This time we’re going to go in-depth on the experience of ordering bespoke shoes, this from a bespoke shoemakers viewpoint. Hear Nicholas Templeman, independent British maker with a background at John Lobb, in a thorough talk on the customer experience topic and much more.
The amount of good quality shoe care brands available are more than in a long time, and a lot of them are more accessible than ever with the growing e-commerce. Here I summarise all the brands you need to know of and highlight where you can purchase them.
Following the previous article, I thought of this photo which in a good way showcase the different appearance of welt finishing between top premium factory-made shoes and fine fully handmade shoes. The left one is a Gaziano & Girling RTW shoe, the right one is from their Optimum range which is made to the same standard as their bespoke shoes.
Few things say so much about the actual quality of the making on a pair of welted shoes as the work on the sole and heel edges. In this article I go through a number of details on the construction and finishing of welts, heels and sole edges and explain levels of difficulty, the difference between various solutions, if practical function or solely aesthetic, and so on.
Boston Magazine has published a long article covering the amazing, horrifying and sad story of how the Alden Shoe Company executive Richard Hajjar embezzled millions of dollars during a number of years from his employer, all to finance an extremely luxurious jet set lifestyle and a celebrity career for his local TV star “girlfriend”.
In the latest episode of the rather famous workwear boots and shoes focused podcast The Stitchdown Shoecast, I’m the guest. A really interesting talk spanning across many different topics, like the similarities and differences between the dress shoe world and the workwear boots world, discussion on “handmade” shoes and how it’s used for marketing, the actual difference in experience wearing Goodyear welted vs hand welted shoes, and much more.
More and more quality sneakers are flooding onto the shoe market, both styles and available quality has developed in several regards since last time I wrote about the topic two years ago. Here’s a new roundup of a bunch of sneakers and trainers that could be of interest for the quality conscious shoe buyer.
So-called vegan leather is quickly gaining traction as a popular alternative to regular animal hides. What one needs to be aware of though is that vegan leather in most cases is a synthetic material made of plastic that doesn’t breath well, isn’t biodegradable at all, and can be much more harmful to the environment than traditional animal leather. Learn all about vegan leather and other types of artificial leathers in this article, and how it compares to natural animal leather.
To build a heel by hand and make it perfect with even horizontal layers, perfectly levelled sides, closely cut with a smooth neat edge towards the upper, and so on, is very difficult. Few in the world makes it better than Daniel Wegan of Catella Shoemaker, who’ve made the shoe above.
Japanese MTO and bespoke makers Siroeno Yosui has made lovely film thoroughly showcasing all steps of making a pair of fully handmade shoes. With high quality footage and a great production, this can be one of the better films available for those who want to understand all the steps that goes into making handmade shoes.