Once again time for a review of my shoe collection at its current state – one of the most asked for articles from readers. This time it’s 30 pairs of shoes shown in lots of pictures and some text.
Since my feet have become wider and actually also slightly longer since I bought my Loake Aldwych pair over a decade back, and these don’t really fit me that good anymore, I will now having the Loake capital last for all RTW models, as I have in the past. Since 15 of the 30 pairs are made by bespoke makers, it’s not relevant for those anyway, and basically all new RTW pairs I have gotten since the previous shoe collection article I did two years ago are from TLB Mallorca Artista (which are quite similar in size as Capital but with a tighter heel and more arch support), those who want size comparisons can just check back on the earlier shoe collection article or the shoe library.
The prices listed for all bespoke shoes are always for the first pair (sometimes consecutive pairs are lower priced) including lasted shoe trees.
Top row from the left: Crockett & Jones Chelsea 5, Gaziano & Girling bespoke chukka, Vass for Shoegazing Sarek, Myrqvist Gyllsjö, Italigente Treviso, Gaziano & Girling bespoke swanneck oxford
Second row: Hiro Yanagimachi L45, Yohei Fukuda faux full brogue, TLB Artista special adelaide, Main d’Or plain cap toe oxford, Loake Aldwych, Main d’Or full brogue
Third row: TLB Artista adelaide, Hiro Yanagimachi L01, TLB Artista balmoral semi brogue, Yohei Fukuda punched cap toe oxford, Melker Shoes plain cap toe oxford, Yohei Fukuda special adelaide
Fourth row: Yohei Fukuda semi brogue, Hiro Yanagimachi L33, TLB adelaide, Main d’Or semi brogue, Yohei Fukuda 3-eyelet derby, Melker Shoes hand stitched adelaide
Bottom row: Italigente for Shoegazing Napoli, Alfred Sargent Exclusive Hunt, Skolyx plain toe derby, Jan Kielman V-cap oxford, Yanko classic Belgian loafer, TLB Artista penny loafer
Crockett & Jones Chelsea 5
Colour: Antique nubuck, last: 335. Used to be worn a lot during winter, especially to and from the office, but nowadays I tend to avoid boots all days that’s not snowy (which is not that often nowadays). Double Dainite sole and the somewhat waxy antique nubuck leather, which you still can get a nice shine on. Crockett & Jones 335 is quite a spacious last, where some can go down half a size. Price around €530.
Gaziano & Girling bespoke chukka
Colour: Vintage oak, last: bespoke. A pair I had Gaziano & Girling make since I don’t really like boots, yet still are in need of it sometimes. With the unlined shaft they are as soft and “little bootlike” a boot can be, and very elegant and sleek. Price about €6,000 (if first pair).
See a picture special post of this pair here.
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 co-organisers of the event. A variant of Edward Green’s Model Galway, made in a vegetable tanned leather from the Swedish tannery Tärnsjö, with a fine natural grain. Made in EU45 F-width, fits pretty standard. Price approximately €650.
Read more about the boot.
Colour: Chocolate suede, last: 1. Myrqvist is a Swedish brand with shoes made in PortugaI. The shoes are quite small in size and with an elongated toe. Priced at about €280
Read a review of Myrqvist here.
Colour: Nero, last: 29. The Swedish/Italian brand Italigente doesn’t exist anymore. Black wholecut on Italigente’s soft chiseled 29 last. Really nice black leather on this pair. Price was €425.
Gaziano & Girling bespoke 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 made with machine-made sole stitch even if it’s bespoke. The fit is ok but a few things that needed to be changed for future pairs. Price approximately € 5,500 (if first pair).
Hiro Yanagimachi L45
Colour: Oiled dark brown calf, last: semi bespoke/MTM. My latest pair from the Japanese bespoke shoemaker Hiro Yanagimachi, a quarter brogue derby with a peak on the side. The leather is tough and can handle wet conditions well, it’s a slightly oiled leather, pairs well with the single Vibram studded 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 last, which became really good. Price about €2,500/320 000 yen. (for first pair).
See picture special on this pair.
