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Jan Kielman shoes - internet bespoke service

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

I thought I'd  share my experiences with ordering bespoke shoes over the web from the famous Polish bespoke-maker Jan Kielman, since I know that many has had question about their internet-service, which is quite unique. And since Poland still is a low-wage country, the shoes are relatively cheap, with starting prices at 730 € / 1000 $, which might make them extra interesting.

 

Jan Kielman is probably the most famous of the Polish bespoke-makers, which has it's workshop in the central parts of Warszawa. Here's the website: http://www.kielman.pl/en/index.php .They've been making bespoke shoes since 1883, and today they have customers from all over the world. They are one of, at least that I know of, very few that offer a kind of bespoke over the internet. After their instructions you measure your feet, choose model and last shape, and they make the shoes ready in only ~5 weeks.There's obviosly no fittings (actually Polish bespoke-makers never has fittings), but it is possible to return the shoes for adjustments after receiving them if there's some problems with the fit. It's something like a mid-way between traditional bespoke and semi-bespoke (which usually refers to when you can design your own shoe, but only have existing lasts modified).

 

So, in short, my experience. Monika Kielman who usually take care of the e-mailing is very helpful and always respond within a couple of days as most. I've decided to order a pair of half brogues in light cognac, with discrete brogue-details, round toe, beveled waist, JR-soles and french calf uppers. They costed me 930 € including shipping and shoe trees adjusted to my lasts. One could divide the payment, and pay the first half when ordering and the second half when the shoes are made ready for delivery. 

 

The finished shoes looked almost excactly as I had imagined, and the handwork and materials are really good (of course they are entirely made by hand). Unfortunately I hadn't measured my feet in the same way as the Kielman-personal would do (which obviously is one of the dangers with doing distance ordering), so the shoes were slightly too big. But since all the shoes were perfectly shaped for my feet, just slightly large, an insole solved the problem and they now are the most comfortable shoes I have.

 

Here's a price list, in Euros and Polish zlotys:

 

Regular handwelt, polish calf uppers: 730  (3060 Polish zloty, PLN).

Fench calf uppers: +72  (300 PLN)

Cordovan: +380  (1600 PLN)

Joh. Rendenbach soles: +36 € (150 PLN)

Norweigan-stitched: +76  (310 PLN)
Triple stitching: +50 
 (210 PLN)

Ostrich: +170  (700 PLN)

Alligator leather: +1200  (5000 PLN)

Shoe trees in beechwood, adjusted to the lasts: 40  (170 PLN)

Shipping: 36 € (150 PLN, at least to Europe, don't know if it cost more to ship to the US.)

Handmade belts made from the same leather can be made as well, starting at 130 € for Polish Calf.

 

If you're interested you could find a much more detailed guide to ordering from Kielman, including pictures from when my shoes were manufactured, you could visit my blog: http://www.shoegazing.se . It's written in Swedish, but you can use a translation tool on the upper left of the blog page to translate it to prefered language.

 

Below some pics of the finished shoes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE PICTURES HERE! (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by j ingevaldsson - 2/1/13 at 12:42pm
post #2 of 64
Read it on your blog and i think it's worth reading so....Bump smile.gif
post #3 of 64
They look great. Can you say something about how you would compare them to other makers, or to RTW-brands?
post #4 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the sheep View Post

Read it on your blog and i think it's worth reading so....Bump smile.gif

 

Cheers!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS View Post

They look great. Can you say something about how you would compare them to other makers, or to RTW-brands?

 

Thank you! They are my only bespoke pair yet, but comparing them to some high rated RTW-makersthat I own a pair or two from I'd say they definately do well. The construction and handwork are superb, I'd say it's a bit better than Vass and definately better than my John Lobbs, JM Westons and Grenson Masterpieces. The quality of the leather is harder to tell, it's not quite as nice and supple as on my Vass, but on par with the Westons and Grenson Masterpieces, and definately better than for example C&J benchgrades. But that's just the first impression, haven't barely wore them yet, so time will tell if I'm correct or if I have underrated or overrated the leather quality.

post #5 of 64
Thanks. Congrats on the shoes, and wear them well.
post #6 of 64

Very nice looking shoes.  How's the fit?

post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Very nice looking shoes.  How's the fit?

 

Thanks! Like I wrote in the main post, the fit was a bit too big widthwise. I had measured my feet differently from how the Kielman-personal does it (an obious danger with doing this "distance bespoke"). But since the proportions still are correct to my feet, an insole solved the problem well and now they are really comfortable and fit well. 

post #8 of 64
Very nice but next time I would go for one of Kielman's more exciting designs. Those are pretty vanilla when Kielman has some great looking vintage styles.
post #9 of 64
I ordered one par last year and like them very much..definitely the most comfortable shoes I have ever had..they are like gloves and hands..unbeliavable. I visited the shop personally so they took all measurements..I guess t is always better as they know what they are dong and later on you can always order as you want - by phone, email etc. in the shop they have lots of shoes with different design but they can do any shape you like - you can provide the photo of shoes you like..Berluti, Crocket Jones, Santoni etc and yo can chose any leather you like. Pretty fast service - about 6 weeks. Price is good too. Of course they are not cheap but in London where I live I would pay at least 3-4 times more and I would wait months and as far as I know only few companies do everything by hand like Kielman. All together I highly recommend.
post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furasek View Post

I ordered one par last year and like them very much..definitely the most comfortable shoes I have ever had..they are like gloves and hands..unbeliavable. I visited the shop personally so they took all measurements..I guess t is always better as they know what they are dong and later on you can always order as you want - by phone, email etc. in the shop they have lots of shoes with different design but they can do any shape you like - you can provide the photo of shoes you like..Berluti, Crocket Jones, Santoni etc and yo can chose any leather you like. Pretty fast service - about 6 weeks. Price is good too. Of course they are not cheap but in London where I live I would pay at least 3-4 times more and I would wait months and as far as I know only few companies do everything by hand like Kielman. All together I highly recommend.

 

Yes, Kielmans shoes are great. Mine are also the most comfortable pair I own, an insole made them perfect, and the thing I like most about them is that they are so stable and solid when walking, because of the heel stiffener going all the way into the arch to support it well and thanks to a great bevelled waist which is really well made.

 

Glad you like yours, loved to see some pictures of them!

post #11 of 64
I agree that leather could be a bit better. I chose Polish one as I live in London..I am afraid Italian leather is perfect but for Italian climate...anyway next time I am going to order croco + suede. As they are very comfi - I am sure I will be their client for long time. So far I have spent a fortune for Gucci, Ferragamo, Bally etc shoes - all of them beautiful but not very comfortable, I am afraid. And it is impossible to get bespoke shoes for that money anywhere else..so why not?esp that you can play with colours and shape as you like!
I will try to put some photos here. Thanks for your opinion!
post #12 of 64
Wow. that shoe looks great.
post #13 of 64
post #14 of 64
post #15 of 64
Looked into having something made by this guy about a year ago, decided it was a little rich for my blood at the time. Time for a re-visit I think!!
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