On Kickstarter loads of shoe brands has introduced “handmade” footwear of various kinds, where basically all have in fact been factory-made Goodyear welted or Blake stitched shoes, if even that. Now one can find a campaign with actual real, fully handmade Made to Measure boots from the Canadian brand Atelier Buck.
Almost every month I get contacted by someone who are starting a new shoe brand, in recent years it’s often done through a Kickstarter campaign. With a few exceptions it’s nothing that I found of interest, it’s usually rather cheap stuff even if presented as something fantastic packed with buzzwords as “authentic”, “handmade”, “handcrafted”, “genuine”, “disrupting”, “cutting out middlemen” and so on, as always is the case on Kickstarter. Atelier Buck is rather different in many regards. The man behind it is David Parent, now based in Canada but will move to Portugal next year, who has a background in the orthopaedics industry. During the pandemic he has started making boots by hand, and will now introduce it wider with the Kickstarter campaign.
There’s three models offered, a derby boot, a monkey boot and an engineer boot. They will all be made on personalised Made to Measure lasts, where a standard last is modified according to the customer’s feet. Customers takes measurements themselves, following an instructions video. A bunch of options are then available for the boots, where leathers includes stuff from for example Horween, Maryam and Badalassi. The shoes are lasted by hand with real leather heel and toe stiffeners, they are hand welted with handmade sole stitching. Looks like solid stuff from the photos. Price is high but realistic given the specs, they cost about €1,000 (1,500 CA$), with €180 (250 CA$) more for the engineers. All boots will be made entirely by David Parent, going through the list of people who’ve ordered through the campaign, the aim is to establish his brand on the boot scene. There’s also card holders and wallets available at lower prices, if one are interested in that.
It’s a bit funny that the campaign for these boots that are actually made to clients feet and actually fully handmade is much more toned down than most other shoe campaigns I’ve seen on Kickstarter, which promise “the world and more”, filled with buzzwords and so on, yet with products being far more basic and simple in all regards. Part of it, of course, since those who will put up the money for this thing likely know their stuff much more than the standard Kickstarter fella, but it’s still a positive thing to see in my eyes.