Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 26 June 2015

A Shoemaker's Worst Nightmare

This a sad post from a desolate shoemaker. I had to do a terrible thing which still makes me upset.

I had to take a pair of shoes apart which I had only finished three weeks before. Perfectly good bespoke shoes with a significant flaw - they didn't fit

We have a customer who had a pair of shoes from us in 2010 and he came back with his Carreducker shoes on and said he wanted two more pairs. So we checked his current pair and he said they were fine and were comfortable. Perfect we thought, we like customers like that

So we decided on a style and leathers; made some uppers; and made one of the pairs of shoes. But when he came into the shop to collect them, they slipped off his feet very badly. I could get a finger into the back of his heel. Very strange and very upsetting.

So I adjusted the last and it was such a lot to shrink on that we decided just to make them again. We could have tried all sorts of tricks like putting in extra stiffener; padding the tongues; shrinking the heels, but it was just too much space to reduce

Hence having to take them apart - we wanted to re-use the upper.

This blog is usually about making shoes, but this week it's about destroying them. And believe me, it takes a lot less time!

First you cut the welt stitches at the toe

And continue back along the sole.

Cut through the waist stitches too.

And then yank off the heel - this takes some doing as the heel is very strongly attached to the shoe.

Take off the welt.

Take out the stiffeners and puffs and your done. 20 hours work undone in 5. This is where I might be tempted to use an emoticon but I will resist manfully.

So the lesson is, dear readers, people have weird feet and they are not to be trusted!

On a brighter note, we had some photos this week from a Belgian theatre producer who bought some of our slippers to use in an outdoor stage show. And here they are - it looks like a romp!
They are the brown slippers seen in the foreground in the first image.

Until next week, happy shoemaking