We are very proud to announce the first World Championships in Shoemaking, where the final takes place during the London Super Trunk Show on April 7 2018. In the prize pool is £6,000 (€6,700 / $8,000) and a chance to be showcased for shoe lovers around the world. Here’s all the info about the competition.


The World Championships in Shoemaking is organised by Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob, in collaboration with the webshop Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project and the book project Master Shoemakers. Around 100 years ago there were numerous of prestigious shoemaking competitions around the world. These competitions pushed the shoemakers in their craft, made them create amazing shoes which not necessarily would be ideal for actual use, but incredible as showpieces. With the World Championship in Shoemaking, we want to bring back some of this. And at the same time, do our best to show the competition shoes for a wide audience, something that hopefully can be a positive thing for the industry and the specific brands/makers. There are some existing competitions today, but they are relatively unknown for a wider audience and/or have the problem that they award basically everyone entering.

Below in the official call for competition you can find all the details in how it unfolds, and for bespoke shoe brands or people who work with making shoes, how to enter the World Championships. But to summarise it, the contestants will make a black cap toe oxford with a single leather sole, hand welted with handmade sole stitch. The criteria that will be judged are the degree of difficulty and the execution of the making, but also the overall design/aesthetics. 1st prize is £3,000, 2nd £2,000 and 3rd £1,000, plus all podium placed shoes will be exhibited at the Isetan Men’s department store in Tokyo, Japan, and at other stores in various locations around the world (more details will follow later on, but the plan is to create a small exhibition with the top three shoes, which will be on tour around the globe. Shoe stores or menswear stores interested in showcasing this exhibition are welcome to announce their interest to shoegazingblog@gmail.com. It will be free of charge, only cost is to ship the exhibition to the next venue). When the contest is over all shoes will be sent back to the shoemakers and can be used as sample display shoes (for top three after the tour). On Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob and in our social media channels we will also showcase all entries in the world championships.

A black plain cap toe oxford is to be made.

A black plain cap toe oxford is to be made.

We hope to get a wide variety of brands and shoemakers entering this competition. Both larger, more established firms and smaller less known one man operations. To enter the competition you need to register by sending an e-mail to shoegazinblog@gmail.com no later than January 15 2018. Any questions about the competition can also be sent here (do read the call for competition found below first though).

When we set up this competition we have been collecting feedback from several bespoke shoemakers to make sure that we create a competition that becomes as good as it can. We will also learn from this first year, and continue to develop it. We do understand that there can be discussions on how this type of competition is set up, and how winners are decided, but we see this as a start and hope that people will understand that what we do here and judge here is what is stated in this text. In the jury who will review the shoes are several bespoke shoemakers and professionals within the industry, preliminary jury members are shoemakers Jim McCormack, Nicholas Templeman, Keitaro Takano (Clematis Ginza)Mario Bemer, Eric Devos plus Patrick Verdillon, Director bespoke at John Lobb Paris. But to also add a slightly different view shoe experts Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing and Justin FitzPatrick of The Shoe Snob are part of the jury, and the two sponsors who are making this event possible: Edmund Schenecker who is a bespoke shoe customer and shoe nerd, Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, and Gary Tok, author of Master Shoemakers.

We hope

We hope to have both large established firms and small relatively unknown shoemakers entering the competition.

The final of the World Championships in Shoemaking will take place at next year’s London Super Trunk Show on Saturday April 7 at the Music Room in the middle of Mayfair. The super trunk will as last year gather more than 10 brands from all over the world (some favourites from last year, some newcomers), and it will host the final in the World Championships in Shoe Shining. We are happy to continue this event after this year’s success. More on those things early next year. But if you’re into classic shoes, do put a mark in your calendar for April 7, and book your trip to London straight away. And do please help us spread the word about the contest!




Criteria for shoe:
– Plain cap toe oxford model (at least three separate leather pieces, no wholecut with imitation stitches etc)

– One left shoe, size UK8 (or corresponding size)
– Black box calf upper
– Single leather sole
– Hand welted, handmade sole stitch
– Black sole and heel edges, natural coloured bottom
– No branding
– Shoes will be displayed without last or shoe tree for the jury, but if shoe tree is provided these will be used when they are showcased during the event.

Competitors can enter both as a company or as a person. All persons that have been part in the making of the shoe should be stated, and which process(es) each person have made.

Criteria that will be judged:
Degree of difficulty (maximum 10 points)
Jury look at how complicated construction methods that have been used, how advanced they have been built both in large and in smaller details, etc.

Execution (maximum 10 points)
Jury look at how well the various parts of the shoe construction have been made, how neat and clean the work is, how well executed the level of finishing is, etc.

Design / Aesthetics (maximum 5 points)
Jury look at the overall aesthetics of the shoe, proportions, etc.

1st prize: £3,000. Name engraved on the World Championship in Shoemaking trophy. Shoe showcased at Isetan Men’s department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, plus other stores around the world.

2nd prize: £2,000. Shoe showcased at Isetan Men’s in Tokyo, plus other stores around the world.
3rd prize: £1,000. Shoe showcased at Isetan Men’s in Tokyo, plus other stores around the world.

How to enter the competition:
Competitors who wish to enter the contest need to register to shoegazingblog@gmail.com no later than January 15 2018 (the minimum amount of competitors we need to proceed with the contest is five entries. There is no maximum). It is free of charge to enter the competition. For any questions, send e-mail to the address above. We encourage brands/makers to take pictures of the making process to be shared after the final on April 7, and we offer the opportunity to borrow a Gopro camera to film the making of the contest shoe. If you are interested in having a camera sent to you, state this in your registration mail.

The competition shoe should be sent to England to be judged and displayed at the London Super Trunk Show April 7 2018. They have to be delivered no later than April 4 2018. Address to send the shoe:
The Shoe Snob Ltd
16a Dufours Place
London, UK — W1F 7SP
Tel: +4420-3105 0559

Judging process and award ceremony:
Jury will review and judge the shoes on Friday April 6, at this stage the shoes will be anonymous*. Note that due to this, competing shoemakers can not show the competition shoes in for example social media until April 7. The shoes will be displayed during the London Super Trunk Show event on Saturday April 7, where the award ceremony will take place at 16.00. Then the World Champion in Shoemaking and the podium places will be announced (competitors don’t have to be in place themselves). All competition shoes will also be showcased on Shoegazing and The Shoe Snob’s blogs and social media channels.

The jury (preliminary):
Jim McCormack, bespoke shoemaker

Nicholas Templeman, bespoke shoemaker
Keitaro Takano, bespoke shoemaker
Mario Bemer, bespoke shoemaker
Eric Devos, bespoke shoemaker
Patrick Verdillon, Director bespoke John Lobb Paris
Edmund Schenecker, sponsor, bespoke shoe customer
Kirby Allison, sponsor, founder of The Hanger Project
Gary Tok, sponsor, author of Master Shoemakers

Jesper Ingevaldsson, Shoegazing
Justin FitzPatrick, The Shoe Snob

The jury decision can not be overruled.

The shoes will be returned to the contestants and can be used as display shoes (for top three, after the tour to Isetan, Japan, and other stores). In the case they need to be shipped back, shipping costs apply.

*Jesper Ingevaldsson of Shoegazing will know who enters the contest, due to him taking care of the registration and answering questions. However, he will not know which shoe belongs to whom when reviewing and judging them. For all other parties of the jury, the shoes will be strictly anonymous.