Time for a new review of my shoe collection as it looks right now. Quite a lot has happened over the last two years since I last had time to do this type of post, although the amount is the same: 23 pairs in total.
As usual on this blog I use the model Loake Aldwych on the Capital last as a reference shoe. In that I have size UK10 in standard width. My regular shoe size today is UK10 in extra width or UK10,5 standard width. Since the Capital last is large in size, UK10 works well there. Nowadays, just over half of the collection is bespoke or semi-bespoke/MTM, and in those cases, for natural reasons, no comparison is made with the reference last.
Top row from left: Project TWLV Hanoi, Broken Bird Bootmakers jodphurs, Crockett & Jones Chelsea 5, Myrqvist Gyllsjö, Vass for Shoegazing Sarek
Second row: Italigente Treviso, Loake 1880 Export Grade Hanover, Hiro Yanagimachi L45, Gaziano & Girling swanneck oxfords, Italigente Venezia Caffe.
Third row: Italigente Montenapoleone, Yohei Fukuda Willow, Loake 1880 Aldwych, Melker Shoes plain cap toe oxford, Yohei Fukuda adelaide.
Fourth row: Yohei Fukuda Foliage, Hiro Yanagimachi L01, Hiro Yanagimachi L33, Yohei Fukuda Jesper, Melker Shoes special adelaide.
Bottom row: Main d’Or semi brogue oxford, Italigente for Shoegazing Napoli, Alfred Sargent Exclusive Hunt.
Project TWLV Hanoi
Colour: Tmoro, last: -. Project TWLV is a Gothenburg-based brand that manufactures its shoes in Italy. These chelsea’s are made with a Blake/Rapid construction in leather of regular horse skin treated similarly to cordovan, so the character is in that direction. Has rubber-covered leather sole. I have size EU45, comparable to UK10 in Capital. Price approximately €450.
Read more about Project TWLV in this article.
Broken Bird Bootmakers jodphur
Colour: dark brown, last: 3D bespoke. Another Swedish brand, which first had an ambitious variant of digital bespoke where the foot was scanned in a 3D scanner and then a lastmaker made a personal last based from it, and the Goodyear welted shoes were made in Portugal. This pair is done in that way, with a pretty good fit. Since then, Broken Bird Bootmakers have changed the model, now the foot is scanned to find the best fit among standard lasts and widths and the shoes are made in a factory in Spain. The price for my par was about €600.
Crockett & Jones Chelsea 5
Colour: Antique nubuck, last: 335. Waitress used a lot during the winter, especially to and from the office. Double dainty sole and the somewhat waxy antique nubuck leather, yet you can get a nice shine on it. Crockett & Jones 335 is a spacious last, where some can go down half a size. I have UK10, which is similar to Capital in size. Price around €570.
Colour: Chocolate suede, last: 1. Lots of Swedish brands among the boots here. Myrqvist started it’s journey e with a successful Kickstarter campaign and Goodyear welted shoes made in Vietnam, switching the factory to India (where this pair is made), but now the shoes are made in Portugal. I have UK11, so they are small in size, and more elongated than Capital. The quality is quite good for the price of €240.
Review of Myrqvist.
Vass for Shoegazing Sarek
Colour: Tärnsjö chestnut, last: P2 (New Peter). A model that was made for the Shoegazing Super Trunk Show 2015 by Vass and me and the forum’s moderators and co-organizers of the event. A variant of Edward Green’s Model Galway. Made of vegetable tanned leather from the Swedish tannery Tärnsjö, with a fine natural grain. Made in EU45 standard width. The P2 last is a bit smaller in width than the reference last Capital, but comparable in length. Price approximately €600.
Read more about the boot.
Colour: Nero, last: 29. Even more Swedish, this time the now resting brand Italigente. Black wholecut on Italigentes slightly painted read 29. Really nice black leather on this pair. A little more support in the arch than standard for most RTW shoes, which suits me well. Size EU45 is quite similar to Capital in UK10 size, slightly longer though. Price was €420.
