The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    English bespoke shoemakers (and the French who are in many respects more English than the English) use totally different tools to stitch the sole to the welt as their German, Austro-Hungarian, East European colleagues. English makers use a fudge wheel and a square awl, while their continental brethren use a (two-pronged) stitch marker and the same curved, round awl used for inseaming. The optical impact of the two methods is totally different.

    In addition continental shoemakers do not go in for the neat and close stitches the English school utilizes. (There is an old shoemaker's saying: "Small stitches make quality work, large stitches buy you bread."). Today. in an English shoe 10 stitches per inch (4 per cm) is considered good (West-End) standard. I don't think, you will find a continental shoe that uses smaller stitches than 1/2 Paris Point (= 3 stitches per cm or 7.5 per inch), with an increase in the stitch length to do the inside waist).

    But I have seen photographs here from eastern European shoes, where it looks in the picture that they have increased the stitch length to something like 5 mm (5/inch) and, as I have never seen any complaints about that, the shoemakers obviously got away with it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  2. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    thanks for the information, Bengal. is more or less better?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  3. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You'll find the answer here:

     
  4. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Surely there must be some point at which there is a diminishing return on additional stitches per inch. Is a shoe with 7.5/inch at some greater material risk than one with 10/inch? Would a shoe with 20/inch be twice as good as one with 10/inch in any practical respect?

    Or is something more like depth ratings with watches - where a dive watch with a rating of 600m is regarded as not nearly as good as one with a depth rating of 1200m - even though no human being could survive at either depth?

    Bragging points don't impress me much, absent practical benefit.
     
  5. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

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    I don't think more stitches makes it superior but the right no. of stitches per inch does make it matter. What I would think to be negative of more stitches per inch, is more holes in the welt, and with it more the chances of water debris going in with each flex and movement. It though looks nicer to the eye to some.
     
  6. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    I think the basis for a handmade shoe is esthetics and the value of craftsmanship. If practical benefit is all you seek, you get diminishing returns after cemented mass made shoes.
     
  7. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Think dfw posted about stitches though not sure which thread
     
  8. Torsion

    Torsion Senior member

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    My first pair of Vass arrived on Friday.
    OE II on the F last in 6125 dark cognac, double to single sole with metal toe plates.
    Thanks to this thread and opinions/advice from a few members I decided on EUR 40.5 and its (thankfully) worked out.Always a nervous time when e-sizing, especially Vass and the cost.
    Top class proxy service from SF member Notch for these (also another pair on order!)
    For those that are researching, I wear UK 6.5E in C&J 348/358 lasts which are a very good fit for me width and length wise although some occasional heel slippage.

    [​IMG]

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    The fit of these are very good, the right foot feels pretty perfect, left foot feels a tad wide but I'm only human :)
    There is room in the toe in terms for comfort, the vamp a little more height than my C&J.
    The next pair on order is a DM on the K last which I'm guessing will be lower in vamp height and definitely sleeker although these OE II will be staple in my rotation!

    Photos are from my phone so apologies for any quality issues.I spent yesterday morning (post photos) conditioning and polishing in readiness for their maiden voyage this week :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  9. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Please. Are you able to visibly spot the difference between 7.5 stitches per inch and 10? I doubt it. And I doubt it could be said that the former looks better than the latter on anything other than an arbitrary basis.

    Would 20 stiches per inch look better to your oh-so-sophisticated eye?

    Of course aesthetics matter. I'm not really seeing that as an advantage here, though. One could just as validly - and just as subjectively - declare that 7.5 stitches per inch "looks better" than 10.
     
  10. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Torsion - those are real beauties. I'm quite partial to the F-last OE II myself. Wear in good health. [​IMG]
     
  11. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    I am not always counting stitches per inch but I can see different qualities of finishing. My G&G bespoke are around 10-11 per inch (that I've measured). Cleverley bespoke is about the same but the overall finish is not as nice, though it is cheaper. JLP bespoke is very nice. It is much more refined with finer stitches, a more flowing last and less severe waist. But at $8k I can't justify the JLP premium over G&G, even though it is nicer. So for me that is the point of diminishing returns.
     
  12. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Senior member

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    Torsion, the lacing is closed before you have broken the shoe in.
    Either your instep is too low for the F last or, if you can pull it off lengthwise, you should go with EU40 for further purchases.
     
  13. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Well I wasn't commenting on overall finishing. Do you imagine that anyone would dispute that overall finishing is important in a high end shoe? I inquired as to whether there was practical benefit to 10 stitches per inch versus 7.5. You said practical benefits aren't all that matter, aesthetics count. Okay, so is there an aesthetic benefit to 10 stitches per inch versus 7.5? I am guessing your answer to that is "no"? If you had to measure your G&G bespoke to determine that there were 10-11 per inch, it's obviously not something you can just look at and see.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  14. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    Lovely shoes Torsion! But like Louis states it is a problem that the laces are fully closed when new. When the shoes have been broken in you could have problems lacing them tight enough. The F-last (and U and K) have a pretty high instep, so nothing that uncommon. If the fit like you seem to think is good otherwise, you could easily solve this though, by having a good cobbler insert a leather distance on the inside of the tounge. I actually have had this made with a pair of Vass myself, you can see pics and read about it on my blog here (it's the 3-eyelet derbys): http://shoegazingpunktse.blogspot.se/2013/05/guide-korrigeringar-av-passform-2.html

    Use the translation tool on the left hand side to translate it to your language. The shoes fit great after I had the cobbler fix this, and didn't cost that much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  15. Torsion

    Torsion Senior member

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    Hmmm interesting thoughts on the sizing guys - I may flip these and try a half size smaller, is it really an issue you guys have experienced before.
    Would like people like RogerP to also comment, when you get Vass oxfords do they tighten up straight away like mine?
    Length wise they measure very similar if not a little shorter than my other shoes.
    Bit of a tough one - need other opinions and how much these may loosen up after breaking in...

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013

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