I asked a few weeks ago about the decision to graduate to bespoke suits, and the discussion helped me decide to try Varham at Mr. Ned for a jacket, which is in the works. Then I started thinking about made to order shoes and bespoke shoes. I have enough fun money to order a pair of bespoke shoes (Scafora), or two pairs of high-end custom handmade shoes (picking a last, style, material or materials). I'm not certain I will do either. If I'm thrilled with my Mr. Ned jacket, funds may certainly go towards more jackets, and I may go overboard at the Hickey Freeman sale. But a few questions came up, for which I couldn't find clear answers in the archives:
- Durability: Are bespoke shoes more durable than RTW? Does a better fit translate to more balanced wear? I walk a lot - at least half an hour a day in NYC - and that can be rough on shoes.
- Resoling: Have you had your bespoke shoes resoled more or less frequently than RTW? Do you have the original maker handle the repair? If so, is it significantly more expensive than a good cobbler?
- Fit: Is the improvement in fit with bespoke extraordinary? Is it a flight above, or just a few noticeable steps? Does the same logic apply as with suits, that it will take a few orders? With Scafora, the cost of bespoke is roughly twice what I would pay for made-to-order.
- Style: Did you order a basic style on your first bespoke shoes, or have you gone with something more unusual? I like that with shoes it seems you can stray from what is widely available in RTW but still be well within the bounds of good taste - see RJman's butterfly loafers. I'm not after an extreme shape, but would appreciate some unique details.