The Hidden World of Bespoke Shoes – Put This On

After that we will start working on the design. The possibilities in designs for Bespoke are unlimited. From any of our house styles to a model that the client wants to create, everything is possible. The pattern is an interpretation of the chosen design and it will be made based on the proportions of the last.

From that pattern, the leather sections will be cut and stitched together. This will create the upper part of the shoe. The upper will then be moulded over the last to create the first fitting. The fit is the most important part of the bespoke process. We take this step extremely seriously and we will make sure our clients are happy with the fit.

For these reasons, you may be required to have multiple fittings with one of our craftsmen. They will check and take notes on any adjustments required in order to create the perfect fit.

Each foot is different. Some people have very sensitive feet and others will be more flexible. In order to gauge your tolerance we can dissect the fitting shoe to see how your toes and heels are positioned inside the shoes.

Once the client and the bespoke maker are happy with the fitting, we will start the final pair. While traditional shoemakers will hand-carve the lasts from blocks of wood using paper measurements, some modern companies will occasionally create plastic ones based on 3D-scans. The process is particularly time-consuming and can take months to achieve.

Once the lasts have been completed, a pair of test shoes will be manufactured for a fitting session with the client. As a result, the trial shoes are often made from second-grade leather and may not include any of the desired customisation options.

However, there are exceptions. Therefore, if the fit is perfect, the client has the opportunity to own an extra pair of shoes! Should there be any issues with the trial shoes, the shoemaker will go back and either modify or rebuild the last.

While this is indeed rare at this level of craftsmanship, it can sometimes happen. Since the shoemaker is seeking providing the client with perfection, they will likely reconvene after another pair of trial shoes have been made. After the fitting has been approved by the client, the shoemaker will proceed with the final pair. This will allow the client to easily order future pairs without having to repeat the process. In fact, many repeat bespoke customers enjoy the convenience of being able to order their future shoes by telephone or email.

As you may have noticed above, bespoke shoes are an investment to say the least! That said, bear in mind that a first order of bespoke shoes is usually more expensive than future purchases. Given that lasts need to be made for first-time customers, the time-consuming procedure is included in the price. Truly exceptional bespoke shoemakers such as Gaziano Girling may sometimes charge more. The reasons for this vary but it can be due to their own base construction techniques, selection of materials, or even simply their reputation and demand.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed above that Italian bespoke shoes tend to be more accessible than their British or French counterparts. Indeed, the Italians do have a reputation for making more affordable bespoke shoes. Finally, remember that all the prices listed above represent the starting prices for bespoke shoes.

While even the construction, craftsmanship, and materials used to make bespoke shoes are generally superior to ready-to-wear footwear, there are still price brackets once you enter bespoke territory. As a result, the prices will naturally increase if you ask for different types of customisation, rarer leathers, and complex stitching techniques.

Traditionally, fully bespoke shoes are entirely hand-made without the use of any machinery to facilitate the process. For instance, Goodyear welts are achieved using a machine. If a similar construction is desired, the shoe will be hand-welted instead, which is an even more labour-intensive and time-consuming process.

Not only is the manufacturing process extremely complex but bespoke shoemakers will only use leathers and materials to match the level of their craftsmanship. Therefore, even the most affordable leathers included in the price for bespoke shoes tend to be of impeccable quality.

On average, a bespoke shoe represents at least 60 hours of work to produce from start to finish. Given the level of service, craftsmanship, fit, and sheer customisation that it offers, there is no equal or substitute.

However, you are now probably aware that it is also very expensive and justifiably so. Consequently, why should someone invest in bespoke shoes? Firstly, there is the question of necessity. Some people truly struggle to find shoes that fit them at all. Whether its due to foot conditions, abnormalities, or simply having an awkward foot size, ready-to-wear shoes are simply not suitable.

While made-to-measure shoes could be sufficient in some cases, it may not offer the level of customisation necessary to provide sufficient comfort. Therefore, you may need to have dedicated lasts created of your feet in order to have shoes that provide a safe and comfortable fit. Alternatively, you might want to invest in bespoke shoes simply for your own gratification.

After all, it is the apex of luxury shoe-making and if you have the means, why not experience it for yourself? Wearing bespoke shoes is as delightful as they say and a veritable pleasure with every step. Now that you have read about the best bespoke shoe brands and what they offer, feel free to explore our other related guides:. Learn more about Beckett Simonon.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. What Are Bespoke Shoes? George Cleverley, England. Read Now. Gaziano Girling, England. Shop Now. Bondeno, Italy. Aubercy, France. John Lobb Ltd, England. Antonio Meccariello, Italy. Hiro Yanagimachi, Japan. Paolo Scafora, Italy. John Lobb, France. Stefano Bemer, Italy. TYE Shoemaker, Japan.

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