There is a popular belief, spread regularly by the modern media, that "in the Middle Ages, pointed toed shoes were so long that they had to chain them to their knees". While (some) people in the Middle Ages wore their pointed shoes long, and it is conceivable that a few excessive style trailblazers may have worn them that long, at this point I know of no contemporary evidence that it was so.
The earliest I can suggest appears in John Stow's 1598 The survey of London containing the original, increase, modern estate and government of that city, methodically set down : with a memorial of those famouser acts of charity, which for publick and pious vses have been bestowed by many worshipfull citizens and benefactors : as also all the ancient and modern monuments erected in the churches, not only of those two famous cities, London and Westminster, but (now newly added) four miles compass (p.131) where he says:
"In Distar Lane, on the North side thereof, is the Cordwainers or Shoemaker's Hall, which company were made a brotherhood or fraternity in the 11th of Henry IV. Of these Cordwayners I read, that since the fifth of Richard II. (when he took to wife Anne, daughter to Veselaus, King of Boheme), by her example the English people had used piked shoes, tied to their knees with silken laces, or chains of silver or gilt, wherefore in the fourth of Edward IV. it was ordained and proclaimed, that beaks of shoone and boots, should not pass the length of two inches, upon pain of cursing by the clergy, and by Parliament to pay 20 shillings for every pair. And every cordwainer that shod any man or woman on the Sunday, to pay 30 shillings."
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