History - The devaluation of "handmade"

History – The devaluation of “handmade”

The word “handmade” and what it means when it comes to footwear has been through quite a journey the past hundred years or so. From referring only to expensive often hand welted shoes that are built more or less without any machines involved back in the days, to now be used for relatively cheap shoes that have all main parts made by large machines, hands solely guide the shoes through them. Here’s the history of how handmade has been devaluated through the years.

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Shoegazing Podcast - Ep. 28, William Efe Laborde, about connecting historic shoemaking with the present
Shoegazing Podcast

Shoegazing Podcast – Ep. 28, William Efe Laborde, about connecting historic shoemaking with the present

New podcast episode with the British-based bespoke shoemaker William Efe Laborde, in a talk where we focus on connecting historic shoemaking, materials and tools with today’s. Among many things you’ll learn which area of shoemaking that he thinks is at an all time high now in present time, why the tools never can be made as good as they were before the World War II again, and much more.

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Goodyear welting without gemming
The picture

The picture – Goodyear welted without gemming

In my social media recently when I wrote about Goodyear welted shoes made without gemming – the canvas rib glued onto the insole which the welt is attached to – several people were surprised that there was such a thing. Albeit standard on factory-made Goodyear welted shoes is the use of gemming, there’s still a bunch who do it the old-school way where a holdfast is carved from the leather insole.

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From the archive

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Yohei Fukuda bespoke semi brogues

In-depth – Toe spring, heel height and creases

Many people think that a shoe’s toe spring, the height of the tip of the toe above the ground, and the heel height only affect how the shoe feels when walking and its appearance. But it also has a bearing on how much the shoe needs to be bent when walking, which can ultimately affect how prominent the creases becomes. I’ll explain this more in detail, and delve deeper into these topics.

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The latest American military service boot introduced in 1943.

History – Functional reasons shoes look the way they do today

Most rarely think about it, but in many cases there are practical, utilitarian reasons that shoes look the way they do nowadays, and we’ve been used to it and think it’s the right and beautiful way. Learn the historic functional reasons why we have derby shoes, a lot of brown shoes, built-up bevelled waists, natural sole edges on workwear boots and why rugged boots have high toe spring and sleek dress shoes low toe spring.

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