1. Styleforum Gives - Holiday Charity Auction 10: A full set of Aesop's Fables pocket squares from Vanda Fine Clothing

    We are very proud to present this year's edition of the Styleforum Holiday Charity Auctions, this year in support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (www.rmhcspokane.org). Each Auction lasts 24 hours. Please follow and bid on all the auctions.

    The 10th auction of the year is for a full set of Aesop's Fable's pocket squares from Vanda Fine Clothing. Please bid often and generously here

    Fok and the Styleforum Team.

    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Shoe questions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mack, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    4,458
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    I don't think this mixture is as common as you think. where did you get this info? tell me what you see as being the 'american look'. americans in europe can be spotted because of their clothes and behavior but not because of their physical differences. (unless we're talking about some fat kid from nebraska walking around southern italy.)

    my point was that people from the same family can have very different feet so to say that europeans have a certain foot shape while 'americans' have another doesn't sound quite right to me.
     


  2. A Harris

    A Harris Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    This probably accounts for most of the difference - a person's foot develops largely due to the weight it has to bear and the strain that is put on it. The higher the weight and strain, the wider the foot and the higher the arch. So if you grow up walking everywhere you are more likely to have a wider foot with a higher arch. At least that's the theory.
     


  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    36,283
    Likes Received:
    12,919
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Oh, c'mon matador, lighten up. Anyway, my point was that it wouldn't be surprising if there were differences in the feet of Americans, and say, Italians, in general. I'm sure we could construct a metric by which to measure this.

    And don't tell me that you can't tell an Englishman from a Frenchman, or an Italian from a German, even if they were wearing the same thing (let's say, the same stylist dresses them and styles their hair) and sitting immobile. You might not be correct 100% of the time, but I would put good money on it that you would definitely perform statistically better than random.
     


  4. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior Member

    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    I must say that this seems to make more sense. Next time I'm in the area I'll stop by the NY store and ask them.
    Must be the same guy that refused to sell me the F width cap toe bal oxford because the quarters were perfectly aligned, so he made me squeeze my fat feet into the E width saying that these will feel wonderful once broken in. I guess I'm currently in the agony stage.
     


  5. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,471
    Likes Received:
    902
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    In Europe they design blucher (derby) style shoe to close, more or less, tightly; while it's American cousin usually has something like a ¾" gap between the quarters. The uppers of a European blucher get laced up edge to edge, before they are lasted up, while in American manufacture they are laced up that the edges do not meet. Compare the measurement of a European and an American blucher; the quarters are fuller cut as to meet closer to the centre or the foot.

    If you have a look in the Vass book all the bluchers are laced tightly (page 124 or 151), equally on page 75 where he has shoe designs drawn onto wooden lasts. If we presume that this last is the perfect replica of your foot, then you will have a shoe where the quarters meet. Only a man with an even higher instep will push the quarters further apart.

    So when your J M Weston shoes have the no gap between the quarters, that's the way they were designed.
     


  6. jrh

    jrh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Jcusey:

    The Weston Hunt Derby is very nice, significantly more so then the other spilt toes. I have wide feet and also find Westons narrow in the toes. However, the Hunt Derby is much roomier. If you treat yourself to a pair, have J M Weston provide rubber insert heels, the steel on the heal is bothersome. The Russian Calf is special stuff.

    If you find a pair in your size, do not hestiate. They are in limited supply. The wait for special order is about one year. Also note, this is a sturdy shoe, with significant breakin. But, with time they fit me wonderfully.
     


  7. shoefan

    shoefan Senior Member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    193
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    Granted, but when they are nevertheless too tight across the ball of my foot, that's when I get concerned.
     


  8. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,471
    Likes Received:
    902
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    I don't deny that your J M Weston shoes (I have no first hand experience of the brand) might be too tight across the vamp.

