I learned this week that Jon Gray, the bespoke shoemaker praised by forum member DWFII is travelling in Ontario in July. He will be visiting the following places: Toronto - July 17-22 @ Bata Shoe Museum Hamilton - Uncertain Ottawa - July 26 @ E.R. Fisher, 5 p.m. Are there forum members who would be interested in meeting him, especially in Ottawa? I would like to order a pair of shoes from him in person, and I want to entice him here. I've already asked a local menswear store whether they would be willing to host the shoemaker's visit. I would post more details when I have them. Since DW lives too far from me, I see this as a chance for me to find out what a true pair of high-quality shoes should be like, and I'm willing to pay the tuition. I don't have real complaints about my better dress shoes other than their fit, but I'm ready to learn. (The problem with fit comes from having to order online, and the fact that I have a wide forefoot relative to my heel, and a low instep.) This is a chance for SF Canucks who often bemoan the lack of quality footwear in this country to talk with someone who can make good shoes, so I'm hoping that people will respond. I could post more about Mr. Gray's process and the dates on which he would visit those locations, but I don't want this thread to seem commercial. If the Powers That Be at SF have no objections, I would add that information to this post. UPDATE Added dates for the locations above. Don't know where exactly Mr. Gray will be, but he intends to target small, boutique menswear shops that might be interested in his services. This is the reason I'm trying to get a local store in Ottawa to host him. The following information is what I have learned from Mr. Gray through e-mail. Price Presently it takes approximately six months to complete an order for a first pair of shoes. The cost of a pair of handmade shoes is in the same ballpark as high-end RTW shoes (e.g., Edward Green). His price is based on an upper constructed from French calf leather, or something similar. There is an additional charge for exotics only. There is a one-time fee for last-making. Last will be made by manufacturers in the US and Mexico. If lasted shoe trees are desired then the fee is much higher, as the last will be made by Springline in the UK. The Order Process 1) First stage: Taking measurements Consultation in person is the best option as it also allows the shoemaker to get to know you a little better in terms of your style and taste. If you cannot meet in person, a telephone consultation can be arranged. If you have someone who can take reliable tracings and measurements, he can walk them through the process over the telephone, or skype, the measurements and tracings can then be sent to him through the post. 2) Second stage: Fitting model A fitting model--trial shoes that can also be sent through the mail, your feedback recorded and then sent back. The following is a direct quote, but the emphasis is mine. ...fit is an important factor for me, before a first pair is made, I make a fitting model that a customer tries on to insure that we have a properly fitted last before I invest the time and materials in a finished pair of shoes. On the other hand the internal components are often overlooked, I have seen many expensive RTW shoes which did not have leather insoles, or had a heavily finished lining leather. To me this is the interface between ones foot, and the shoe, a critical element for comfort (and longevity). Upper leather is always a pleasure to choose, and this is where the customer has the most choices.