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The Bespoke Shoes Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jerrybrowne, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. poorsod

    poorsod Distinguished Member

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    I decided to go with this. BTW the Herve Brunell shoe trees can’t help but impress.


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  2. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Distinguished Member Affiliate Vendor

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    New bespoke pair from Polish maker Jan Kielman, a V cap oxford in reverse calf snuff coloured suede. To enhance the more casual appearance they are made with a semi-square waist and a heavy fudging. We re-made my old lasts quite substantially, since my feet are much larger now than when I had my first pair made 6 years ago. New measurement and a fitting shoe later, the fit is really good now. Some pics:

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  3. Griffindork

    Griffindork Guest

    Really great looking. How is the fit?
     

  4. Texasmade

    Texasmade Distinguished Member

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    I always thought that feet don’t really grow as you get older once you’re an adult.
     

  5. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    they can flatten out, change with wight gain/ loss, etc
     

  6. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Distinguished Member Affiliate Vendor

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    Thanks! Fit is as mentioned really good. They struggle a bit with getting the front portion of the arch on right food good due to my hallucinations valgus issue, as all bespoke makers do, that’s the only slightly bigger thing to sort.

    Yeah in my case I gained 10-12 kilos and also got some foot issues like hallux valgus (right foot) due to continuing to wear too small shoes. Learned the hard way not to do that.
    Now age also start to flatten them out.. :)
     

  7. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior Member

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    Once you get into bespoke your feet get all pampered and soft, like a turkey in the run up to Christmas. Best to stick to AE tbh, keep those feet lean and hungry
     

  8. mammothnguyen

    mammothnguyen Member

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    Thank you so much for your insights

    This has been a suspicion of mine as well, since I sometimes feel that the ball is forced forward when I walk.

    It does seems like it is a combination of a lack of space as well as a length issue.

    It's a bit of a shame, since the rest of the shoes is fitting almost perfectly.

    From a lastmaking perspective, would this mean having to make a new last for the left foot (to give it extra length), or modifications can be made to relieve the pressure at that particular point? (Adding more space around the ball area and the vamp? Perhaps widening would also work?)

    When I feel the shoes at the medial ball joint, it seems to be sitting at the right spot, several checks with the vendor also confirms that it's at the right spot.

    The foot pain also seems to intensify towards the afternoon, as my foot expand, it would wear acceptably in the morning usually.

    It's a shame that St. Crispin's won't be having a trunk show in Australia in the near future, so I just have to work through the vendor to sort things out.

    I hope that the extra information would allow you to interpret things a bit better, and again, thanks for sharing your insights, even though it would have been great to see a shoemaker face-to-face, something Australia is lacking.
     

  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    ^ The main thing is that the critical length measurement for any foot is not the overall length from the back of the heel to the end of the longest toe. The absolutely most important measurement...I'd go so far as to say of all the measurements...is the heel to ball measurement. The length of the last must incorporate enough room for your toes but depending on who you talk to and/or current fashion, that can vary some. But if your medial ball joint is not consistent with the last, the shoe does not fit. Period.

    As for the rest, If the vendor thinks the H-B is correct and you think the H-B is correct, who am I to say otherwise? I've never seen your foot much less measured it. That said, ask the vendor if they have ever made a shoe or fit up a last from measurements and/or a pedograph.

    I am not sanguine about you resolving this issue short of talking to the maker. And I suspect it will not be a wham-bam-thank-you-m'am stretch the ball fix.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018

  10. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Distinguished Member Affiliate Vendor

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    Hahaha, interesting take
     

  11. mammothnguyen

    mammothnguyen Member

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    Thanks again for your observations. I was able to locate a brannock at my local cobbler, and the measurements indicated that the heel to ball measurement (left) for the problem foot is half a UK size longer than the right foot, so that means that your hunch is correct. The difference is barely perceptible, but the impact on fit is pretty dramatic, unfortunately.

    Would it be a big issue to lengthen the last on an existing last, or do we usually resort to making a new one altogether?
     

  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're right, half a size is probably not the whole story. But neither is the measurement from the Brannock Device.