    It is one of my bugbears that European shoes are cut so high at the instep. I hate shoes, bluchers as well as balmorals, where the quarters meet right edge to edge. In my case, when the edges meet (i.e. the shoes are laced at their tightest), more often than not, I still have room between my instep and the tongue of the shoe. I believe balmorals should have a gap of ¼" and bluchers about ¾"; otherwise it looks so school-boyish.

    I have messed about with padded tongue underlay (which I have to get from the States) or with insoles which add a few mm at the heel and taper into nothing before they hit the ball of the foot.

    There used to be a time when European manufacturers hat a variety of fittings, but they have been slaughtered on the altar of profit.

    To come back to the discussion about American and European fittings, I believe the difference is not so much in the width (from left to right) but in the height of the shoe. After all, "width" indicates the circumference.
     


  9. mack

    mack Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Thanks to all the posters for taking the time to reply.  It has been very informative.

    A couple of remainng questions.

    Do Europeans prefer a less glossy shine than Americans?  

    Also, how are patinated finishes applied to high end shoes like EG or Vass?  Is someone handpolishing, machine polishing or is there some material applied over the leather?

    Thanks again.
     


  10. A Harris

    A Harris Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    I've never seen an Edward Green or Vass shoe made of patent leather. And I doubt I ever will. For a formal shoe you would order highly polished black calf.
     


  11. MPS

    MPS Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Edward Green do at least three shoes made from patent leather: one is an oxford and the other two are opera pumps.
     


  12. T4phage

    T4phage Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    656
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Originally posted by A.Harris:
    Andrew, there are indeed Edward Green patent shoes, I have a pair of opera slip-ons (I don't want to call them pumps.) in black patent with a grosgrain ribbon. [​IMG]
     


  13. T4phage

    T4phage Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    656
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Originally posted by JRH:
    I personally don't like the Hunt Derby, it looks too thick and clunky in my eyes. The demi chasse is a more evenly balanced shoe in terms of looks/function. For an even dressier split toe, Weston's new split toe model by Michael Perry is taking the split toe idea to a new level.
     


  14. RIDER

    RIDER Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    126
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    RVA - NYC
    Wow, you guys are great - wish I could get my people to care this much about details. The questions about Weston and lasts are good so I thought a little background might be interesting. Btw, my earlier response about Euro/Amer lasts pertained to Italian factories as that is where most of my experience is. The Weston company is an interesting and unique manufacturer.
    In 1904, Eugene Blanchard, the son of a shoe factory owner in Limoges, France, traveled to the US to serve an apprenticeship at a boot factory in Weston, Mass. This is where he learned the Goodyear construction which is now the Weston trademark construction. He returned to France in 1919, took over the factory from his father, and changed the production from one that concerned mass-production to a craftsman-type range. He changed the marketing from one that sold volumes of shoes to chains of stores, to one of individual Weston boutiques. Weston owned these boutiques and designed patterns/lasts/leathers for each shop. Blanchard died in 1955 and the company has changed hands a few times - finally in 1976. The Weston firm maintains it's independence within it's parent, and insists that they still market, design and manufacture for individual markets. Today, Weston makes over 60 models with 18-20 geared to the US market. As far as lasts are concerned, as you can see, Weston evolved from the American tradition of offering numerous sizes/widths. They offer far more than the typical European manufacturer - the 11,12,and 18 lasts being developed with the "Anglo-American" market in mind.
    As far as my reference to combination lasts and straight lasts, I simply mean a combination of D across the forefoot, C around the instep and B at the heel counter, for example. This differs from some older, mass production factories that used a last which does not contour to this degree.
    One more note on Weston, they provide their accounts a chart with the different lasts/patterns marketed here and how to change the fit from the brannock measurement. For example, style #677 (called the Hunt - last #32) is suggested to add .5 length. The style # 180 (called the signature loafer - last #41) is to add 1.5 in length. So you see, you have to try the shoes on without regard to the size stamp.
     


  15. A Harris

    A Harris Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    I stand corrected  [​IMG] Personal bias must be to blame - I don't like patent shoes for formal wear - I go with black calf.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by