Yohei Fukuda faux full brogue
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 given 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, although some issues that probably would have been avoided if we would have had a fitting. The colour is a deep burgundy, oxblood. Price about €3,300/420,000 yen (for first pair).
Read a buyer’s guide to Yohei Fukuda here.
TLB Mallorca Artista special adelaide
Colour: Vegano burgundy, last: Picasso. A special pair for me, my first from the TLB Mallorca Artista range, which I’ve been part of developing together with the factory, through my employment at the TLB retailer Skolyx. Ambition was to push the bar for midrange Goodyear welted shoes, with lots of features normally only found on much more expensive shoes, and judged by the reception we succeeded well. Price €425.
Read more about the development of the Artista range in this report.
Main d’Or plain cap toe oxford
Colour: Dark brown vintage Freudenberg box calf, last: bespoke. A classic and conservative shoe, yet really spectacular. Of course a lot thanks to the lovely, shiny vintage box calf from the famous now not existing German tannery Freudenberg, with really dense pores. The superb making by Japanese Eiji Murata, alias Main d’Or, doesn’t hurt either. Price about €2,800 / 355,000 yen.
See a picture special of the pair here.
Colour: Dark brown, last: Capital. My first quality shoe, the popular plain cap toe oxford from British brand Loake, bought over 10 years ago (though doesn’t see that much wear nowadays). It’s a solid choice for the money, Loake’s Northampton factory keeps an even, good level. Loake’s Capital last is slightly large in size, both long and a bit wide, but with a normal instep. Price about €280.
Main d’Or wingtip
Colour: Red brown vintage Ilcea box calf, last: bespoke. My third pair from the mythic Japanese bespoke shoemaker Eiji Murata, alias Main d’Or. Shoes made literally to perfection, incredible craftsmanship and finishing, with among other things 16 spi (stitches per inch) sole stitching. A very good fit. Price about €2,800 / 355,000 yen.
See a picture special with the pair here.
TLB Mallorca Artista adelaide
Colour: Vegano brown, last: Goya. Made on the classic round toe last from the TLB Mallorca Artista range, called Goya. As with its soft chiseled sibling Picasso they have a fit that many appreciate, with ever so slightly more width in the ball area but tight heel and good arch support. This is a Skolyx stock model. Price €425.
Hiro Yanagimachi L01
Colour: dark brown baby calf, 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, with a dense grain that makes the water to stay on top. Price about €2,500/320 000 yen. (for the first pair).
TLB Artista balmoral semi brogue
Colour: Vegano brown, last: Goya. An MTO model from TLB Mallorca’s Artista range, with thin city rubber sole which TLB still manages to make very slim, and with real leather heel stiffeners etc. This is the type of shoes I wear mostly during winter nowadays, much more comfy than boots in my opinion. Price €425.
Yohei Fukuda punched cap toe oxford
Colour: dark brown vintage Ilcea box calf, 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 €3,300 / 420,000 yen (for the first pair).
Melker Shoes plain cap toe oxford
Colour: Annonay Vegano Burnishing calf 2444, last: bespoke. The first pair for me by the Swedish bespoke maker Janne Melkersson of Melker Shoes. 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 special adelaide
Colour: Burnished brown, last: bespoke. My fourth pair from Japanese shoemaker Yohei Fukuda, where the fit begins to approach perfection. Great leather and I really like the model with the angular adelaide pattern and the floating toe medallion, works so well with his gorgeous soft chiseled last. A pair I really love, if I were forced to choose only one pair of my collection this would probably be the one. Price about €3,300 / 420,000 yen (for the first pair).
Picture special of this pair here.
Yohei Fukuda semi brogue
Colour: Medium brown/chestnut, last: bespoke. Awesome colour, which makes it one of the pairs I get the most compliments for. 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 €3,300 / 420,000 yen (for the first pair).
Hiro Yanagimachi L33
Colour: Medium brown, last: semi bespoke / MTO. The first pair I got from a Japanese bespoke shoemaker, of out of what turned out to be on of many. In my eyes the most beautiful split toe derby that exists, perfect balance between last and pattern. Made on a modified version of Hiro Yanagimachi’s international last. Price approximately €2,850/360 000 yen. (if the first pair).
Read the Hiro Yanagimachi buyer’s guide here.
