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Comprehensive List of Links to High-End Shoes - Page 31

post #451 of 459
Hello, thank you for the reply - I wasn't expecting one so quickly! Not to worry, I'll keep looking for a review or perhaps a blog mentioning him.

Bespoke is rather out of my league financially at the present moment in time however it did from first glance look like this gentleman may be somewhat more achievable for me. I have a very real difficulty in finding a RTW boot/shoe on a last that I find fits me at all well and so bespoke is seemingly an option for the future.

James Taylor & Son was my other consideration; while I realise they are in less favour here due to the more orthopaedic quality of their lasts/shoes this is actually in better standing for my clumsy feet! Peter Schweiger was suggested to me on personal recommendation from someone who's opinion I value highly.
post #452 of 459

Please add my favorite bespoke shoe maker J Adler!

post #453 of 459

What about the British Shoemakers, William Lennon & Co Limited.  
They make Gorgeous Boots.

 

post #454 of 459

I noticed that Sky Valet Shoes of Washington, DC, has their old (and soon to be defunct) web address listed in the first post on this thread. The new site is here: http://skyvaletshoes.com.  

 

If you're in the DC area, I highly recommend a visit. They currently stock Crockett & Jones, Carmina, Alden, Rancourt, and a few others. You can also find some of the stock they're phasing out on sale, including Edward Green and Yanko. (Not many models and sizes left but worth checking.) 

 

Sky Valet's owner, Hetom Hodikoglu, is as knowledgeable about shoes as anyone you're ever likely to meet. He does repairs on the premises.

post #455 of 459
in
post #456 of 459

Since this thread has many shoes that a few of us would consider entry level to higher end shoes, here is a cross-post that I have been working on for a while to help people who are looking for a well priced entry to mid level shoe by SF standards. They can be good beater shoes for the ones of us who focus on the true high end stuff like EG, GG, Lobb, etc. and bespoke shoes.

 

 

There really are quite a few brands of good to very good quality shoes that are available for under $500, but as a few of the regulars on here have stated, the fit is going to be a big factor. It doesn't matter how good a shoe is if the last doesn't fit your foot shape. 

 

The next part is between the entry level of good shoes or the close to $500 shoes. the difference is mainly the last shapes and attention to details like finer stitching and nicer polish jobs on the leathers before getting the pair.

 

You also have to think about where the shoe is shipping from and where you are living. Allen Edmonds ($250-400) is a great option for people in the US just going into quality shoes because they have all the needed qualities for a good shoe with reasonable prices, especially if on sale or from the Shoebank ($130-300) for factory seconds (slight cosmetic imperfections). They have a ton of different last shapes an a huge variety of sizes to accommodate just about everyone. 

 

Alden is a very sturdy shoe that many people love for causal shoes and boots, but they are generally above $500 now. I love them and they make a huge variety of sizes and widths, but are difficult to find besides online since there are very few retailers who carry them. They are bulky to many people but very comfortable and can last decades if taken care of.

 

Another factor is how sturdy and hardy of a shoe you want. AE and Alden are big shoes that can last a long time and really take a beating. There are some great Blake stitched shoes out there to look more elegant if you don't mind the compromise on durability. I'm not a big fan of the styles but Mezlan and Magnanni are made in Spain in mainly Blake stitch constructions but are still an entry to higher quality shoes and can be bought for big sales (usually $250-350). I have seen them for $100 for certain styles in Nordstrom. 

 

 

 

 

Here are some extra notes on a few brands of shoes that I was able to get my hands on to try out in my size range. There are limited brands, but I hope that they help:

 

If you want a nice pair of shoes that are designed by an American who also writes a major mens fashion blog (The Fine Young Gentleman), here is a great way to get good shoes at a great price by Jay Butler. They are made in Mexico, where nicer shoes have been made for an extremely long period of time. He only has loafers being made at the moment ($145 range), but they are a very light and sturdy Blake construction. The insole has a very nice cushion under the leather and it is thicker in the arch to give a nice arch support instead of the normal flat insole for loafers: (sorry for any poor quality pictures throughout the post, but I took them quickly with my iPhone.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are into more european shoes made in Goodyear welt construction, Shoepassion.com is another source. They are designed in Germany and made in Spain. They have a huge variety of styles and sizes. They are very durable but have a feel much more like Crockett and Jones of England (usually more than $500 from the US) but these shoes are more in the $200-300 range. They are nice people who run the company and the shoes are quite good for the price. I consult and review shoes for various shoe companies around the world and here are some pictures of a pair that they sent me to evaluate for them. I made some recommendations of things to work on (as I do to all companies I help out), but I think that they are worth considering as an entry pair if you find a style that you like or as a reasonably priced extra pair depending on your financial situation:

 

 

 

 

You just need to speak to them about sizing because they have a variety of lasts and sizes are not the same as US either. I'm a US 14 or so and I got a 12.5 in this model on this last since this one runs so long and is in UK sizing. They also come with a pair of rubber sole covers that can be applied, extra laces, and shoe bags. The leather insole has a bit of a cushion under it as well.

