The first world champion in shoemaking was appointed this weekend, with Patrick Frei from Germany winning the title, ahead of Daniel Wegan in 2nd and Philippe Atienza in 3rd. Here’s a closer look at the winning shoe in some stunning pictures, plus a couple of the runner up shoes.


Pictures are taken by photographer Janik Gensheimer Freiburg. The shoe Patrick Frei has made is a delicate black plain cap toe oxford, with a very old-school look. The most striking parts at first is perhaps the extremely narrow waist and it’s magnificent shoe tree (which was not part of the review in the competition, should be noted). But when you continue to look you see more and more details, like the tight sole stitching, the impressive heel built with more than 20 super thin heel stacks, the almost perfect rows of small nails in the bottom of the heel, a lining which also is worked on meticulously, and so on.

Patrick Frei worked around 160 hours on the shoe, and to add to that is 20 more hours of his on the shoe tree plus 20 hours by a violin maker. A tremendous effort, and a well deserved winning shoe in the first World Championships in Shoemaking, which had it’s award ceremony at the London Super Trunk Show this Saturday.

It’s not the most well-known shoemaker that won the contest, but Patrick has been working with shoes for eleven years. He has a rather different background, working as a traveling street performance artist where he among other things went coast to coast in the US juggling and performing for people in the streets. Then eleven years ago he settled down in Germany again, apprenticing at a shoemaking firm. Eight years ago he started his own brand.

Patrick Frei’s shoe will together with the 2nd place shoe made by Swede Daniel Wegan, who works at Gaziano & Girling, and 3rd place shoe by French shoemaker Philippe Atienza, now go out on a world tour. They will be showcased at the following stores:
Isetan Men’s, Tokyo
Prologue, Hong Kong
Medallion Shoes, Beijing
Unipair, Seoul
Kevin Seah, Singapore
Leffot, New York
Leffot, Chicago
Skoaktiebolaget, Stockholm
Skomaker Dagestad, Oslo
Brogues Shoes, Geneva

A detailed plan of the tour of the podium shoes of the world championships will be stated later.

You can read more about the competition rules etc. here, and later on there will be a huge post going through all the 30 competition shoes that were sent in with lots of pictures and text. You can see a film from the award ceremony plus the World Championships in Shoe Shining final here. We will also have a summary of the London Super Trunk Show here on the blog later this week.

The last is very narrow and low, so even if it’s a size 42 in length it’s not wearable.

If you look close on the picture you can see the super fine layers of leather that the heel is built of.

Much to admire here, like the waist, heel decoration and hand shaped toe tap. Patrick Frei got a 5% deduction of the total points due to not having a natural coloured sole, he burnt the waist and heel with a hot iron which made it more brown than he had planned. Even so, he managed to just snap the first place.

The shoe tree, which as mentioned wasn’t part of the contest, still deserves to be showcased. It not only looks good, it’s wonderfully engineered as well with the back part being possible to turn all the way forward for easy removal.

Elegance created by a violin maker.

Some pictures taken by me of the podium shoes (as mentioned, much more to come on these and all other contestant’s shoes):

1st: Patrick Frei, Germany.

2nd: Daniel Wegan, Sweden/England. A very Victorian shoe, with a high heel and possibly the most impressive sole stitching in the competition, with 21 SPI (Stitches per Inch).

3rd: Philippe Atienza, France. A very French take with the playful side seam and elegant yet classy last shape.