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Crispinians LTD – Bespoke Lasts (Steven Lowe)

post #1 of 2
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I have decided to write a detailed review of my experience in getting my bespoke last and shoes as a regularly get asked information via PM. Part one will be the Lasts.

I have a very large instep and since I was a kid, struggled to fit into RTW shoes, as the rest of my feet, balls and heels, are actually quite narrow. Therefore I never spend too much money on shoes as the very top brands did not fit me and always though that at some point I would find a value for money solution.

As some of you may know, I got interested in foot scanning and the possibility of getting some bespoke last made out of it, but conversations on Styleforum, convinced me that the traditional method would be a better options.
A quick research on the web, help me shortlist three options, an industrial Last maker near Naples (who never replied), another one in Northampton and finally I came across one in London called Crispinians LTD.

After some PM’s exchange with a couple of knowledgeable Styleforum members, I emailed both Crispinians LTD and the Northampton company for quotations. The Northampton company was a bit cheaper, however when I considered the trip to Northampton and shipping costs, I decided to go with Crispinians .

Before my final decision, I wanted to meet the guy behind the operation, and so I arranged a first meeting at their South London Location (please note that the workshop has since moved out of London in May 2015). It was then that I met Steven Lowe, the single man behind the company. Steven was available to answer all my questions, regarding both last making and shoemaking, as he explained that he also made shoes ( I explained my goal of having a pair of lasts that could be used both by factories and small shoemakers in Italy, and he explained how each operation would probably deal with constructions, small changes, etc. He explained to have been a fitter and last maker for the last 31 years and that he spent 28 years with a west end firm, of which 22 of those years travelling to the USA for trunk shows, but he never actually specified which London firm he worked for. We parted ways, and I told him that I would contact him back once I decided to go ahead. Back home I did some further research and quickly found an Internet Archived page that refereed to John Lobb LTD trunk shows in the USA, where the fitting would have been conducted by “Mr Emmanuel Kastellis and Mr Steven Lowe” which was the final confirmation that I had found the right source for my lasts.

I struggled to contact him back so I just turned up at his London location in mid-October 2014, and after a brief chat, Steven took my feet tracing and various measurement, as well as looking at the shoes I was wearing, both on and off my feet, noting spots where the wear was showing particular tightness. I paid half of the cost upfront to confirm the order and told him that I would send him and email with some pictures of the type of toe box I was after.
Exactly two months later, in December 2014 I received an email from Steven informing me that the lasts were ready, and I told him I would collect it few days later. Once at his workshop, I collected the lasts and I agreed with him, that as it would be potentially up to a year later before I had shoes made out of these, I would eventually bring him back the shoes and last for him to evaluate the fit and make any necessary adjustments.

In June 2015 I finally collected my shoes, and got back in touch with Steven that he had since moved his operations to Eastbourne, East Sussex, but still made regular trips to London.

As I wanted to wear my shoes for a while, plus the holidays etc, we finally arranged to meet up in central London in late September 2015. We met up, he evaluated the fit and noted which parts of the lasts needed adjustments, in particular on my left foot one. Three weeks later, the last were in the post back to my house.

I am now waiting for two pairs of shoes to be made out of the adjusted lasts, of which I also had a plastic copy made in Italy to be able to modify the toe box and having two pairs of shoes being made at the same time.

Further info:
Crispinians Ltd (
Edited by marcodalondra - 2/23/16 at 11:29pm
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Previous mentions in other threads:
Originally Posted by jerrybrowne View Post

By the way I tracked down my lastmaker at JL who left. He made the best fitting last I've had and is now making his own shoes, lasts, and trees.

going to have him make a few trees for me and if things work out, maybe a pair of shoes. Those of you in London should check him out. His prices are WAY lower than other London makers, and I'm sure the fit and quality will be fanstastic.

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