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Manuel

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Seems to me then that every shoemaker is already endowed with all the technology necessary to provide a proper fit. Eyes & hands. Thus far, nothing has been created to surpass, much less replicate, those 4 pieces of technology.
Can you imagine the eyes and hands of a good professional associated with new technologies, including of course the cad cam and scanner system?
The problem is not new technologies, the real problem is the limitation of the shoemaker himself.
 

Manuel

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The problem with that line of argument, as I see it, is that it implies the shoemaker -- and I think we're talking more about a typical MTM experience here than we are full-on bespoke -- has a large number of options at his disposal, including tiny and 'near-as-nevermind' imperceptible adjustments. I have not observed that to be the case, either in my own experiences or in any of those I've read about. Instead, the adjustments seem to be 'rougher' in scale, and in a more limited range.

Now, I could be wrong about all that, or even if I'm right, one might counter that the good maker intuitively accounts for all these tiny factors even when in the end deciding on a few simple or crude adjustments. Okay, fine. But if that's the case, then I'd imagine that same good maker might also learn how to better interpret a scan or mold.

I am admittedly an absolute novice at all this, but I also admit to being a bit amused, or even charmed, at how imprecise the whole thing seems. The tracing of the outline on paper, the reliance on a handful of measurements with fabric tape. I once saw a picture of a Japanese maker, Fukuda perhaps, using a little caliper device to measure the height of the ball of the foot, and I thought -- whoa, technology! Except, really a comparatively crude technology, in the big picture.

I'd be more persuaded by the argument that molds don't work because they capture the static foot and the shoe needs to think about a lot more than the static foot...if there weren't so many stories, like the ones recently in this thread, of makers having a hard time even fitting the static foot, much less one in motion.
You are right, you are not wrong.
I have worked with the 3D cad cam system and scanner, the machine and the computer program do not work alone, you give the orders and they execute it with a perfection that the human being is not capable of doing.
The problem is that most shoemakers do not learn the trade well and only learn part of it or only dedicate themselves to one type of shoe.
The fit of a boot is different from the fit of a shoe so they never understand how the foot works or how a good fit is achieved. You cannot add to these shortcomings a system that requires a lot of practice time to understand how it works.

You really can't imagine what the 3 D (cad cam system) scanner system is capable of.
 

ERok32

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I’m after a similar look; what’s the difference between the mountain calf and the russian?
I have the MOD105 in Russian calf, and as you can see by @Alan Bee ‘s pic, it’s a bit more textured than the mountain calf.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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You are right, you are not wrong.
I have worked with the 3D cad cam system and scanner, the machine and the computer program do not work alone, you give the orders and they execute it with a perfection that the human being is not capable of doing.
The problem is that most shoemakers do not learn the trade well and only learn part of it or only dedicate themselves to one type of shoe.
The fit of a boot is different from the fit of a shoe so they never understand how the foot works or how a good fit is achieved. You cannot add to these shortcomings a system that requires a lot of practice time to understand how it works.

You really can't imagine what the 3 D (cad cam system) scanner system is capable of.
I have no idea how effective the system is or could be. Unfortunately, I have no experience working with such technology.

My assumption in favor of the system...Is that a generic 3D system can standardize measurements and potentially provide more accurate information to the maker. Thereby, providing a better fit to the consumer. It could also eliminate the need to visit a maker, at least based on an app I saw a Japanese maker is attempting to employ. This could make it faster and more efficient to make shoes. Not to mention more inexpensive (no travel costs to both maker or consumer).

Speaking of costs, potentially should also allow consumers not to be obligated to go the Bespoke route or an experienced MTM person and incur further expenses.

All this is especially useful when you have an inexperienced maker. You can minimize or possibly eliminate any limitations that that maker may have.

On the flip side, and as @DWFII mentioned, I am a bit skeptical (again no experience with this technology) if this system can account for miniscule variations within the foot to allot for an optimal fit. As DWF mentioned, would it account for weight variations when you walk or are just standing there. Your eyes can tell you where to make those adjustments. A maker can touch the foot and feel tautness vs looseness across the shoe and adjust accordingly. Can a 3D system do this?

I'm sure DWF, or any maker can speak on this subject, but measuring systems may differ. I am speaking more about the actual method in which a measurement is taken not points of measurements.

