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Lord Byron’s orthopaedic boot, England, 1781-1810

Lord Byron (1788-1824) is a celebrated poet. He reputedly wore this tiny shoe. He was born with a deformed right foot. Byron’s foot caused him great pain and frustration. One story claims he threw his leg brace into a pond as a boy. Given the small size of the shoe (10cm long), this example was worn by a child. New leg braces and orthopaedic boots would have been needed as the child grew. This orthopaedic boot was secured around the shin with a leather buckle. It was worn with a metal leg brace. Leg braces support the weight of the body and encourage leg bones to grow in the correct positions.

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Glossary: orthopaedics

The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and restoration of the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.

Glossary: orthopaedic boot

Type of footwear for the easing or correction of club foot or other deformities of the feet.