Behind Bespoke Addict is Lee Morrison, a British collector of vintage shoes, especially bespoke, and who through the years has refined a method to completely renovate and reshape shoes, making them shrink sometimes as much as 1.5UK sizes. In his new Youtube channel he teaches how.

 

The movies are simply produced, static, quite slow, but still very interesting for shoe nerds. Bespoke Addict’s Youtube channel tells you how to take a pair of worn out, maybe beaten shoes, to beat them even more, and then restore them to a great condition again. The first round of movies that are out now has a pair of old RTW shoes from Barker who undergo through cleaning that strips all the products on the shoes, shrinking with wet towel and iron, “re-surfacing” (as he calls it when the outer surface of the leather is grinded), moisturizing and recolouring, and the last part that remains is to shine them. In the future he will also show some other variants and methods, in new movie series, and also sew together broken shoes, restore bags etc. A showcase of the fact that leather is really a living material that you can do a lot with, one could say.

Some pictures from Bespoke Addicts Instagram where you look better, this shrinkage with the iron.

Stripped surface on the shoes on the top image.

However, there are a lot of reservations you should be aware of when watching these movies, as Lee Morrison in many cases also mentions. It’s risky, you may ruin the shoes in different ways. The heat stresses the leather, glue and other internal parts can be damaged. RTW shoes also always have plastic toe stiffener and sometimes also in the heel, which is sensitive (same with leather board), and so on. Leather that shrinks in this way also tends to stretch back again more easily (hence Lee Morrison often repeats the process over the years). These things in addition to the fact that it’s basically first once you have a pair of lasted shoe trees, preferably bespoke, that this can be done in a reasonable manner.
Regardless of the reservations, the movies certainly can be something that may be interesting for several of you to take a closer look at.


A pair of RTW John Lobbs, which according to Lee Morrison has been shrunk about 1.5UK sizes (mostly in width obviously) and got a new finish. Pictures: Bespoke Addict’s Instagram