Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 15 March 2013

An Unusual Problem 2

(From Jimmy Shoe) Welcome back fellow shoe people of the world. The country which is tenth on our list of hits this week is Brazil. Fantastic! Come on you Brazilians, get shoemaking.

I find myself in Chicago this week doing a trunk show. We have customers to see for fittings and some for new orders. Very exciting, if a little chilly.

The hotel is the Omni on N Michigan where we have a lovely suite. I'm seeing a client at the airport later this morning - we have had a few clients who have flown in from across the US to see us for fittings - but I still have a few appointments open later this afternoon (Saturday) if any of you would like to come by? 

Just a little word to our numerous American readers, I love being here and feel very welcome everywhere except in the airport. Three hours to get through immigration. It's like they just don't want us here! OK, griping over.

Right, back to the unusual foot from last week. We left it without soles and  heels. I was hoping to finish them this week but we have been very busy and I have been slow! But I did get the soles on and built the heels as you will see.

First is the toe spring from the outside edge. Very high. I can get two fingers in there. The usual rule is the tip of your index finger.

Second you can see the toe spring on the inside. Again, there are two fingers in there.There is also a slight twist on the last so that it can accommodate the fact that his foot strikes on the ball, very much on the inside of his foot. This throws the heel off slightly when there is no foot in the shoe.

Next is a view of the sole. You can see how flat it is compared to the big curve on the last. This will give stability when he walks, but on the inside of the shoe, the insole still has the curve so that he is comfortable.

Last shot is of the sole in relation to the heel. Both flat and fit for walking on.

The only thing left to do is finish the shoes, make the trees and give them to the customer. As with all bespoke shoes, the solutions we come up with for an individual problem are not infallible, so when we give these shoes to the customer, we are fully ready to accept that what we have done may not be the best thing and that we may have to adjust the shoes in some way. With this pair, it would probably mean altering the lasts which would mean remaking the shoes form scratch (we don't want to do that). Usually though, if we need to adjust a finished pair of shoes, there are plenty of tricks and tweaks you can do on the finished shoes because oftentimes, the change that is needed is very small and subtle. It is amazing how a tiny change can alter how a shoe fits.And that is it for this week. We will,let you know how the customer gets on with the shoes in a few weeks.Until next week, wish me luck in Chicago and happy shoemaking!