The Ultimate "HARDCORE" Shoe Porn Thread (Bespoke only)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 3, 2010.

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  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No big deal. I made the jodhpurs for a very wealthy customer who spends part of the year flyfishing from his retirement home on the Metolius River and the rest of the year between Florida and and Missouri. He's an old man...probably in his mid to late 70's. It was his call...I didn't question it, I don't worry about it.

    From a shoemaker's perspective, it was a challenge and the shoes turned out pretty damn good. I make shoes, I don't give fashion advice.

    No, and I'm not his mother, either.

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013


  2. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    ...while we're still on the topic of heel curves, take a look at these pairs from Scheer:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I find these straight shapes disgusting. The maker must have a strange methods for shaping proper heel support if these aren't show-pieces.
     


  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    If the foot is held firmly enough into the back of the shoe; if the topline is narrow enough; if the heel stiffener is a bit soft, the shoes should hold the foot fine.

    After all, pull-on boots have a near-as-nevermind straight heel stiffener and a very firm heel stiffener as well and they hold the foot fine once they break in. But we have to be extremely careful of the short heel and the long heel girths to accomplish that and I don't know too many shoemakers (aside from myself...a holdover from my bootmaking) who even measure the short or long heel on the foot much less apply it to the last.

    But I'm with you, I don't care for the look.

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013


  4. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

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    its the heel that kills it for me, but thats just my opinion. there is no question those boots are well made and have a cool leather.
     


  5. meister

    meister Senior member

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    This.

    This thread is not about I like/dislike pictured shoes FWIW. There is a thread called Shoe Porn for that.

    It is about the manufacture of bespoke footwear and the technology/skills that go into that endeavour.

    Please keep it serious.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013


  6. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    DWF, I know you are obviously a wearer of only bespoke shoes, but those are currently out of my reach, price-wise. What RTW shoes would you choose if you had to choose a pair?
     


  7. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    This one looks to have an ideal heel curve. The overall profile is quite beautiful as well , lots of shape and appropriate curves. It sounds however like you don't care that much for the look. I mean perhaps I wouldn't have chosen ostrich but everything else seems very appropriate and tasteful. What would you have done differently if they were for you?
     


  8. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    Can you expand on which lastmaker/s you use. For instance, if I have a bespoke last that I like which I cut from a block of wood and want to make RTW lasts versions in varying standards widths and lengths, is that something your lastmaker can do? Basically I don't know how to convert a bespoke last to RTW.
     


  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I've always made it a point to neither disparage nor specifically extol any particular maker or manufacturer. I talk about technique and quality that derives from technique and the choices every craftsman/maker makes...and the consequences of those choices. Sometimes such discussions become associated with a particular maker but not by my intent. I can't remember the last time I actually mentioned the name of a maker.

    Frankly, with regard to RTW, while there are some that I like better than others, some obvious standouts, at a certain level they're all the same to me.

    That said, it's worth noting that there are more than a few competent bespoke makers who do not charge much more...and in some cases, not as much...as the more well known RTW makers. Which has always been a sore spot for me--the disparity of value considering the expediencies taken and the compromises made.

    If a potential customer is so exacting and discerning that he/she can see and appreciate the differences/nuances between one manufactured shoe brand versus another and if you can get a bespoke shoe made for not much more than high end RTW, there is no reason in the world why the customer cannot find a maker that will deliver a truly outstanding product for a relatively remarkable price. All it takes is a certain mindfulness and a hard look at the workmanship of the maker. The only thing forfeit is the cachet of a well known brand--the ability to brag "Yes, yes, they're AllThatGlitters...The finest shoes in Elbonia...and cost a months pay."
     


  10. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    Wise words, DWF.

    Regarding those boots, as you said it's a matter of taster. I'm rather ambivalent about ostrich and its quill marks, don't especially love jodphur boots, and rather dislike the cuban-style heel on those. But they're not my boots.

    More relevant to the point at hand is what really strikes me about them: they look a lot like a foot! The shape of the boot, from the heel right through the instep and ball, is remarkably natural. Rather than a new boot, it's almost as if it has lived on a foot for a while. That's a testament to you as a maker, your last and the time the leather has spent on it, no doubt.

    So like it or not, this is a boot that looks bespoke and then some. And isn't that what this is all about?
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I like the jodhpur a lot. I always wanted a pair in British tan. But chose a whole cut chelsea for my current ankle boots--just for the challenge of the blocking.

    Ostrich is a little too ostentatious for my tastes at this stage of my life, despite it being a soft (read comfortable) yet durable leather. That said, I like alligator/crocodile...go figure. Also my personal philosophy has always been that any colour is fine as long as it is black.

    For myself. I don't think I would choose the military heel on that particular shoe--it doesn't look bad, but not my cuppa. I have it on some quasi-19th century full wellingtons that I made for myself...it's very appropriate there, and for the time.
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I use the only lastmaker left in the US (when I first got into the business there were five)--Jones & Vining out of Walnut Ridge Arkansas (well, that's their custom/experimental division). If you call and talk to Spencer, you can send your prototype to them and they'll paint it blue and scan it into a specifically-written-for-lastmaking software that will allow the maker to grade for size and adjust for heel height, toe spring, etc. (this all costs).

    Once it is in the software, you can order one pair at a time and the software sends the specific data to the lathe...and voila!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013


  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Well I think so. More importantly the customer was nearly dancing he was so happy with the fit (considering his age it's an image best not dwelt upon). He called me up several times in the subsequent year to again marvel and rave about the fit.
     


  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No worries...if we were all alike, you'd be superfluous. :crackup:
     


  15. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    I like the jodhpur a lot. I always wanted a pair in British tan. But chose a whole cut chelsea for my current ankle boots--just for the challenge of the blocking.

    /quote]

    Pictures.....plz....!
     


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