I have had some makers hold the tape more tightly. Others more loosely. I can convey how I prefer it to fit. I am uncertain whether the system can adjust for this.

Also the system will provide an abundance of information. It would then be incumbent on the maker as to how to interpret all of that data. Which then would mean the maker has to be effective at his/her job, but proficient at data evaluation.

I'm sure technologies are being developed to assist the maker in being more proficient, and efficient. As of this moment, seems like a good pair of eyes and hands, a ruler, some paper, and some experience is your best bet.
 

Manuel

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I have no idea how effective the system is or could be. Unfortunately, I have no experience working with such technology.

My assumption in favor of the system...Is that a generic 3D system can standardize measurements and potentially provide more accurate information to the maker. Thereby, providing a better fit to the consumer. It could also eliminate the need to visit a maker, at least based on an app I saw a Japanese maker is attempting to employ. This could make it faster and more efficient to make shoes. Not to mention more inexpensive (no travel costs to both maker or consumer).

Speaking of costs, potentially should also allow consumers not to be obligated to go the Bespoke route or an experienced MTM person and incur further expenses.

All this is especially useful when you have an inexperienced maker. You can minimize or possibly eliminate any limitations that that maker may have.

On the flip side, and as @DWFII mentioned, I am a bit skeptical (again no experience with this technology) if this system can account for miniscule variations within the foot to allot for an optimal fit. As DWF mentioned, would it account for weight variations when you walk or are just standing there. Your eyes can tell you where to make those adjustments. A maker can touch the foot and feel tautness vs looseness across the shoe and adjust accordingly. Can a 3D system do this?

I'm sure DWF, or any maker can speak on this subject, but measuring systems may differ. I am speaking more about the actual method in which a measurement is taken not points of measurements.

I have had some makers hold the tape more tightly. Others more loosely. I can convey how I prefer it to fit. I am uncertain whether the system can adjust for this.

Also the system will provide an abundance of information. It would then be incumbent on the maker as to how to interpret all of that data. Which then would mean the maker has to be effective at his/her job, but proficient at data evaluation.

I'm sure technologies are being developed to assist the maker in being more proficient, and efficient. As of this moment, seems like a good pair of eyes and hands, a ruler, some paper, and some experience is your best bet.
No no , I'm not talking about skipping the shoemaker-customer relationship, DWF II is absolutely right, you couldn't make a shoe with a perfect fit by mail, that's impossible.
In most cases the client will only achieve a mediocre adjustment to improve in the next and so on.
I am talking about using modern 3D cad cam systems with scanning to help the shoemaker himself and in direct relationship with the client.
If you want a good pair of shoes with a good fit, it is absolutely necessary to be in direct and continuous contact with the experienced professional who is making them for you.
 

DWFII

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I suspect that the real problem here is a lack of 1) an understanding of how measurements are obtained 2) of how those measurements are translated into the dimensions of the last and 3) how each shoemaker or fitter interprets the data to create the last.

None of it yields to a universal and empirical process.

You say you've had shoemakers pull the tape tighter than others...why do you think that occurs? Is the shoemaker responding to water retention in the foot? Muscle density or rigidity? or just the feedback from his own sensory apparatus?

It is perfectly possible that one shoemaker will pull the tape measure tighter than another who gave you a great fit and yet the maker pulling harder will come up with as good a fit, or better, than the maker who pulled more loosely. And vice versa, of course.

Luchesse (the company)...a fairly well respected and highly regarded maker of pull on (cowboy) boots...had a chart of measurements from which they then subtracted an arbitrary amount to derive the fit of their boots. This was after Cosimo was gone and Sam had sold the name to a conglomerate. So they were commercially made but supposedly made to fit. I could never work my head around the implications and worse it made me suspect that whoever was in charge of fitting didn't really trust his own measurements or his own hands or his own perception.

But it is a good illustration of how fitting is almost an ineffable magical 'power'--based on logic, based on perception, based on data...even 'hard' data, yes. But nevertheless in a realm that cannot be categorized or put into boxes.

Every shoemaker will pull the tape different. No two will pull it exactly in the same place. Every maker will alter the last according to his own interpretation. And yet a good many of the best will come up with something very similar by way of fit.

I am a good fitter. I might even go so far as to say I am an excellent, even expert, fitter. As I have mentioned several times, I take a joint, a waist, a low instep, a high instep, a short heel, and a long heel measurement--girths. Few other makers I know of, or have spoken with, take as many measurements as I do .Wouldn't apply them as I apply them even if they did. How many permutations of that scenario do you suppose there might be?

