lasts and bespoke shoe makers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by daruma, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    Springline's bespoke lasts are genuine bespoke one-offs not some adjusted commercial lasts.


    Yes,
    but springline bespoke last not measured for arch support (they tell me this) when use 3D machine.
    Shoe maker will have to make further alteration to last by cutting part off (bottom area) to make room for inner supports for proper bespoke.
    lt can be problem if shoe maker is not last maker and know feet good.
    Machine can never predict how foot behave,
    still need human hand to perfect last.
    That me understanding,
    tell me if me wrong.
     
  2. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Yes,
    but springline bespoke last not measured for arch support (they tell me this) when use 3D machine.
    Shoe maker will have to make further alteration to last by cutting part off (bottom area) to make room for inner supports for proper bespoke.
    lt can be problem if shoe maker is not last maker and know feet good.
    Machine can never predict how foot behave,
    still need human hand to perfect last.
    That me understanding,
    tell me if me wrong.

    Springline's bespoke lasts are not done using any scanning process (to the best of my knowledge). They are done the same as other bespoke lasts -- foot tracings, measurements, and visual and physical inspection are performed by the last maker, who then uses this information to craft a pair of lasts that are suited to your feet (including the plantar/bottom surface). Now, the relative caliber of Springline's last maker, vs. say T Moore, or Teemu, etc. is a matter on which someone who has used some or all of them would have to weigh in.
     
  3. sbwoodside

    sbwoodside Member

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    Every business yearns for the day when a certain percentage of their asking price is "blue sky"--reputation, as who should say, cachet.

    What annoys me is so many high end brands who spend so much money to attain reputation through marketing instead of word of mouth. They wind up blowing all of their extra revenue trying to keep their brand on top. And their customers are the ultimate idiots, spending 90% of their shopping dollars on the advertising/marketing/events/PR/etc that told them to buy that product.
     
  4. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    Springline's bespoke lasts are not done using any scanning process (to the best of my knowledge).

    Me surprised.
    Me thought scanned,
    save time,
    easy to fill demand for custom last.
    3D scanning?
     
  5. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    When I had my appointment there was no scanning. Just a pencil outline around my foot where I was standing with a bunch of markings all around the paper that meant nothing to me, but obviously a lot to them! Come to think, I didn't even see anything that looked like a scanner. The Springline offices seemed a few steps (no pun intended) more modern than John Lobb St. James, but not by much. Here are some photos below:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. debsc23

    debsc23 Member

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    I suspect we attach more importance to the word "bespoke" than it requires. There's almost a "glamour" or mystique about the word that muddles what it is really all about. After all, what's the objective? I would suggest it is fit...superlative fit. And the ability to choose the style and leather and colours that you want.

    I couldn't agree more. This is a very instructive debate. Ultimately as long as our customers have a pair of shoes that are beautifully handsewn, that fit them and that meet their personal aesthetic and style requirements our job is done.

    Other than the big London makers, most smaller shoemakers use outworkers for some or all of the various aspects of the shoemaking including the last making. We are one of those companies because we chose to work with the very best in each aspect of the shoes' construction, having trained as makers ourselves. So we work with Springline for our lasts because of their expertise. We provide them with drafts and, where necessary, use foam orthotics boxes to take an imprint of the feet which shows the arch and how the weight is borne.

    (We have friends in other shoe companies who use the laser method and they have admitted that there is very little difference between the fit of a laser or pencil draft method as long as the person taking those measures knows what they are doing).

    Ultimately the relationship between shoemaker and customer is one of trust...and it is collaborative. Our customers trust us to interpret their desires into a beautiful shoe and their measurements into a comfortable, well-fitting shoe.

    The debate re: cost;

    Lobbs Paris is not the same company as Lobbs St James - one owned by Hermes one the original. The standard price for bespoke is around £1500 - £2500 here in London. Please trust me when I say that the profit margins are small compared with a ready-to-wear shoe.

    Why the price differences? Ready to wear are usually machine stitched and glued and the cost is associated as has been said earlier with the marketing, branding etc. Yes, they can be very beautiful shoes and Edward Green are some of the best that we have seen.

    Bespoke are usually hand sewn - 200 stages carried out by hand over 2-3 days, one of the strongest constructions, easy to repair and therefore these are the shoes that will "last you a life time". That is what you are investing in.

    So choosing the right maker for you is VERY important.

    Choosing a bespoke maker is also individual. If you have the confidence to go bespoke then you should also have the confidence to choose a maker that suits you, not because it is a competition about who is 'the best'.

    Forgive me for taking to my soap box for a moment, but we are not performers, we are artisans who take enormous pride in our work. The respect should be mutual.
     
  7. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    gentlemen,

    is there a standard method/measurement to determine optimal heel height?

    thanks in advance.
     
  8. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    debsc23, I don't believe I've seen you post before. In any case, your presence (as is DWFII) is certainly welcome! [​IMG]
     
  9. debsc23

    debsc23 Member

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    gentlemen,

    is there a standard method/measurement to determine optimal heel height?

    thanks in advance.


