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dangerous

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A few months ago i was talking with @SoleGarb about my experience with various shoe brands and how to get a better fit. I’ve spent a ton on shoes that don’t quite fit me and therefore don’t get worn. Lorenzo explained the trade offs of tweaking an existing last vs creating a custom last. I had a ‘life’s too short’ moment and signed up for a custom-made last.

The trial shoes just arrived and I am really excited. The fit is already pretty good. I’d probably live with this if I was buying RTW. But instead I get to really think about the fit: the instep, the heel fit, the room for my toes, ...

Here are some picture of the trial pair.
Is this the one classified as a "custom last"?
 

dangerous

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Yes. It’s based on 74795 and then modified for my feet. After this process I can use this last for other shoes and boots. I can even use it for the GMTOs.
Interesting that they send you a test shoe; I would not expect that from a custom last. That makes the €400/$350 more expendable. I'd even consider that since it's MTM but I'd have to consider what last it would be. Interesting that you picked that last though, do you find it versitile?
 

Mallaig

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Interesting that they send you a test shoe; I would not expect that from a custom last. That makes the €400/$350 more expendable. I'd even consider that since it's MTM but I'd have to consider what last it would be. Interesting that you picked that last though, do you find it versitile?
When I decided to get the last made, Lorenzo measured my feet. The test shoe is to make sure that I get a really good fit. It costs more to go through this process. I guess I will find out if it is worth it.

Lorenzo recommended 74945 and I liked the shape for both shoes and boots. Check out the images posted by @nishant and @stephenaf2003, they both have shell boots using the 74945 last.
 

Mallaig

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Cross posting my responses to questions about my EB experience on the Split Toe Derby thread. I hope you find this interesting.

dauster said:
Love the Horween oxblood hatchgrain - looks like you are going to get a fine shoe...
Really curious about the actually difference between custom last and real bespoke. Do you just fine tune an existing last? Also, how do you deal with trial shoes in general if you get them send to you? Given my limited knowledge about shoe fitting I would probably have problems explaining in detail how to adjust the fit/last via email/ phone etc.
Lastly, who is solegarb? does he have a store in the US?

Thanks in advance and apologies for beginner questions...
No worries. I'm in the same boat with you. This response includes much of what I have learned on the journey.

I did talk to Gaziano Girling about making a pair of bespoke shoes that would have been in the $5K range... which is a LOT more than EB is charging to create a last for my feet (more on this below). If I were to go to Bologna then the experience might be more like one would imagine for bespoke; working directly with an expert shoe maker. I live in Silicon Valley so I started looking around for other options.

I heard about Lorenzo of @SoleGarb through the EB community on ST. The feedback was very positive and the pictures of the shoes were eye-popping. I contacted Lorenzo to ask about joining one of the cordovan boot GMTOs that he was working on. We talked on the phone about sizing ideas, he then offered to send me some 'sizing' shoes which helped us figure out that my feet would require shoes with some modifications to make them fit really well. The sizing shoes were basically a regular pair made with thin leather so it was easy to figure out how my feet fit inside the shoes. My feet did not match the standard sizing shoes very well, not to mention that my right foot has a lower instep than my left, so he recommended that I come visit him in SoCal, which I did, He measured my feet and offered two options: (1) use an existing last with some tweaks which the shoemakers would take into account when making something for me, I think this was either free or nominal cost, or (2) create a custom last based on an existing shape but modified to my feet. While this had a real cost, and would take longer, I figured that if I was buying shell cordovan ballways, then I might as well make sure they fit me !

We talked about the best type of shoe to use as a first pair. Lorenzo suggested a derby or something similar with calf leather. I liked the idea of a split-toe (of course) and then had to choose a leather, I pored through stacks of leather and chose the oxblood hatch grain (which I thought was plum color) and then got into the details of whether to have Norwegian stitching, how thick a sole to use, what edge finishing and what lining.

That was end of April. I had expected that the first phase would take 3 or 4 months, but I should have factored in that most of Europe takes August off.

EB made up an initial version of my shoe, with a temporary sole, and sent ti to Lorenzo, He forwarded it to me.

Now I'm walking around my house trying to imagine how the final article will feel. Lorenzo has asked me about where my toes are, heal slippage, width, etc. All of which makes sense. I cannot claim to be an expert in shoe fitting, but since I started this process I've been to London a couple times and visited with C&J, EG, GG and Trickers. This has helped me become more aware of what shoes sizing really works for me. I hope this will help.


BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes said:
Of course the style (split toe) will get this thread's attention. The maker and color will keep the attention. Great choice and keep the thread updated.

Obvious questions.. What is the price they quoted you for the whole process? Turnaround time?
The price of the customized last is $200, shipping is $85, +20% for MTO. Total is about $1K which is dramatically cheaper than the $5K that GG wanted. Once the last is created, I will be able to buy shoes and they will make them on my last with no additional cost. This includes the GMTOs that are popular for EB. So I can join in a GMTO and my boots will be made on my last irrespective of what last the other boots are made on. Seems like a good deal as long as you like EB.

End to end process should be about 6 months (plus Italian vacations which will add another month or two).
 

dangerous

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Thank you for the help, @Mallaig

I am not sure enough about the style of a last to go through with that, especially as my feet aren't too weird.

I brought out my old single MTO from last year:

 

dangerous

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Is there a u-tip shoe? There is the paid of boots in hippo and brown, but that's boots...
 

stephenaf2003

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SimplyStylin

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Hey guys. Is it recommended to go a half size up on the 74945 last, or stick with normal UK sizing?

For reference, I wear a 9.5 UK in Loake Capital, Carlos Santos 401 (slightly high instep for me but great in the toe box), and Allen Edmonds 10.5e.
 

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