes, boots, and his Stetson. So, I wore the same type clothes minus the stetson. ( I did have a straw one for summer.) And Marry, I can’t wear flip-flops either. just walk out of them. But, I do not like that so many want only to wear them everywhere.There was even some seniors class girls a few yrs. back that wore them to the White House, as a group. They were talked to about not being dressed properly with those shoes. They almost didn’t get to go in. I would love to win this book. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  13. Hi Maxie. yes. there certainly are some ugly shoes out there. I remember the White House flip-flops and they shouldn’t have been allowed in.

    Thanks for sharing. It looks like you’re well covered in the foot department.

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