    The standard heel height for men is 1 and one eightth inches. It is measured on the outside edge of the shoe at the heel breast (where the heel cuts across the shoe). Depending on preferences this can be adjusted up to suit the wearer. Over 1 and one quarter inches is considered high.

    Your shoemaker/lastmaker should automatically ask if this is what you would like and your lasts will be made accordingly. Only when heels are required (I imagine not in many cases for the readers of this thread) will additional measures need to be taken with the heel raised to the necessary height.

    Adjusting the heel height down results in a flat shoe which can be uncomfortable if the sole is too thick as it does not allow for any toe spring (the distance between the sole at the toe and the ground). The toe spring distance is usually so that you can slip a finger tip in the gap).

    For thicker soled footwear - like army boots - the toe spring needs to be increased so that the shoe/boot follows the roll of the foot as you walk. For heels (again, possibly not relevant to the gentlemen following this) the toe spring is reduced.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. debsc23

    debsc23 Member

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    debsc23, I don't believe I've seen you post before. In any case, your presence (as is DWFII) is certainly welcome! [​IMG]
    Thank you for the welcome. We're passionate about shoemaking so this has been a really interesting thread for us. If you would like to see our work I would be happy to send you a web link (appreciate it is not appropriate to do that here).
     
  11. vitix

    vitix Active Member

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    Yes,
    but springline bespoke last not measured for arch support (they tell me this) when use 3D machine.
    Shoe maker will have to make further alteration to last by cutting part off (bottom area) to make room for inner supports for proper bespoke.
    lt can be problem if shoe maker is not last maker and know feet good.
    Machine can never predict how foot behave,
    still need human hand to perfect last.
    That me understanding,
    tell me if me wrong.

    I totally agree with you, you could tell it's "bespoke" if you have your own last but it could be worse than RTW like I experiment once.
    Bespoke require to meet an experimented last maker or at least the maker with appropriate bespoke knowledge.
    There's a wide gap between RTW lasting and bespoke.
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    debsc23, I too thought your post (#52) was welcome and cogent. I would like to know more about who you are and what you do. Are you a shoemaker who uses outworkers or an outworker allied with a shoemaker? I'm sure that posting photos or a website link is perfectly acceptable especially if asked (as I am doing), although if you are uncomfortable doing so I completely understand...I have my own reservations in this regard, as well. Just comparing notes... It is always interesting to me to see the different ways in which people approach problems. You use a foam box to capture the plantar surface of the foot, I use a pedograph--an "ink pad," as who should say. In my opinion this is some of the most important data collected from the foot--heel seat width and treadline width. I am not sanguine about how accurately such information can be collected with a simple pencil outline. Perhaps the pencil is adequate but I don't think enough attention is paid to this aspect of fit. Insole width can be critical. What a lot of folks don't understand is that a last can have a perfect joint girth, for instance, but the last can still be too narrow. Only a weight-on "foot print" and a commensurate appreciation of it by the lastmaker ensures a proper fit. I was also struck by your approach to heel height. Here in the States, it has always been an article of faith that the heel height was measured at the medial breast. And that an inch and a half was considered about as high as health of the foot would allow. Not that higher heels aren't requested on a fairly regular basis. I guess we all work with what we have access to. I know of no lastmaker in the States that will make custom lasts in the same way that that Springline does. In fact, until very recently...and the matter is not yet settled...there was no lastmaker who would send out a "rough turned" last--the basic stock that Springline works with. And in the States outworkers are virtually unknown. I'm aware of one outworker in the UK--Jim McCormack--who is maybe one of the best shoemakers I've ever encountered. But over here we have to do it all and take responsibility for it all.
    Thank you! Anyway welcome...
     
  13. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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  14. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    Sorry to resurrect this thread and specifically your post, but was wondering what you thought about a weight in (standing) 3d foot scan which also include pressure point data from sensors under the base of the foot.
    After having done such a scan by this company http://www.styleforum.net/t/370412/left-shoe-company#post_6873518 I am wondering if this data could be used to create a bespoke last.

    Edit: some extra info on the scanner: http://www.visual-computing.de/fileadmin/_visual/downloads/Regio_Summit/fmx_09/fmx_09_corpus_e.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    It can. The last 20+ years has seen extensive research and development in just such technology. I have two acquaintances who were involved in the evolution of both of the software and the hardware.

    That said, I've never, personally, seen it in operation...or seen the results, for that matter. I am frankly...call me a dinosaur...skeptical. Any scan is going to be a static scan--not taking into account the rigidity of some feet or the laxness of the muscle and ligament systems of others. Then too you have subcutaneous fat, water retention, the allowances that have to be made for hose, etc., none of which can be evaluated short of hands on measuring and analysis of the foot.

    But again, that caveat--I have no experience with the system or the results it produces. Just my opinion...
     

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