TLB Mallorca adelaide
Colour: Old England medium brown, last: Oliver. From TLB Mallorca’s main line, which have sort of similar specifications to for example Carmina. The leather is hand finished and called Old England, with lots of depth. Fit the same as Artista, since the fit of these were so praised we wanted to keep this when developed the Artista lasts. Price €365.
Main d’Or semi brogue
Colour: Light brown vintage Zonta box calf, last: bespoke. Main d’Or / Eiji Murata was another of those bespoke makers who I admired for several years, and once the opportunity to order was there I had to go for it. This is my first pair from him. Three trips to Japan were 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 €2,800 / 355,000 yen.
Read the buyer’s guide to Main d’Or here.
Yohei Fukuda 3-eyelet derby
Colour: Light brown vintage Freudenberg box calf, last: bespoke. My latest pair from Yohei Fukuda, made in one of the latest hides that came from the original Freudenberg tannery in Germany, which is very thin, but super smooth to the touch. A very elegant derby for sure. Price about €3,300 / 420,000 yen (for the first pair).
Picture special of this pair here.
Melker Shoes hand stitched adelaide
Colour: Cobbler burnishing calf in the colour rosewood, last: bespoke. A very special pair for me, since my twin brother who works as a saddler (the term for a leather craftsman) did the decoration stitch by hand. They also have contrasting leather under the medallion, beautiful against the 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
Picture special on the pair can be found here.
Italigente for Shoegazing Napoli
Colour: Castagna, last: 29. A model I developed for the Swedish/Italian brand Italigente a few years back, where we crossed a punched wholecut by Antonio Meccariello with Italigente’s wholecut with medallion Venezia in the color Castagna. Was one of Italigente’s most popular models. Price was €425.
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. Priced at about €600.
Skolyx plain toe derby
Colour: Dark brown suede, last: Ben. A classic plain toe blucher Goodyear welted on Mallorca for Skolyx, on a round last with storm welt and double rubber sole. A good shoe for autumn and more mild winter days. Fits similar to TLB’s lasts (read more above). Price €230.
Jan Kielman V-cap oxford
Colour: Light brown suede, last: bespoke. From the largest and most famous of the Polish bespoke shoemakers, Jan Kielman. A more casual oxford with a V-cap and square waist. Fits quite well, some modifications would be done for consecutive pairs but no biggies. Price about €900.
Yanko classic Belgian loafer
Colour: Dark brown reverse kudu suede, last: 240. The only non-welted shoes to be included here, a pair of Blake stitched Belgian loafers from the new range from Spanish brand Yanko, available only at us Skolyx at the moment. Thin rubber soles for durability, the unlined reverse kudu suede from Charles F. Stead is very soft and comfy. Very small in size, standard is to go up 1 full size compared to regular “true to size” welted shoes. Price €180.
TLB Mallorca Artista penny loafer
Colour: Polo suede, last: Goya. My favourite type of loafers, and elegant round toe in mid brown suede, here in the “original” polo colour of the Janus reverse calf from Charles F. Stead. The elegant making of the TLB Mallorca Artista range makes these look much more expensive than they actually are. Last is not modified for loafers, so most take same size as in their lace-ups. Price €425.
See a picture special of this pair here.
That’s it! 30 pairs is actually the largest collection I’ve ever had, usually I’ve been between 20-25 pairs, since that’s the amount of shoes I tend to use, and I don’t keep shoes that I don’t wear for various reasons, if they don’t fit well etc., they are sold off. The same at this stake, three of these pairs will be sold off (C&J chelsea, Myrqvist chukka, Alfred Sargent full brogue). Then I have a bunch of nice stuff incoming. One more TLB Artista pair, one pair from the new Chinese maker Acme Shoemaker, two bespoke pairs from Daniel Wegan and Catella Shoemaker (orders moved over from Gaziano & Girling), one pair from German bespoke shoemaker Patrick Frei, a very different bespoke order (for me at least) from Melker Shoes, one interesting model that I’ll be the first ever to get from Yohei Fukuda, and one more pair from Main d’Or. So the next edition of these shoe collection articles will not be worse for sure.
As always I end with a bunch of more pictures of all the goodies.