The British shoemaker Caroline Groves is one of the bigger names in Europe for women’s bespoke shoes and boots. Now she’s introducing two MTO models on standard lasts, made to the same high standard as her bespoke shoes, and hand welted with 14 spi sole stitching.

 

Bespoke shoemaker Caroline Groves.

Caroline Groves has over 30 years of varied experience in shoemaking. She started in the orthopaedic world, and started her own women’s shoe business in London in 2003. Depending on the amount of work she has had with her own brand, she has filled up with outworker jobs for John Lobb Ltd. and Foster & Son. Nowadays she has her studio outside Evesham in the central parts of England, though with many visits to London for client meetings and also regularly visits some other major cities around the world. Her style is clearly founded in old traditional women’s shoes and boots models, although with some more contemporary and modern touches in some cases. It’s partly these areas that Caroline wants to progress further now when she is introducing a range of MTO footwear on standard lasts available to order for people anywhere in the world.

An example of her bespoke shoes, a nice two-tone button shoe.

The first model is the most popular one among the bespoke clients, a classic type of high heeled boot, a 12 pairs of eyelet oxford wing-cap fitted bootie. It’s made with a hand welted construction with soles stitched at 14 spi (stitches to the inch), have carved wooden heels covered in the upper leather, silk linings, hand stitched stays and laces woven in France specifically for Caroline. They are made in a vegetable tanned leather in a deep dark brown shade, which the boot got its name from – Rokocha – which means “Contemplation in a Tea Garden” and is one of the traditional Japanese colours.

The Rokocha boot.

Wood carved heel covered in the same veg tanned leather as the upper.

14 spi sole stitch.

Emerald silk lined.

In a couple of weeks another MTO model is launched, which is a much more modern type of boot designed by Caroline Groves, which looks really elegant yet wearable for business woman of today. It’s an ankle high two tone zip boot, in black and white leather with sweeping shapes of the pattern. Also this is hand welted with tight sole stitching, now with a stacked leather heel with an angular shape.
Both models are available in sizes between EU36-41, delivery time is 10-12 weeks. The price is quite hefty, around €3,800 for Rokocha, but you get something as close to women’s high-end bespoke shoes you can get, only difference is the standard lasts. We’ve hade this offered by bespoke makers making men’s shoes for a while, good to see this more accessible type of shoes made to the highest standards are also offered for women.

The second MTO model, a more modern boot.

Clean bottom.

Angular-shaped heel. All pictures: Caroline Groves