Shoes are a major and very important investment of the reenacting wardrobe. The type of reproduction shoe you purchase will be determined by your impression. An upper class impression could would wear a more fashionable shoe, while a working or lower class impression would call for a more sturdy boot. A Southern impression may call for men’s shoes or going bare foot. Dancing slippers should only be worn at balls.
Until you decide that you are able to purchase a pair of good reproductions, a pair of “granny” or ankle boots from any shoe store will do for everyday. They should be black leather, square or rounded toe, lace up the side or front, flat heeled, as smooth soled as possible (avoid the tire tread look), and without any extra trim. Speed laces, the hooks rather than holes for the laces, are inappropriate and should be removed. Be sure to try them on with your socks/stockings, because you will want them to be comfortable.
Images of original shoes can be found on the Graceful Lady website.