Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 7 May 2010

Lizard Shoes!

We went to a private view last night at the Hepsibah Gallery in Hammersmith, where Eloise Grey had a show. It was a showcase for her new clothing lines and for our collaborative Winkers in her tweeds (as featured in How To Spend It online). A very successful evening and the Winkers looked really fantastic with her clothes. And we had an enquiry from Holland earlier in the week about them, so I think they have legs - excellent!

We delivered a pair of rather unique shoes this week. A version of our special lizard oxford. But, as you can see, they are in a mulberry lizard with matching snake trim. I think they are amazing!

The Other One is on a plane to New York as I write, so, barring another ash disaster, she should be starting the course on Monday, very exciting. So I am left holding the fort - the responsibility!

Now, back to that repair. I left it with the heel off;the sole cut off; the split lift pinned back; and the sole left to prepare.

Soak the sole and let it dry to a 'mellow' state. Prepare it in the normal way; rubber solution it; on and stitch it on. At the heel where the old sole is left, you must judge where the old and new will meet and bevel the new sole to fit in the shape of the old one. Use neoprene cement to glue the 2 bevelled edges together.

First you must put the split lift back in place. Use paste and nails as you would on a normal heel.

You now have to put the old heel lifts back on. This saves you time and simplifies the process. With paste and nails, put them back on in the correct order. You must make sure that they are in the correct position as you do not have much spare material to play with.

Now you have your heel rebuilt, you put on a new top piece. I use neoprene cement and nails for this because it is so strong. Some say this leaves a little line of glue on the heel edge, but I don't find this to be a problem.

Finish the heel and sole edges as normal; polish the upper thoroughly; and you have a shoe that is as good as new. It is an extensive repair, but the results are worth it.