Nothing mechanical can duplicate that process if only for the lack of one very human trait--intuition based on experience. You would need a highly advance AI with a 'positronic' brain and even then something would be missing.

And in the end, the result would simply be a glorified and expensive RTW shoe.
 
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BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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I suspect that the real problem here is a lack of 1) an understanding of how measurements are obtained 2) of how those measurements are translated into the dimensions of the last and 3) how each shoemaker or fitter interprets the data to create the last.

None of it yields to a universal and empirical process.

You say you've had shoemakers pull the tape tighter than others...why do you think that occurs? Is the shoemaker responding to water retention in the foot? Muscle density or rigidity? or just the feedback from his own sensory apparatus?

It is perfectly possible that one shoemaker will pull the tape measure tighter than another who gave you a great fit and yet the maker pulling harder will come up with as good a fit, or better, than the maker who pulled more loosely. And vice versa, of course.

Luchesse (the company)...a fairly well respected and highly regarded maker of pull on (cowboy) boots...had a chart of measurements from which they then subtracted an arbitrary amount to derive the fit of their boots. This was after Cosimo was gone and Sam had sold the name to a conglomerate. So they were commercially made but supposedly made to fit. I could never work my head around the implications and worse it made me suspect that whoever was in charge of fitting didn't really trust his own measurements or his own hands or his own perception.

But it is a good illustration of how fitting is almost an ineffable magical 'power'--based on logic, based on perception, based on data...even 'hard' data, yes. But nevertheless in a realm that cannot be categorized or put into boxes.

Every shoemaker will pull the tape different. No two will pull it exactly in the same place. Every maker will alter the last according to his own interpretation. And yet a good many of the best will come up with something very similar by way of fit.

I am a good fitter. I might even go so far as to say I am an excellent, even expert, fitter. As I have mentioned several times, I take a joint, a waist, a low instep, a high instep, a short heel, and a long heel measurement--girths. Few other makers I know of, or have spoken with, take as many measurements as I do .Wouldn't apply them as I apply them even if they did. How many permutations of that scenario do you suppose there might be?

Nothing mechanical can duplicate that process if only for the lack of one very human trait--intuition based on experience. You would need a highly advance AI with a 'positronic' brain and even then something would be missing.

And in the end, the result would simply be a glorified and expensive RTW shoe.
This is precisely why I would be skeptical of a maker using predominantly 3D technology to arrive at his/her ideal fit.

Exactly what you described occurred. Meaning, different methods of pulling a tape to arrive at an amazing fit. The makers incorporated their own measurement methods to produce similar results. It is that human aspect you can not replicate.

During the fitting process, the maker would pull his tape tight. Look at how my foot reacted, asked questions, take notes. They felt the foot. Took notes. Asked me when, where, with what socks the shoes will be worn, still more notes.

Those little nuances. Those questions. Utilizing their senses (hands and eyesight). What kind of shoe it was going to be. Adjusting for varying sock thickness. I imagine it would be darn near impossible for a 3D system to account for all those variables.

However, incorporating the technology (as @Manuel mentioned) into their measurement and shoe creation techniques should/could prove beneficial.
 

acapaca

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Every shoemaker will pull the tape different. No two will pull it exactly in the same place. Every maker will alter the last according to his own interpretation. And yet a good many of the best will come up with something very similar by way of fit.
And I suspect the reasons for that are:

1) There are only so many places to measure, despite the notion that every fitter will come up with a new one.
2) There are only so many adjustments that these measurements can result in.
 

DWFII

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With all due respect, I'm not sure what your point is. ??

What you say seems obvious...at least superficially. But there is a big difference between passively wrapping the tape measure around the foot...which effectively is what a scanner does...and actively tightening and loosening that tape measure to evaluate the rigidity or flaccidity of the foot at, say, the middle cuneiform. Before proceeding to do the same thing at the root of the fifth, joints, or anywhere else on the foot.

There is also a big difference, esp. in terms of fit and comfort, in physically locating / feeling the root of the fifth (or the middle cuneiform, etc.) and taking a measurement over those bones and, by contrast, taking the measurement somewhere arbitrarily in the mid-foot and calling it an "instep" measurement. Bones that are close to the surface are places where nerve endings are most exposed, and inappropriate tightness in such areas can can result in greater discomfort than a centimeter elsewhere in either direction.