 

 

 

 

Another great option is Scarosso. They are another German company but they produce shoes in Italy. They offer a large variety of sizing as well as styles in ready to wear (RTW). They also offer a full Made To Order (MTO) service that is online. They have a variety of styles here and let you choose details to change as well as leather type, color, sole type/color, lining, etc. They have an even larger variety of sizing with MTO than RTW. Here is a pair that I designed as something different for them to send to me. I wanted to try their online MTO process as well as evaluate their shoes. The RTW shoes are in the mid $200 range and the MTO are in the low to mid $300 range depending on details that you choose. Their shoes are Blake stitch but you can also request Blake Rapid in the MTO, which is what I did, since I like a more substantial construction. I ordered a deerskin chelsea boot with a leather sole in Blake rapid construction:

 

 

 

 

 


They also have their own sizing system that is not US or UK sizing. It is a modified european. This is a 48 but according to them is a US 15 which is normally a 49.5 or 50 depending on the brand for me. These also came with a nice shoe bag and a shoe horn. The insole is very smooth leather and there is a small heel cushion under the half sock liner.

 

 

 

 

For a little bit more ($350) Awl and Sundry is a company based out of New York City that makes hand welted  shoes that you can design to an even higher level of detail right from your computer. These are not goodyear welted, but really by constructing the main parts of the shoe by hand. I discussed this at length with the owner to make sure that this term was not being used incorrectly.  

The brand has multiple last shapes that you can choose from as well as many basic styles of shoes to modify. You can even add in multi tone of different leathers, suede, grain leather, etc. You even can choose the stitching color for the leather upper. This price also comes with a nice pair of wooden shoe trees, shoe horn, and a pair of shoe bags. 

The soles are only available in a reddish burgundy at this time instead of more traditional browns or black, but they are very nice and do stand out a bit. They are a very solid constructed shoe, even more than Shoepassion or Scarosso, but have a different type of aesthetic from them as well. They are getting close to the solid feel of Alden but are not as bulky as Alden by any means. They have a wide variety of sizes available as well and are working on even carrying widths right now. 

I wanted to try a pair of double monks but in the spectator style with both leather and suede:

 

 

 

 

 


As you can see, I really controlled a lot of the details of the leather vs suede combinations and wanted it to be asymmetrical. This is also another brand that you should ask about sizing advice just to make sure. They are in US sizing but your size in these may not be the same as normal. I went down here too. The insole on these is a leather covered foam cushion, so they are very comfortable after a much shorter time than most welted shoes.

 

 

 

 

I know that there are quite a few other newer brands who are giving great shoes for the price and here are just a few:

J Fitzpatrick (by Justin "The Shoe Snob) Fitzpatrick) $400-450

 

Meerman (good entry level that offer multiple quality levels) $175-250 for regular line and $290 - 350 for hand welted.

 

Carmina (top notch service and great quality goodyear welted shoes that rival great British shoe brands like Crockett and Jones) $350-600 depending on where you get them. I recommend Skoaktiebolaget in Sweden who has phenomenal staff and service plus the lowest prices that I have seen for Carmina.

 

Jack Erwin (designed in the USA and made in Portugal of either Blake or Goodyear construction depending on the line) $200

 

Paul Evans (designed in NYC and made in Italy by Blake construction) $350-400

 

Cobbler Union (designed in the USA and made in Spain by Goodyear construction but with higher finishing details like beveled waist, quilted leather insole, etc.) ($400-500)

 

 

 

 

 

I know that this isn't everything (didn't include any of the many new French shoe brands due to lack of availability in many areas), but I hope that this is a great start to help you new guys out as well as for many guys who want to try something different without completely breaking the bank. For some of you guys on the high end of shoes, it could be worth trying one or two of these out for casual shoes or to take a shot at designing something new. You EG, GG, Lobb, etc. guys could even get a pair to just beat up for poor weather, heavy walking, etc. 

 

Feel free to add things to this and to ask questions or even cross-post this to some other threads to help it be more seen. You have my permission!

post #457 of 459

Just so you guys know, Skoaktiebolaget is now carrying St. Crispins and they offer free MTO! 

