In England, between the wars there were quite a few competitions, showing off that type ‘pin pointing’ work. I believe, they did not judge the shoes (which might have been made by someone else), just the decorative work on the sole. The Northampton shoe museum has various samples as has James Taylor (orthopaedic shoes) in Marylebone, London. http://www.taylormadeshoes.co.uk/ The ones Taylor owns were all made by one man, who was based in the provinces (maybe Cardiff) and who lived from around 1880 – 1955. I cannot recall name, residency and dates, although Taylor displays them with the exhibits. Contact Taylor they might send you some pictures and could probably supply you with the name of a grindery which stocks the tacks. After all, lots of companies are still using those same pins to hammer initials into the waist of bespoke or made-to-order shoes (if requested). Alternatively contact the Northampton shoe museum; they should not only have samples of the shoes, but press-cuttings of the actual events and prize giving ceremonies. I think, I concur with Novice that these shoes were never meant to be worn (I think you would fall instantly on encountering a marble or tiled floor). It was just a means for fanatics to show off their skills, just like some people will build Brooklyn Bridge with matchsticks and string. There is presumably that same urge for ‘decoration for decoration’s sake’ that inspired the ‘Pearly Kings and Queens’ among London’s Eastend population. (Another movement that had its heydays before the war and is now a shadow of what it once was.) http://www.google.co.uk/search?tbm=...l=1624l11039l0l14578l9l9l0l2l2l0l16l101l7l7l0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearly_Kings_and_Queens Are you certain, those samples are American and not English shoes which happened to end-up in the States?