Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 20 September 2013

Bespoke shoe design favourites

This week we're taking a look at two favourite design projects - a pair of hunting boots with gaiters and a sturdy Derby shoe.

The hunting boots are in a luxuriously, waxy leather for maximum protection out in the that minor marks and scratches can be burnished out with a sleeking bone.

Amongst the original sketches I did, were a number of designs based on 'puttys' and WWI bike boots.

Personally I think that gaiters are much under-used as they can conveniently and quickly transform a pair of shoes into a boot - two for the price of one if you like! And as you know I am a huge boot fan!

The final version needs to be as sleek as possible so that buckles and straps don't catch on thorny bushes or in brambles. As it stands,  the buckles may be a fraction too big, but we're pleased with the solution to conceal the strap fastenings in the facings.

Let's hope that they fit well and that the client likes them as much as we do!

Below are a pair of sturdy Gibson's that we have just finished. They are on their way to have bespoke shoe trees made before we deliver them.

This client wanted a very strong, slightly vintage feel. The toe cap and three eighths sole help to emphasise the robustness; and the grain, caramel calf upper will gradually age, developing a beautiful, natural patina. It is the colour mix and their sheer, unabashed confidence that have made these shoes such fun to design.

The soft-but-strong caramel calf, is complemented by a deep permanganate lining and lime green piping and heel tab (just visible in the picture below). Gorgeous!

(To minimise slippage the sole has a half rubber sticker-sole and if there is any doubt of confidence the shoes also have steel toe plates for added presence).

Happy shoemaking until next week when hopefully we'll have photos of blue Italian skies to cheer up all our UK-based readers...if like me you're pining for an Indian summer.