Japanese MTO and bespoke makers Siroeno Yosui has made lovely film thoroughly showcasing all steps of making a pair of fully handmade shoes. With high quality footage and a great production, this can be one of the better films available for those who want to understand all the steps that goes into making handmade shoes.
Youtube has a bunch of films showing how fully handmade, often bespoke, shoes are made. Either they are nice looking but way too short and brief, or very thorough (sometimes too thorough for “regular shoe nerds”) but with bad quality or very boring footage. In a new video (watch it below) made by Japanese makers Siroeno Yosui (read more about them in this article) all good things are brought together, and it’s understandable that I’ve heard from several bespoke makers that it’s one of the best films showcasing handmade shoemaking they’ve seen.
There’s no fuss really. There’s just sharp, thought through footage following the making of a pair of fully handmade shoes, without any commentary or anything but still easily understandable and rewarding to watch. Length is 36 minutes, but the way it’s edited one really get a sense of how much work that goes into making these type of handmade welted shoes. See how thick the leather that is skived down to become stiffeners are, see how risky it looks when cut straight down halfway through the insole when carving out the holdfast, in many steps you understand the millimeter precision that is needed. The constant comparisons between the two shoes. Understand how much prepping there is all the time. And so on.
Of course there’s variations in how things are made between makers, but to watch this really gives you a nice overview and understanding. What’s also lovely is the sounds – the sharp sound when cutting the dry thick sole leather, compare it to how much softer sounds when cut the same leather but wet, and so on. You can also feel the calm environment that always is in these types of workshops.
See the video below.
If you’re interested in seeing even more in-depth on how handmade bespoke shoes are made, see this article following a pair of Gaziano & Girling bespoke shoes being made.