 

Normally St. Crispins also offers last modification or even the option of a custom last and trial shoe for a small charge. I don't know if they are doing this, but my thought is that all options from St.C will be available from Skoak. The prices are very competitive as well.

post #458 of 459

Hey Everyone! I'm not sure if this thread is still being used since I haven't seen anyone add anything to it in a while after all of the work that was put into it. I made this post for another thread and thought since we were talking about high end shoes, I should include some info on this bespoke shoemaker.

 

Well I mentioned a few times that I was having a pair of bespoke shoes made and now I have info on the shoes that I had made by Perry Ercolino of Doylestown, Pennsylvania in the US! 

 

 

Just a "few" of his leathers that he has.

 

Just as a for warning, many of you guys know me from my posts in other threads, but for the ones who don't, I am a specialist in Podiatry as well as Foot and Ankle surgery, with a focus on biomechanics and footwear, so I am including a few extra terms in () for anyone who wishes to know them. I also am including how some of his process will help people with "normal" feet as well as people who have deformities to their feet or pains/problems. I hope that helps you in your reading and lets you know that you can trust the level of detail that I am including.

 

 

Perry is a shoemaker who does standard shoe repairs for goodyear as well as other bespoke shoes, but he also makes some of the best bespoke shoes that you can find anywhere in the world! If you want to know more about him, you can do a quick online search, because I am going to focus on his work and process, but trust me in that he is one of the nicest and most respectful men that you will ever meet. He is extremely knowledgable with decades of experience and a true mastery of the craft. Perry is very down to earth and has no problem cracking jokes with you too! 

 

He has two processes for his custom shoes. One is where he can make a custom shoe that you design from an existing last of his. He can modify it for you if you wish. This is like what St. Crispins and some other high end shoe brands can do, which is like a Made to Measure (MTM) shoe.

 

 

 

He also does full bespoke, which is what I had done. I have a very unusual foot shape and size, so this was my only option and I was more than willing to work with him to figure out something amazing for me. I'm measured at a US 14 AAA or so on the Brannock device so as you can imagine, it is near impossible for me to get shoes. The few brands that I have shoes from (Allen Edmonds, Alden, Enzo Bonafe, Vass, Edward Green, and Gaziano & Girling) had to do a lot of work to make shoes that fit decently for me (with variations on extra sock liners, thick or double socks, etc), so I wanted to see what it would be like to get a shoe that is actually made for my unique feet. On top of that, we discussed making them as close cut and fitted as possible to make my feet look shorter too. We also discussed the toe shape and decided on a chisel toe to work with my shape of foot. 

 

His measuring process is the most involved that I have ever heard of and I know a lot about measuring for shoes. I did much research on bespoke shoe makers around the world. He started by taking my measurements on the Brannock device as well as the Ritz stick to show my "normal" measured shoe size and length. I am a US 13 - 13.5 in length of the overall foot, but a US 14 in my heel to ball length, which is the most important part for the shoe fit, because that is to allow the ball of your foot to sit at the widest part of the shoe and to allow the shank in the shoe to give proper support under your feet with out going too long or too short. If it is too short, you won't get the optimal support that a well made shoe offers, and if the shoe is too long, the shank can put pressure under your foot where it bends. The end of the shank is where the shoe is supposed to bend, so if your foot bends before that point, there will be shank that isn't flexing correctly. You are supposed to go by the longer of the two lengths (overall length vs heel - ball length).  It also showed my width, which is extremely narrow to the point of almost being of the charts. 

 

Then he took a drawing of my feet and measured around various areas to get the circumference of those places so the volume could be appropriate for each area. He took a few main areas (ball of foot, instep, arch, heel) with some variations on them as well due to the unique shape of my feet, which were comparing the distance and curvature of my big toe joint (1st MPJ) to my little toe joint (5th MPJ) because I have a dramatic curvature down from the 1st to 5th joint. My big toe also is the reverse of a bunion and actually faces in to my other leg (hallux varus), instead of out like people get with a bunion (hallux abductovalgus) or a regular straight toe. These factors made him feel around the joints differently and make note of these relationships that would have to be factored into my last. 

 

Since my foot is so narrow, I also have a very boney foot and he wanted to feel for potential pressure spots that I could develop from bones protruding without a fat covering. If a person has wide feet, he can feel where there is extra tissue and if that can move with the shoe or if the shoe will have to be shaped around that tissue. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that was done, he even put my foot on a pedograph (see below), which takes an imprint of my foot to see where I place the most pressure and also shoes the exact imprint of my foot including how high of an arch I have. Many people have a low arch or flat foot, but my arch is pretty high so that makes this measurement type very useful in deciding how to make the bottom of the last plus including arch support if needed, depending on the foot type a client has. 

