To build a heel by hand and make it perfect with even horizontal layers, perfectly levelled sides, closely cut with a smooth neat edge towards the upper, and so on, is very difficult. Few in the world makes it better than Daniel Wegan of Catella Shoemaker, who’ve made the shoe above.
When you look at well-made bespoke shoes, there’s a few things that one can see are more difficult to really make super refined. Welt finishing is one, sole edge finishing another, and perfecting heels a third. I’ve been in workshops following these things being made numerous times at numerous makers, and to watch it be done really well is certainly something highly impressive. Hands, tools and material in full symbiosis.
See much more of these shoes in this article.
When I was speaking with Janne Melkersson we discussed the tapered heel, He mentioned it wasn’t really a thing with bespoke shoemaking in the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s, it was all square. To be honest, I do prefer square ( if that’s the correct term), It’s interesting that the tapered heel trend has very much stuck, yes it’s to differentiate, I guess that why I’m, not a fan of the look, it’s like sending out cheesy signals that’s your suit jacket is bespoke. . I think this has all come about its a result of 20 years of inspiring shoemakers looking at online images of Spanishing looking heels made in Japan, lol. and now younger shoemaking think is a core of bespoke shoemaking and now It’s very much here to stay. Yes, it makes a fine shoe and slightly feminine, but I wish the square heel was loved and used more.
Don: Yeah, a few decades straight heels was more common on bespoke, but for 70+ decades before that tapered heels was more common (both have always existed, and types of both have varied in fashion). Personally I usually prefer the type of heel that these shoes above has, with slightly tapered back and straight sides, it’s one of the more common heel types among bespoke both today and looking back in the past. But it’s much down to type of shoe, for some I go straight heel edges, some fully tapered. But usually this combined type. I’m not a fan of the very tapered ones though, it looks to off on most shoes IMO.
Jesper, You have trumped me with a bigger overlook.
Allan Donnely: That’s what I’m here for 🙂