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marlinspike

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Japanese have a different attitude for the most part about money. Craftsman want to be paid for their work, and have their work respected, but not in a way that takes advantage of the customer. They rather have a huge waitlist than raise prices. If you pay attention to watch prices, you know you never get a smoking deal from a dealer in Japan, but you also never get a bad price, they always just charge a fair price, towards the medium-low side of the fair range. The other thing is their internationally weakening yen has not caused runaway inflation internally. The prices of every day items there are now much cheaper than year (though this is now true for lots of places where it used to not be true).
 

marlinspike

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I honestly think you're misunderstanding me. I'm well aware of the facts you're talking about. I acknowledge and admire the high skills and craftsmanship behind a bespoke pair of shoes, and I don't (didn't) say that the prices are not justified.
My remark is that if you have easy fit feets, you could well prefer to buy ready-to-wear or made-to-order, especially if you already know that some last works well for you. This is also my approach, as unfortunately I'm not rich enough to go the bespoke route.

There are levels to bespoke. Maftei in Vienna IIRC is still around $1100 for a pair of bespoke shoes. The experience won't be as premium as the $5k makers (mine get shipped to me using shoe bags as padding, and the shoe bags are a mismatch of random sizes). I think I got a shoe box once, it was pretty generic. I do my own polishing when I get them (though for an upcharge and some additional delay he does have someone to do that if you want). What you get is a well-constructed but not crazy high refinement bespoke shoe, for the price of a pair of cordovan Aldens.
 

TimothyF

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How did you draw those conclusions from what I wrote? It's so totally off.

A good first bespoke shoe should basically always be better than all RTW, MTO or even MTM shoes, and to my experience that is also the case (of course, always exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions). The OP's first delivery was not good, and since he had three pairs made at once, there's a lot more hassle to reach that point I mentioned first here, than if it was only one pair. That is why one should only order one pair for the first. The OP's maker hasn't defined their work as finished, since the customer isn't happy yet, and that's sort of is my point, there is no finished first pair done there yet (but the fact that the first pair now is three pairs mess it up a lot. But makers, even if they probably should, they don't say no to a customer who want to order more stuff, which one can understand, especially since the situation here with this big fit issues on a finished pair isn't common so they don't count on that).

But "a perfect fit" is rarely achieved on a first pair, for so many reasons, many of them being down to the customer not knowing what a perfect fit is, one being that some things don't appear until after good amount of wear, and so on. That doesn't mean that a finished first bespoke pair is an excellent product, well-worth it's price tag, in my opinion (and likely most others, otherwise we wouldn't see so many people continue to order bespoke shoes, it would've been a dead business a long time ago).

First of all there's consensus around what the OP should have done, and I don't disagree with it. Second of all my conclusions were based on observing my own experience and others' accounts of numerous instances where bespoke shoemakers overpromised and underdelivered.

I see there's been much faffing about over what fit perfection is, which I never claimed was my expectation for the first order. So how about this minimally viable condition: the shoes must not hurt or cause the customer any pain? While it seems a low bar, I think an unacceptably high number of bespoke 1st orders don't clear it.

Based on this definition of failure, let's just say a typical bespoke house fails 10% of first orders. Some might argue that's pretty good, but would a restaurant stay in business if 10% of customers throw up the meal? Or if 1 in 10 chairs in a furniture store can't support human weight, and send the customer's rear crashing to the floor?

Can you please define why this would be accurate, what fact do you base this on, that you can trust a negative review more than a positive review?

All research I know off would indicate the opposite, that those with a negative experience to a higher degree make their voices heard and exaggerate the negative experience, and that those with a positive do less of this. Not least when it comes to situations where the expectation is something positive, as an order of a bespoke shoe certainly would be.

It's just a fact of (internet?) life that a non-BS negative review is likely to be more detail-oriented, and made by a more thoughtful (or you could say picky) person. Compared to the typical positive review which is not more than "Great!", "I love it", etc. People are psychologically inclined to validate their own purchase decisions with rose-tinted glasses, and in the West they are socially conditioned that "if they don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all". Conversely in order for a negative argument to stick the author needs to array all the facts and logic at his disposal against voices waiting to dismiss him as a whiner, Debbie Downer, party pooper, etc. etc.
 

clee1982

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generically speaking how do you write really good positive review if all goes according to plan (no 10 fitting stories etc.).

Like I can imagine in my head at most I would say he/she took a ton of measurements, and by 2nd fitting it was spot on address my left/right difference flat foot/high instep etc. like if all according to plan there is literately not much to write other than expand version of "it was great"
 

DorianGreen

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There are levels to bespoke. Maftei in Vienna IIRC is still around $1100 for a pair of bespoke shoes. The experience won't be as premium as the $5k makers (mine get shipped to me using shoe bags as padding, and the shoe bags are a mismatch of random sizes). I think I got a shoe box once, it was pretty generic. I do my own polishing when I get them (though for an upcharge and some additional delay he does have someone to do that if you want). What you get is a well-constructed but not crazy high refinement bespoke shoe, for the price of a pair of cordovan Aldens.

Of course it does a huge difference if you have to spend 5k or 1,2.

On the other hand though, if you go bespoke, you'll also expect to get the entire "packaging".
I was so disappointed when a few time ago commissioned a pair of handmade MTO and received them without a box.
 

DorianGreen

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I can understand both sentiment, it is expensive but then when I look at how much some of Japanese guy charge (not the top everyone know guy) and the suppose number of pair they make my guess they are just average middle class salary too.