Loake 1880 Export Grade Hanover
Colour: Onyx Black, last: Odeon. British Loake’s new top range that was launched a couple of years ago, clearly affordable. The last with a little almond-shaped toe reminds a lot about Edward Green’s 82 last, and materials and design details are a step up from the regular 1880. The Onyx last is big in size, even slightly bigger than Capital. The price is €370.
Read a review of the pair here.
Hiro Yanagimachi L45
Colour: Oiled dark brown calf, last: semi bespoke/MTM. My latest pair from Japanese Hiro Yanagimachi, a quarter brogue derby with a peak on the side. Made in a lightly oiled leather that works excellent in rain, with single Dainite rubber soles. For this pair, we went from UK10.5 as a base last, which I had before, and made the modifications to the UK10 of his international read, which became really good. Price about €2,200/280,000 yen.
See picture special on this pair.
Gaziano & Girling swanneck oxford
Colour: Dark brown, last: bespoke. What became my first pair of bespoke from Gaziano & Girling, made with a single Wensum rubber sole, therefore sewn with machine-worn out seams even though bespoke. The fit is ok but a few things that needed to be changed for future couples, including a bit dull at the lilies. Price approximately € 5,500 (first pair, next €1,200 lower).
Colour: Caffe, last: 29. I am personally very fond of wholecuts, and when you add a decoration like medallion here, it gets a bit less formal, and they also work well with informal clothing like jeans. For fitting info, see the model Treviso on the same last above. Price €420.
Colour: Caffe, last: 29. These double monk shoes I remember drooling over when the model was at its peak in popularity about six-seven years ago, or something like that, in Italigente’s shop in Gothenburg. Several years later when I worked for the brand, I could grab a pair. A bit different with the punched toe, which is nice. For fitting info, see the model Treviso on the same last above. Price €420.
Yohei Fukuda Willow
Colour: burgundy, last: bespoke. My first pair from Japanese Yohei Fukuda, one of the manufacturers I was fascinated by for many years after seeing lots of pictures, dreaming of some time owning a pair. When I went to Tokyo for the first time, an order was a must. The idea was to order semi bespoke/MTM since I didn’t know if I could come back for fitting, but since my feet didn’t work at all for his standard lasts i had a personal bespoke last made anyway. The fit is good, albeit with some air at the front of the arch, something that would have been avoided if we would have had a fitting. The color is deep burgundy, ox-blood coloured in some light and brighter bordeaux in others. Price about €3,200/400,000 yen.
Read a buyer’s guide to Yohei Fukuda here.
Loake 1880 Aldwych
Colour: Dark brown, last: Capital. The reference shoe itself, the popular plain cap toe oxford from British Loake. It’s a stable choice for money, Loake’s Northampton factory keeps an even, good level. These are in UK10, Loakes Capital last is quite large in size, both long and fairly wide, but with a normal instep. Price €300.
Melker Shoes plain cap toe oxford
Colour: Annonay Vegano Burnishing calf 2444, last: bespoke. The first pair for me from the Swedish bespoke maker Janne Melkersson. Vegano calf leather from French D’Annonay is a leather that is delivered in a brighter colour and then gets the finish with so-called burnish, and it has a pleasing depth from the start. Classic brown cap toe on elegant round last, with wood pegged waist. Price is € 2,700.
Yohei Fukuda adelaide
Colour: Burnished brown, last: bespoke. My fourth and latest pair from Yohei Fukuda, where the fit begins to approach perfection. Still some tiny adjustments left at the arch area, apart from this, they fit like a glove. Lovely leather and I really like the model with the angular adelaide pattern and the floating toe medallion. Since it’s not one of his regular designs which goes under what Fukuda calls Master scratch, the price is a bit higher, but you pay for the lastmaking of the first pair. Price about 3,600/390,000 yen .
Picture special on this pair here.
Yohei Fukuda Foliage
Colour: dark brown vintage Ilcea, last: bespoke. The second pair from Yohei Fukuda, made in a fine old vintage leather from Italian tannery Ilcea. A relatively matte box calf that has thin fine creases. Some corrections were made from the first pair, including a bit on width, which made them look a bit short, so for the next pair the toe was extended slightly for a better balance. Price about 2,800/350,000 yen.
