Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Some New Shoes August 2015

Hi guys, it's been a tiring August with teaching our Intensive Shoemaking Course - we are getting old! We hope you enjoyed watching the students progress. Has it inspired any of you to give it a go? We have another Intensive starting in October and a weekly class which takes place on a Monday night from 6 - 9 pm in ten week terms. Details are on our website

I am on my own this week with Madame Shoe in Sark on her annual holiday (it's a tiny island in the English Channel near France and it's where she's from - hence the French name), so I am ever slightly rushed off my feet. Luckily, it's my turn to be away next week - Derbyshire Peaks here I come!

Anyway, here is a selection of recent bespoke shoes which I like, starting with a pair I made for myself - the first new pair I've made myself in ten years. This may seem a little shameful (which it is) but I like to argue that our shoes are so durable that they last that long and more.

They are a saddle Derby made from Woodpecker Autioneer reverse suede (that's the good stuff with proper skin on the reverse, not a split) and Dove St Crispin's Baby Calf which is a lovely veg tanned calf which comes unglazed so you can burnish it yourself. It takes on a lot of sub tones and has a lot of life in it. We have used a lot of it recently and it's our new favourite leather.

These first two are with the leather unburnished. And the next two are after it has been polished.

It's quite an unusual colour combination, but I really love them .

Still with the St Crispins Baby Calf, here is a simple wholecut where the colour does all the talking. It's called London Brick and it's vivid. I love these shoes but am not sure if I would have the courage to wear them. The customer was delighted and wore them to a wedding - I hope he didn't outshine the bride

Last are a pair of burgundy Oxfords, fairly conventional apart from the canary yellow lining. I have a dilemma with burgundy shoes. I really like the leather when I see the skin laid out and this is a particularly nice shade, but when they are being worn (burgundy shoes in general, I mean) there is something about them I don't like. Maybe I should make myself a pair and get over it. It is certainly a very flexible colour and can be worn with most colours of clothing.

The black finish is unusual here as we usually finish burgundy shoes in brown.

And that is all folks. Have a good week and until next time, happy shoemaking!

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