This week we are going to share some recent bespoke shoes with you.
In our experience, customers come to us for many reasons - some in pursuit of their dream shoes; others for the experience of commissioning a bespoke piece; and many come because they have feet which do not fit the averages which standard, ready to wear shoes dictate. This can be for many reasons - wide feet, narrow feet; wide or narrow heels; high instep; bunions; sensitive feet - the list is long.
So it is our job to make them shoes which fit them correctly and are comfortable. It is also our job to make the shoes as handsome as possible and this is where the skill of a bespoke shoemaker comes in. We have to use our design skills to enhance the aesthetics of the shoes, paying particular attention to proportion, design lines, seam positions, and colour choices
The following shoes could all be described as fitting non average feet, but which all look elegant, well proportioned and stylish
First up is a derby summer shoe designed to be worn in a hot climate. They are made of a lightweight veg tanned baby calf in a very pale tan - the skin comes unglazed so we polish it up at the end to a lovely burnished finish. We have used a sky blue kid for the quarter linings and a veg tanned soft calf for the vamp linings.
This customer has painful feet and bunions, and we have given him room inside to make them comfortable, but with some careful padding, we have smoothed the contours to make the finished shoes more shapely.
We think they look really handsome.
And the customer is very happy. This is what he wrote in a recent email to us.
"I just thought I should let you now that you have actually solved a life long problem for me. The last one month has been absolute bliss for me feet wise. Not a single moment of discomfort or irritation. I can't remember when last I felt this pleased and confident. The shoes fit perfectly and sometimes it feels as if I am not even wearing them. I must confess that initially I thought the pinching and burning would return but that was all in my mind because now I can walk and stand for hours without any bother. "
Hearing that is extremely gratifying and is one of the best aspects of bespoke shoemaking.
Next up is a pair of navy blue oxfords for an older gent who was given the shoes as a gift for a significant birthday. No specific problems with the feet, but as we age, our feet expand and lose the fatty layer which protects them and so we can feel discomfort and tiredness in our feet.
Again, we used a lightweight Italian calf and soft lining for extra comfort.
We think these shoes are elegant and extremely wearable. The customer agrees because he came back for a second pair.
The straight cap breaks up the vamp and the high shine on the cap enhances this.
Love this colour. Dark shoes tend to hide unusual contours a little better than light shoes.
And last is a pair of derby shoes for a customer who has sensitive feet which hurt if compressed. So he chose a round toe shape to give him more freedom to move his toes. So although there is plenty of room to move his feet inside the shoes, they are tight enough not to crease across the vamp. Another happy customer.
And that, as they say, is a wrap. We wish you all a lovely Easter and will see you all again next week. Until then, happy shoemaking!