Doesn’t make it easy to swallow the payment but they’re definitely not make a killing (not most of them)

Actually, I don't think we have opposite sentiments or opinions, I'm not questioning "bespoke" per se by any means, it's great that there are still skilled artisans capable to make shoes the traditional way which mostly look like works of art, and if I had the necessary monetary means I would commission a pair myself.

I also think that the prices allbeit high are absolutely adequate to the much time, the superior craftsmanship and the better quality materials involved.

My point is just that you can have stylish and well fitted footwear also with RTW and MTO, paying a fraction of the price.

I recently commissioned a pair of loafers (I could never find a good fit for this style as RTW) at Perticone Bespoke for the modest sum of 1,750EUR, whereas a bespoke pair would be 2,700 upwards, which isn't objectively much more, considering the much more work needed, but still a significant difference. I was quoted much more by a renowned shoemaker here in Berlin.
 

DorianGreen

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A lovely green hatch grain chukka boot by Catella Shoemaker.

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jonathanS

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Actually, I don't think we have opposite sentiments or opinions, I'm not questioning "bespoke" per se by any means, it's great that there are still skilled artisans capable to make shoes the traditional way which mostly look like works of art, and if I had the necessary monetary means I would commission a pair myself.

I also think that the prices allbeit high are absolutely adequate to the much time, the superior craftsmanship and the better quality materials involved.

My point is just that you can have stylish and well fitted footwear also with RTW and MTO, paying a fraction of the price.

I recently commissioned a pair of loafers (I could never find a good fit for this style as RTW) at Perticone Bespoke for the modest sum of 1,750EUR, whereas a bespoke pair would be 2,700 upwards, which isn't objectively much more, considering the much more work needed, but still a significant difference. I was quoted much more by a renowned shoemaker here in Berlin.

It’s be interesting to see how mto differs from bespoke.

I think the issue with bespoke shoes, especially, is that it’s not as noticeable to everyone else. The vanity isn’t there. Gaziano & girling, for example, make beautiful shoes.

While with a bespoke jacket, even a layperson knows it looks good (they may not know why specifically), bespoke shoes even a bespoke shoemaker may not be able to identify rtw vs. bespoke without examining a fit around your feet or feeling the shoes.

on a personal note, while I haven’t had a pair of bespoke shoes delivered yet, I do notice things explained during the fitting that are an issue on my rtw shoes.
 

tim_horton

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My feet have gotten wider recently. I first noticed it after a recent marathon. It was very dramatic. I thought it would go away but it hasn't. Apparently it happens as people age too. Shoes that were formerly comfortable are now unwearable. Only the forefoot got wider, though, my heels are as narrow as ever and now the mismatch between the two is greater. I'm using it as an excuse to dip my toe (pun intended) into the bespoke shoe world.
 

jonathanS

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My feet have gotten wider recently. I first noticed it after a recent marathon. It was very dramatic. I thought it would go away but it hasn't. Apparently it happens as people age too. Shoes that were formerly comfortable are now unwearable. Only the forefoot got wider, though, my heels are as narrow as ever and now the mismatch between the two is greater. I'm using it as an excuse to dip my toe (pun intended) into the bespoke shoe world.
So you’re saying don’t get bespoke shoes when I’m young? Ugh oh. I was talking to Lee miller, the Texas cowboy bootmaker and he mentioned that overtime people lose fat in their feet (their feet becomes more bone-y) and they start to feet the fit of their shoes more.
 

epsilon22

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I'm (early 30s) probably on the younger side compared to many in this forum, so I guess I'm either in for a rude awakening down the line, or I'd be able to get enough years out of my bespoke shoes that I won't regret anything lol. Realistically though, if they even last 3-4 resoles over a decade, I'd be satisfied.

I've been living the student-slash-expat life for the entirety of my adult life (granted, not much, compared to some of you here) that I'm so used to living in small studio apartments and moving around places, so I don't even want a huge collection of shoes or clothing. I'd take 5 bespoke pairs that get replaced as they break down over a collection of 30+ Edward Greens (imagine moving countries with those). That's probably my biggest justification for going bespoke.
 

Texasmade

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I'm (early 30s) probably on the younger side compared to many in this forum, so I guess I'm either in for a rude awakening down the line, or I'd be able to get enough years out of my bespoke shoes that I won't regret anything lol. Realistically though, if they even last 3-4 resoles over a decade, I'd be satisfied.

I've been living the student-slash-expat life for the entirety of my adult life (granted, not much, compared to some of you here) that I'm so used to living in small studio apartments and moving around places, so I don't even want a huge collection of shoes or clothing. I'd take 5 bespoke pairs that get replaced as they break down over a collection of 30+ Edward Greens (imagine moving countries with those). That's probably my biggest justification for going bespoke.
I had a pretty decent collection of JLP and Corthay RtW shoes. Probably in the 15+ pairs. Now that I have bespoke shoes, I hardly wear my RtW shoes. I sold a couple pairs to Leffot and gave my brother a few pairs and still need to get rid of like 5-10 more.
 

epsilon22

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I had a pretty decent collection of JLP and Corthay RtW shoes. Probably in the 15+ pairs. Now that I have bespoke shoes, I hardly wear my RtW shoes. I sold a couple pairs to Leffot and gave my brother a few pairs and still need to get rid of like 5-10 more.
That's a tiny collection considering you're in Texas and your house is probably the size of a Medieval European castle.
 

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