As you may or may not know, board participant RIDER owns/manages the shoe department at Franco's Fine Clothier in Richmond. A few weeks ago in a thread that I can't seem to find, RIDER was commenting on the malleability of many of the smaller Italian shoe manufacturers: they can produce shoes using a variety of construction techniques in a great variety of different patterns finished pretty much however the customer wants. He mentioned that he was getting Romano Martegani, a venerable but rather low-profile maker, to produce a few models for him on a chiseled-toe last in leathers more similar to what the English makers usually use than what usually typifies Italian shoes. I was intrigued. I asked him what designs he was bringing in. He said that one of them was a plain-toe blucher with a floating medallion. I was interested. Then he posted the picture, and I was sold. I ordered a pair: Construction and materials: Combination of Blake and Rapid construction. High-quality French-style leather uppers (interestingly, the tannery's name for the leather is Betis, which is also in Gravati's catalogue). Soles and heels also high-quality. The waist is attractively bevelled. Fit and comfort: Good. The last is roomy, and I ordered a half a size smaller than normal. The fit in the heel wasn't perfect right off the bat, but after some momentary panic, it improved once they were worked over and worn a little bit. I'm very pleased with the shoes. I think that they're very attractive, and they are comfortable and well-made. I doubt that they'll replace Gravati as my favorite mid-range Italian shoe, but I'll certainly keep an eye out for what RIDER brings into his shop. It was a pleasure to do business with him, and I'd recommend him and his shoes highly (and no, I have no affiliation with him whatsoever).
post #1 of 55
6/28/04 at 11:03pm