    Interpreting a Brannock Device is tricky, for one thing, and for another it only gives information about the foot.

    If the last was not custom made (carved) to your foot, there is a chance that it too can be off a little. And, few if any manufacturers...even high end manufacturers offering 'bespoke' or MTM options...make the last for each customer from scratch. What they do is modify standard size lasts that they buy in runs. No harm no foul, if sufficient attention is given to the customer and the appropriate last.

    But complicating all this, is the fact that there are few hard and fast standards for sizing lasts. And to make things even more confusing, when a last maker produces a run for a shoe manufacturer, they often use a 'model' that was produced by the shoe manufacturer--created and 'sized' by the in-house model maker at the shoe manufacturer. And sometimes the measurements can be at variance with what the lastmaker considers a size 9C, for instance--in any dimension. But even if it is, the lastmaker is obligated to turn a run of lasts based on that model. And virtually any size can be imprinted on the last--it's what the model-maker says it is.

    That's why the well schooled bespoke shoemaker seldom pays much, or any, attention to the size the customer says he wears. Or the size imprinted on the last, for that matter. The watchword for the truly bespoke maker is: "fit what's there"--fit the foot, not the last, IOW.

    The existing last could be modified...even those bespoke makers who carve the last from a block of wood often end up slapping a build-up on the last after a trial fitting to make more room or alter the fit in some way. But all that is after the fact. It won't change the fit on the existing shoes--once the shoe is made, that crucial length measurement cannot be altered.

    But what concerns me...if all this speculation is correct...is that the maker didn't respect the foot in the first place. Whether that's a structural problem--logistics, organization, internal policy--or one of indifference is not for me to say. Whatever, that fundamental approach is not likely to change.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, it might be worthwhile to see what the maker will do to correct the problem. But the bottom line is that it might be better to change makers rather than to change the last and continue with the same maker.
     

  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    @mammothnguyen

    With all this talk about modifying the last, etc., I am not clear about these shoes of yours...are they bespoke? MTM? Or bought through a vendor?

    Be aware that it is unlikely that any vendor, even if trained by a bespoke shoemaker (and few are), can measure your feet reliably and accurately. If nothing else no two people will pull a measuring tape exactly the same way even at an obvious location. Muscle tension varies greatly among people and the perception of 'loose, snug, and tight' varies even more.

    FWIW
     

  14. mammothnguyen

    mammothnguyen Member

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    These are made from a personalised last by St Crispin's, sorry I did not make it clear earlier.

    It's a fairly long story, but in the end, I might have to consider this my tuition fees into the world of MTM/bespoke shoemaking.
     

  15. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    This is going to sound crazy, but ...

    I talked to Phillip once at a trunk show about his company versus true bespoke firms. He made an interesting point about StC's cut and price. StCs, as you've already experienced, are cut very close to the foot, so they can sometimes be hard to size. On the upside, you can get a silhouette that's not easy to achieve (or even available?) in other RTW lines. On the downside, since they're cut so close to the foot, they can be hard to size. There's little room for error.

    Phillip noted that sometimes customers have to eat the cost of the first pair of shoes. Which I realize sounds crazy cause they run $1.5k per pair but West End bespoke generally stars somewhere around $4k or $5k. If you order more than one pair, and like their lasts, you may come out ahead, financially.

    My first pair of StCs didn't fit very well. They weren't comfortable even after a couple of dozen wearings so I sold them. The second pair was better, which was made with a personalized last, but still cut into the top of my foot. The third pair was much better because I had more adjustments made and asked for a trail shoe (really recommend those).

    I was first fitted at a trunk show. That said, the process was little more than me trying on different sizes, Phillip feeling the outside of the shoes, and me giving him feedback. I think doing this in person is very useful, but there's also an inherent trial-and-error process if you're not a standard fit. It's sort of like MTM shirts, where you kind of go back and forth until you're comfortable.

    Again, realize that sounds ridiculous with $1.5k shoes, but I think their offerings are really nice once you nail down on your size/ last.
     

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