I have always been a little bemused by the lastmaker's notion that the instep measurement of any particular last can be found midway up the cone of the last...without any reference to a foot. Compared to the foot, there's nothing there. Just flesh. Whereas within a space of roughly an inch either direction...on the foot...are prominent bones that ought, rightfully, be taken into account.

Beyond that, it's worth noting that the foot can 'feel' 1/16" difference in circumference...this is not to say that pain will invariably result but the foot can feel it. And it factors in to how and when the maker takes measurements simply because a sock with a lot of 'loft' in the weave will create a tighter fit than a thin sock. The shoemaker has to be mindful of what the customer is wearing and take the sock into consideration with the way he pulls the tape...with the muscular tension he brings to pulling the tape. Or measure the foot bare. And even then, all those self-same considerations must somehow be factored in.

Show me a scanner or digital device or process that can duplicate variations in muscular tension--one degree of muscular tension over the joints, another, different, degree of muscular tension in the waist, and yet another at the low instep, high instep, etc..

And FWIW, just in case anyone thinks that my description of where I measure on the foot is spurious--it is an old, old, Traditional (and thorough) approach--I didn't "come up" with any of it.
 
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zr3rs

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Just three arguments why 3D scanning alone is simply not going to solve the problem:

1. If you are scanning the waistline of my body, how would you calculate the waist size of my trousers? I am not fat by any means, but the scanning might measure 38 inches just after lunch, but the trousers would fall off, while I could easily wear size 34 trousers before lunch. There is no way to assess my trouser waist without actually trying (at least with the tape).

2. The body is not static, you will need a model of bodily motion an of areas that need to be tighter during motion and areas where you need some looseness. I agree that this might be solved using a large number of examples and some AI technology.

3. Even if you had a perfect surface of the body/foot, how would you make this into an aesthetic fit/last? How can you achieve the aesthetic goals of a customer? Again this might be solved in the future by some AI technologies, but do not underestimate the investment necessary.

I have been working with VR and AI for more than 25 years, even involved in some activities on using it for fashion, but I do not expect that technology to make it into bespoke any time soon....
 

reddargon

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I am not fat by any means, but the scanning might measure 38 inches just after lunch, but the trousers would fall off, while I could easily wear size 34 trousers before lunch.
How much do you eat for lunch??? Also, unless you have a tailor take multiple measurements at you during various times throughout the day, I'm not sure this is the best example.

Even if you had a perfect surface of the body/foot, how would you make this into an aesthetic fit/last? How can you achieve the aesthetic goals of a customer? Again this might be solved in the future by some AI technologies, but do not underestimate the investment necessary.
Isn't this true regardless of how you take the foot measurements? That's the shoemakers job. I don't think anyone is suggesting that 3D modeling or AI takes over the aesthetic portion of shoe design, it was just being discussed as a way to make remote fitting more accurate.

And, while I understand all of the arguments being made above in the thread, an accurate 3D model of a static foot should still be more accurate than the current "virtual fittings", no? I think we can (mostly) agree that nothing replaces an in-person measurement by a human being, but after that I would think a 3D foot model would be the next closest thing. That doesn't mean it's not without its problems.
 

DWFII

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Isn't this true regardless of how you take the foot measurements? That's the shoemakers job. I don't think anyone is suggesting that 3D modeling or AI takes over the aesthetic portion of shoe design, it was just being discussed as a way to make remote fitting more accurate.
So what? We either insist that the data from 3D scanner stand in for all the nuances and experience of the shoemaker or we tell the shoemaker that his hands-on data has to be in agreement with or, at the very least, is trumped by the scanner data? Worse as customers and a society we, once again rely on the notion that a mechanical system that is automated and requires little or no....is even hindered by...human input can output better quality and better fit than people who spend their entire lives learning and doing?

And for what purpose? to make a better shoe? NO! To make a better fitting shoe? NO! Ultimately, the sole purpose is to make shoes ...and now fit...faster, cheaper and more profitable for people who don't give a damn about anything except the bottom line--because that's always job one in a factory.

No, when you come to the heart of the matter, the real purpose is to eliminate the shoemaker entirely. To rid ourselves of human fallibility. So that all that's left is the uniformity and superficial 'perfection' of the machine...regardless of how mediocre the results are in the large scheme of things.