Hiro Yanagimachi L01
Colour: dark brown baby calf leather, last: semi bespoke/MTM. This pair has a rubber topy on it, since I wanted to get the tight waist which can’t be done with rubber sole where you have machine made sole stitch, the shoe has to be fully handmade. The baby calf is perfect for rain, the dense grain makes the water to stay on top. The leather creases a bit like cordovan, in slightly bigger waves. Price 2,100/260,000 yen.
Hiro Yanagimachi L33
Colour: Medium brown, last: semi bespoke / MTO. In my eyes the most beautiful split toe derby that exists, perfect balance between last and pattern. The upper is an aniline dyed leather from the French tannery Annonay. I had these made as MTO at first, but those became too tight, so the pair was sold and I ordered a modified version of Hiro Yanagimachi’s international last. Here the fit is clearly good. Price including personal last is approximately 2,600/320,000 yen.
Read the Hiro Yanagimachi buyer’s guide.
Yohei Fukuda Jesper
Colour: Medium brown/chestnut, last: bespoke. One of the pairs I get the most compliments for. It’s especially the color that many like. A very warm mid-brown tone, in a slightly mottled leather that is a bit similar to what John Lobb Paris’ calls Misty Calf. The last was extended a bit compared to the last on the previous pair, now the balance of the shoe is really good. Price about 2,800/350,000 yen.
Melker Shoes special adelaide
Colour: Light brown/chestnut, last: bespoke. A very special pair for me, since my twin brother who works as a saddler (the term for a leather craftsman) sew the decoration stitch by hand. They also have contrasting leather under the medallion, beautiful against the really nice Italian leather, the wholesaler AA Crack’s own Cobbler burnishing calf in the colour rosewood. The fit was improved on some points compared to the first pair. Price €2,700 SEK.
Picture special on the pair can be found here.
Main d’Or semi brogue oxford
Colour: Light brown vintage Zonta box calf, last: bespoke. Another of those who I admired for several of years, and once the opportunity to order was there I had to go for it. Three trips to Japan are required for measurement and two fittings (preferably he would like to have four visits, including delivery). The shoes are very well-constructed, with finish and level and make of absolute world class. The fit is also really good, the best first bespoke pair I’ve had. Price approximately 2,750/335,000 yen.
Read the shopping guide to Main d’Or here.
Italigente for Shoegazing Naples
Colour: Castagna, last: 29. Model I developed for Italigente, where we crossed a punched wholecut by Antonio Meccariello with Italigente’s wholecut with medallion Venezia in the color Castagna. Has been one of Italigente’s most popular models, which is cool. Like and use them a lot. The last is described more in the text of the Treviso model. Price €420.
Alfred Sargent Exclusive Hunt
Colour: Chestnut, last: 104. Alfred Sargent’s full brogue model in a special make-up for the Norwegian store Skomaker Dagestad, with a single Wensum rubber sole. Excellent for autumn and spring, and Sargent Exclusive is a lot of shoes for the money. I have UK10.5 standard width in these, fits quite well, but is a tad long. These in 10.5 are slightly larger than Loake Capital in UK10. Price of about €600.
As usual, here’s a simple and very generalizing quality comparison of the brands above, since it is a wish from you readers:
Myrqvist, Loake 1880, Broken Bird Bootmakers < Loake 1880 Export Grade < Crockett & Jones Benchgrade, Italigente, Project TWLV < Alfred Sargent Exclusive < Vass < Melker Shoes < Gaziano & Girling bespoke, Hiro Yanagimachi, Main d’Or, Yohei Fukuda.
A couple or three of these will be sold on Shoegazing Market during the super trunk in Stockholm on September 29th, some of the RTW shoes that don’t fit super. Then I have a lot of nice stuff coming in. A pair of shoes from the Spanish midrange brand TLB comes this fall. Then the bespoke austerity brogues from Gaziano & Girling that we had to redo, but first actually a pair of boots from those which I was more in need of. From Yohei Fukuda I have ordered a pair of derbys with three pairs of eyelets. And then I have an order made of a pair of plain cap toe oxfords from Main d’Or. Will be nice.
Finally, some bonus shots of all the shoes: