All right, I recently went to Tokyo and took the opportunity to try out a bespoke shoe maker. Pics below.
Started off by discussing about the design for the two pairs I bespoke - 1 round toe, and 1 chisel toe. Provided him pictures as reference and he sketched how it'd look like.
Discussed the detailing for the shoes - pitched heel and fiddleback waist - spent some time pondering if I should go for the fiddleback back waist because for Japanese shoemakers, these don't come as standard, and they cost up to 250 USD extra. Money that could be well channeled into another pair of shoes.
Then chose the leather - for one pair I opted for the lacquered Japanese Kurozan leather that came at a significant upcharge, and for the second pair, went with box calf.
Measurement process. Had me stand on two sheets of paper before he sketched out the outline of my feet and took measurements
Now, I'm going to have to wait for my fitting shoes. He'll send them to me, and I have a go at them before he cuts them up to determine areas for improvement, and makes the final pairs. Pictures of fitting shoes and those that have been cut up below. Was wondering if anybody knows if we can request to keep the fitting shoes
Tools he uses to make the last, and finish the shoes
Some miscellaneous points:
Was contemplating whether to opt for lasted trees and I was showed two pairs of shoes, both on the same last barring the toe-shape -- one has been stored on a last, the other, on a generic pair of trees. Spot the differences of the effects of the trees on the shoe!
Some bonus pictures that are non-shoes related, though hand made. Don't mean to hallow all things Japanese but I popped into a spectacle shop and was blown away by the fact that even their glasses are handmade with minute attention to finish and details - this is celluloid with steel combination. Maker's name is engraved in kanji characters, and the phrase "hand made" is as well. and not very princely in price either.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Edited by bboysdontcryy - 11/13/15 at 5:23pm