That's how we got into this mess. That's the definition of the 'factory mentality.' That's the definition of dependency. And the output is, across the board...in the shoe industry, in society at large, in our personal lives...the very definition of 'ticky-tacky.'

And, while I understand all of the arguments being made above in the thread, an accurate 3D model of a static foot should still be more accurate than the current "virtual fittings", no? I think we can (mostly) agree that nothing replaces an in-person measurement by a human being, but after that I would think a 3D foot model would be the next closest thing. That doesn't mean it's not without its problems.
If by "virtual fitting" you mean 'fit by mail', there is no clear answer. I have had some extraordinary experiences...or at least extraordinarily satisfied customers...having never seen the foot. But I provide very detailed instructions and allow for limitless adjustments.

That said, I don't like doing it that way. I don't trust it. Most bespoke shoemakers don't. That's why there are 'trunk shows.'

Thing is, we already have a 3D model that is readily available to us in lieu of the foot itself--it's called a plaster cast. It can provide just about everything a 3D scanner can provide. It's a surface, and superficial model--a static representation of the static foot. I've used them...began with them, actually...and I'm here to say, after many years of experience actually working with feet and making shoes, that there's damn little that a plaster cast brings to the game--it's a 'visual' is about all. A photograph of the foot might be just about as useful.

Beyond that, the ultimate fitting tool, from the customer's POV, is actually trying the shoes on. And all the secondary issues, like distance, language, etc., just have to be accepted. If you order by mail from Austria and you live in California...well, aside from being borderline nuts...if you don't know, up front, that you're making it hard on yourself (not to mention the shoemaker) you need to rethink.

It's like the old story of the muskrat and the snake--"you knew I was a snake when you picked me up."
 
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reddargon

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So what? We either insist that the data from 3D scanner stand in for all the nuances and experience of the shoemaker or we tell the shoemaker that his hands-on data has to be in agreement with or, at the very least, is trumped by the scanner data? Worse as customers and a society we, once again rely on the notion that a mechanical system that is automated and requires little or no....is even hindered by...human input can output better quality and better fit than people who spend their entire lives learning and doing?
Maybe I wasn't clear, I think we're saying the same thing though. A shoemaker is going to be designing the aesthetics of the last and shoe either way, regardless of whether a 3D model (or plaster mold) is used to measure the foot, or whether the user does it themselves per instructions. I thought this conversation began in the context of StC's "virtual fitting" as a suggestion for a (potentially) better way to do determine size/fit remotely. The idea being that if you could do a 3D scan remotely and send the results to them, they could use that to make the personal last and get more accurate measurements than whatever they can do over Zoom, etc. Intuitively, this seemed to make a lot of sense to me, as the shoemaker would then have access to any measurement on your foot they need (all this assumes the 3D model is accurate). Anyway, maybe I shouldn't have tried to jump in mid-thread, it just makes sense to me that a 3D model would be better than customer self-measurements at home; maybe that's wrong though.

In the end, we are in agreement that it's far better to get a fit in person, at least for the time being. Unless I missed it, I don't think anyone is arguing to the contrary. But in case you can't do an in person fitting (not everyone lives in cities with trunk shows or has time/ability to fly to a city that does), it makes sense to discuss next best options. That is, until the machine technology becomes better and makes human input unnecessary and a purely luxury option (and, as much as people want to argue against it, this is almost certainly a question of when not if).
 

DWFII

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If you can't do an in-person fitting, then what's the point? Expecting bespoke results when the actual 'bespeaking' is absent is foolish...IMO.

Sometimes I think the real point is simply the 'vanity plate'.

There are real bespoke makers in the US. Beyond that, RTW, will probably get you just about as close to a fit as you can realistically expect by asking a bespoke maker for a bespoke fit when the maker has never seen the foot.

As far as technology making human input unnecessary, the clones will rise and we'll all be poorer for it. But ultimately it all comes down to definitions, standards--how far are you willing to dumb down your definitions? For fit? For quality? The one thing certain is that technology never, ever made our standards higher...only more 'common' (in the most pejorative sense of the word).

And whether by design or only by accident, the unspoken agenda...the ultimate, desparately-wished-for, goal...in all of this is to relieve us all of ever having to deal with another real, flesh and blood, human being, in person, ever again.
 
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