Practical Tips for Comfortable and Stylish Shoes at a Renaissance Festival

December 04, 2023 4 min read

Leather Boots Renaissance

If you’re planning on attending your next - or perhaps your first ever - Renaissance Festival, you’ll already know that it’s important to look the part. What’s equally important, however, is to think about your own personal comfort, especially when it comes to your feet! After all, you’ll be walking around a lot - often on muddy and even terrain - so picking the right footwear is essential, especially if you’re attending a weekend-long event. So, the key question: what shoes to wear to Renaissance festival? Let’s take a look.

Considerations for Festival Footwear

As we mentioned above, the key to the right pair of Ren Faire shoes is to find something that blends both comfort and style. Ren fairies do demand a lot of wandering through bustling marketplaces and over uneven terrain, so your shoes need to be sturdy, supportive - and fit for a noble! And while the key is to strike a balance between practicality and period-appropriate flair, don’t forget to consider the weather too; summer weather usually allows more freedom in choice, but rainy forecasts call for water-resistant materials.

Ideal Shoe Styles for Renaissance Festivals

So, what are the best shoes for a weekend at the Renaissance festival? Here are some ideas:

Leather Boots

Leather boots, whether they’re knee-high or ankle-length, are a timeless choice; not only are they authentic to the period, but they’re also comfortable and durable enough for any festival adventure. Plus, leather boots pair magnificently with Renaissance fair dresses, giving even the most elegant outfit a bit of a rebellious touch. Think Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet! (And yes, Austen was the Elizabethan era, but the point still stands!).


For those seeking comfort with historical accuracy, moccasins are another excellent choice, especially for summer weather, or if you’re wearing a shorter dress and want something more dainty.

Ballet Flats

Prefer something lighter and modern? Ballet flats can be a charming alternative, and go well with almost any Renaissance-era outfit. You can even buy plain ones and embellish them with ribbons or embroidery to enhance their Renaissance feel.


On hot summer days, sandals can also be a good choice, especially if you opt for designs reminiscent of the era, like strappy or gladiator styles, to keep in line with the theme. However, be wary of sandal strap rub; you might want to bring another pair of shoes in case these start chafing your feet in the soaring temperatures.

Practical Tips for Choosing Festival Shoes

So, if you can’t choose between the options above, what’s the most practical way to think about your Ren Faire footwear? Here’s the secret: choosing shoes that are well broken-in. You don’t actually need to go out and buy a new pair for the event, in fact we’d discourage you against it; new shoes can lead to discomfort and blisters, which are the last things you want when you’re at a weekend-long festival.

Size is also crucial - too tight, and you’re in for a day of pain; too loose, and you might find yourself shoeless in the mud. For the easiest option, choose a pair that you already have; they’ll already be the right size, and you don’t have to break them in beforehand.

Styling Your Festival Footwear

Leather Renaissance shoes

Comfort and sizing aside, what about style? When it's time to style your shoes with your Renaissance attire, think of harmony and balance; for example, you could try matching the color of your shoes with accents on your dress to create a unified look - alternatively, if your costume is the main attraction, a simpler shoe can keep the focus on your attire.

Don’t forget that accessorizing your shoes can also transform them entirely; you can find cheap shoe clips, buckles, and ribbons in your local craft store or online, and these can all help add that extra touch of Renaissance flair and opulence to your look - no matter how plain the original shoes are.

Comfort Hacks for Festival Feet

So, how can you keep your feet from blistering after one afternoon of walking around the Ren faire? Here are our tips and tricks:

  • Insert Gel Insoles or Arch Supports: Place gel insoles or arch supports to reduce foot fatigue and discomfort throughout the day.
  • Choose Quality Socks for Boots: If you’re wearing boots, opt for high-quality, comfy socks. These will help prevent chafing and keep your feet dry, so you can enjoy a more comfortable festival experience.
  • Break in New Shoes Before the Festival: As we mentioned above, wear your festival shoes a few times before the event to avoid blisters and discomfort. Or ideally, wear an old or current pair.
  • Carry Blister Pads: Keep a few blister pads or band-aids handy for quick relief if discomfort arises, especially in clammy hot weather.
  • Rotate Footwear: If you're attending the festival for several days, rotate between different pairs of shoes to give your feet a change and prevent sore spots.
  • Post-Festival Care: After the festivities, your shoes will likely need some TLC. If they're leather, a good cleaning and conditioning will keep them in prime condition for your next Renaissance outing. For other materials, a gentle wipe-down or wash (if suitable) will do the trick to get rid of any lingering mud or mulch.

Key Takeaways

So there you have it! When it comes to the right shoes for a Renaissance Festival, it’s all about balancing style with comfort. So, slip into your stunning Renaissance fair dress, step into your fabulous shoes, and prepare to travel back in time and party like a true Renaissance noble!