 

 

 

After that was all done, we spent time on deciding the basic type of shoe that I would want, the leather, etc. I told him that I wanted to try a whole cut to really just show off the last (to embrace my foot shape) and the amazing leather! I wear a lot of grey and blues for work so I wanted to be able to wear this pair with many of them. If you are getting a bespoke shoe, it is worth being able to wear a lot to get the use out of a shoe that should last for many decades, and cost a fair some as well. 

 

He just pulled out a few hides to discuss the nuances of each type and we decided what color would work.

 

 

 

 

After the model, last shape, and leather were decided, we then talked about details of the shoe itself. The other details don't have to be decided until after the last has been finished, but I already knew what I wanted. Perry and I discussed a whole cute with 6 eyelets but arranged in pairs to separate it from a "common" whole cut. Plus this amount of eyelets would work better with my long foot. 

 

Then we discussed how I wanted a unique beveled and somewhat fiddleback two tone waist that would be a bit different from the Norm. I finally stated that I wanted a light patina applied by hand polishing if possible to show off what he could do, while adding a somewhat more rustic look to a classically styles shoe. 

 

That was it for the first visit and he has photos sent to me with updates of the process by his amazing assistant and apprentice Michelle! This was of the bespoke last and the start of the insole added on with the proper ribbing done by hand to get ready for the welting process.

 

 

 

Here is the general layout of the shoe upper before being put on the last

 

 

After the shoe upper was placed on the last.

 

 

Then I was asked to come back to try on the "trial shoe" which was this upper already lasted and attached to a basic cork bottom and rubber attached under it so I would be able to feel how it fit and walk around with the pair for a while. I had a few hours to kill so we just talked while he did some work and I kept those shoes on to let them start to break in a bit. Then I walked around Doylestown for a bit to get some true working in of the pair. 

 

 

(please pardon the other last and materials that are in the background and not a part of this shoe's process)

 

 

They already were feeling quite good and I just felt that the top of the toe box was a bit close to the top of my big toe. He said that he would just build up the last a bit at the toe to help give me a bit more wiggle room while keeping the rest of the fit intact.

 

I also noticed that it was so perfectly measured around my thin heel and ankle that it was almost a bit constricting on my right outer heel / ankle. He did the same and just showed how he could apply a bit of extra material (tape, leather, etc.) to build it up in those areas to allow for a better fit. 

 

Those were my only comments after carefully analyzing the fit and look of the unfinished shoe and I was off to home again.

 

 

 

 

 

After a little while longer, I got a call saying that the final pair was ready for me. I picked them up in person and got the shoes, a shoe tree, and shoe bags. No box but it isn't needed because they are meant to be worn, not put into storage. I tried them on again and could feel how like a glove they were. They were stiff from all of the firm leather he uses to get the most structured fit you can imagine, but the shoe was still amazingly light; it was much lighter than my other shoes from other top level makers, but felt much more sturdy. I had to unlace a few laces to get my foot in with a shoe horn and could just feel / hear the air rush out of the shoe as my foot slipped in perfectly.

 

The toe area was much better than before and the heel felt adjusted as well. Truthfully, it still felt a bit tight at the outer right heel, but he said to work them in slowly to see if they just need some time to soften and further mold to my foot. He advised 2 hours the first day, then 4, then 6, etc. until a full day is possible. 

 

Here are some pictures when I got them home:

 

 

 

 

You can really see the dramatic shape of my foot in the last from this straight on shot!

 

 

 

It hugs the arch nicely!

 

 

 

 

It really comes in tightly on the waist, which I love. It hugs my foot!

 

 

 

Just the perfect toe spring for me! It has enough to aid in walking but not so much that it curls up at all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two tone color of the waist that I asked for plus he nailed the heel on for me. The outsole leather is all JR leather! 

 


Here is the waist that I asked for. He really beveled it in and fiddled it in the center but kept the entire thing still rounded unlike the sharp angles that you get from GG. I love the sharp angles from GG's fiddleback but wanted it like a hybrid between that and the waist on Bespoke Cleverley shoes. 

 

 

 

I love the shoes and am still working them in more and more, even though I've already worn them for a few full days. They get more comfortable every day I wear them and the fit is like nothing else that you will ever experience! 

 

I hope this information has been worth the wait and really helps anyone who has interest in either shoes from Perry or bespoke shoes in general! 

post #459 of 459
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In my search for a pair discontinued Conistons, I came across a website I hadn't heard of before. Good pricing, great brands like Carmina, C&J, etc, free expedited shipping and great service. Maybe they're old news but definitely new to me. Check out https://www.linnegatan2.se .

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