Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
- Jan 8, 2008
- Reaction score
Ask ten shoemakers and get ten different answers.Hours is what I was asking about specifically. 80 hours seems right in my mind, but I have never made a shoe...
Depends on how much of the operation is 'mechanized.' Even in bespoke shops some operations can be done by machine and the results will not differ in any significant way from when it is done by hand. But the time difference can be immense.
For instance I prefer to stitch the outsole by hand (for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the integrity of a shoemaker's stitch) but aside from the fact that machine stitching is historically correct on some of the boots I make, it takes me the better part of a day to hand stitch an outsole, at 10-12 spi, to just behind the treadline....and all of ten minutes to stitch it by machine. Similarly with splitting leather. Of course I am old and slow and my attention span and my back are not as resolute as once they were.
That said, I get about 40 hours into a basic boot.
Like shoes, much also depends on how intricate the design.
For a handwelted, hand stitched, shoe 80 hours might be reasonable. Of course, that assumes that the uppers are sewn with a machine.
At a certain point, it's a fools game (or a manufacturing must) to count the hours.