Historians explore Lincoln's boots, tell of his bunions

Curators gain glimpse of the past from details of boots

Lincoln's boots show wear from bunionsIn an article published by The Washington Post, a group of curators at the National Park Service reveal the intricacies of a pair of Abraham Lincoln's boots that he wore on his way to the Ford's Theatre in 1865.

The boots were maroon and black, a whopping size 12, rose to his shins and had square toes, which may not have helped Lincoln's reported bunions or corns.

Lincoln expert Blaine V. Houmes told the news source that Lincoln often complained of his sore feet, which may have been the result of a severe case of frostbite that he had experienced as a child.

The curators handled the boots with care, exploring every detail for a chance to get a glimpse into the past and discover unknown facts about the president. D.A. Saguto told the Post that examining footwear can tell a lot about the person to whom it belonged.

"No other garment that we wear retains such an imprint of the person who wore it," Saguto said, quoted by the news source.

Given the president's height, he probably didn't need the slight heel on his boots. This is especially notable since the Mayo Clinic reports that high heels can exacerbate bunions.

Unfortunately, Lincoln probably did not have access to bunion splints or orthotics, which may have been able to alleviate some of his foot pain stemming from his reported bunions. 

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