Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 24 February 2017

Beauty and the beast, the butler, buffing, bespoke and boots

Welcome back shoe fans....all together now....awwww! What a cute chap he is. The cheeky little face above (on the left) is of gorgeous Pug puppy, Elvis, who came for a visit today, with the equally charming and energetic, Charles. What a great end-of-week treat!

Their visit comes at the end of a week which has been all about polishing! 

We were very proud to add butler-training to our Shoemaking School repertoire, as we delivered a short, but comprehensive course on shoe-care to the butler of one of England's great houses. It was very Downton Abbey!

We went through the names used to describe different parts of the shoe, the different styles of shoe and types of leather he is likely to come across, and the range of cleaning and shoe-care products available. We then had a very satisfying session cleaning, conditioning and polishing a pair of well- worn shoes that he had brought in with him. Sadly we don't have a before photo, but the leather was discoloured and caked in old polish. After much care they are returned to their original condition allowing the natural, deep brown beauty of the leather to show through. They will do their owner proud now, when he next wears them.

The butler also brought some beautiful riding boots to refurbish. They were real works of art and we were especially taken with this wonderful hand stitching around the inside top of the boots. Masterful work.

The polishing theme continued as we put a high shine on the toes of this client order. A classic Oxford shoe in deep navy calf.

That's all for now. We were sorry not to join the Independent Shoemakers for the annual conference this weekend, on the Isle of Wight. We would like to wish them all a wonderful weekend exchanging ideas and techniques and generally a great time talking shoes together.

Until next week happy shoemaking!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Last Chance for New York Shoemaking Course

Roll up, roll up...this is your last chance to book onto our traditional English shoemaking course in ultra-hip Williamsburg, Brooklyn this May.

Want to learn how shoemakers have been making shoes for centuries?

To learn from real practising bespoke shoemakers who have trained over 200 students?

To learn a real craft and new skills - hand lasting, hand welting, hand stitching soles and hand building heels?

And a craft that you can keep doing once you have finished the course?
(We sell all of the tools and materials you need to keep making).

Then our Intensive Shoemaking Class over 12 days from 8th to 20th of May in New York, is for you.

Make your own shoes that you can walk away wearing. Skip down 5th Avenue in a pair of handsewn shoes made by you

It is challenging, hard work, and a lot of fun.

Your hands will ache but your feet will sing

Sign up now by downloading a booking form here

And read our Shoemaking School brochure here

Go on, treat your self - make a pair of shoes!

If you have any questions, email us on

Happy Shoemaking!