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what makes a good shoe and why they cost so much

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    ^I like those a lot, DW. I may be the one person on SF (at least who posts regularly) to have seen your boots and shoes in person. And I have to say that the fineness of your work and person (and your wife's) was what made me decide to sell those gorgeous Vass boots and request a pair from you.
    ... Also, Consumer Reports had great recs for American-made chocolates (Burdick's).
    I had a girlfriend who went gaa gaa over their hot chocolate.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    ^I like those a lot, DW. I may be the one person on SF (at least who posts regularly) to have seen your boots and shoes in person. And I have to say that the fineness of your work and person (and your wife's) was what made me decide to sell those gorgeous Vass boots and request a pair from you.
    Thank you for the kind words and generous thoughts. I appreciate your patronage. The boots above are full wellingtons--two piece--you don't see them much in one inch heels it's considerably more difficult. I stitched the forepart and lateral waist and pegged the medial waist--picked that up many years ago from a pair of Stacy-Adams, as I recall.
     
  3. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I had a girlfriend who went gaa gaa over their hot chocolate.

    I thought you had a vow of celibacy or sthg... ?
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    At this point, the only people who do buy bespoke shoes are (1) a dwindling population who do so because it wouldn't occur to them to do otherwise or (2) enthusiasts who want something that looks or feels special.
    And
    people for whom there is little choice. One of the most common feet we see as bespoke makers is the narrow heel/wide forepart foot. Or the long toes/short waist foot.
    No offense (and I certainly don't take it personally) but although this seems to be a popular perception here, I don't agree. I am not engaging in hyperbole or overstatement. My remarks spring from many years of experience and thought. A study of why tanneries are disappearing at a prodigious rate. Why those companies that made hand tools (even as a sideline)--the grinderies--are going tips up. Why a Trade that once upon a time employed more skilled craftsmen...indeed more workers...than any other industry in the US (pers. com. D. A. Saguto over 20 years) ...is on the brink of extinction. I believe what I say. I say what I mean. Is that so hard to accept? And if you think about it, everything I have said here is consistent with what I do and the approach I take to what I do. A case could even be made that I couldn't do what I do without believing as I do. Of course, your (meaning the general public) mileage may vary.
     
  5. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    I had a whnay. moment back there.

    I would say it was more whnay.esque because of the (a) lack of alcohol and (b) evidence of correct capitalization, punctuation, and Ivy League diction.

    It also lacked the small-timer viciousness of the Atlantian...not all of it, just the vicious part.

    Also, Consumer Reports had great recs for American-made chocolates (Burdick's).

    They have a little shop in Harvard Square. Their hot chocolate is a great comfort to unattractive women throughout the Boston area.


    - B
     
  6. youngScholar

    youngScholar Senior member

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    ^I like those a lot, DW. I may be the one person on SF (at least who posts regularly) to have seen your boots and shoes in person. And I have to say that the fineness of your work and person (and your wife's) was what made me decide to sell those gorgeous Vass boots and request a pair from you.

    Good for you for commissioning a pair, emptym. I would very much like to see these when they are completed. Did you order shoes or another pair of boots?

    DW, do you know anything about the state of Japanese shoe making and whether any makers over their have kept the old techniques alive? This comes to mind given the great deal of respect the Japanese have for traditional ways of workmanship as well as their desire to adopt Western fashions.

    Of course, I understand shoes and denim are two different things.
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    DW, do you know anything about the state of Japanese shoe making and whether any makers over their have kept the old techniques alive? This comes to mind given the great deal of respect the Japanese have for traditional ways of workmanship as well as their desire to adopt Western fashions. .
    I don't know. I have seen photos of what I assumed were Japanese RTW. I thought the workmanship (what was visible) was very good...maybe even superb. Little different take on styling though. Not my cuppa, overall.
     
  8. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would say it was more whnay.esque because of the (a) lack of alcohol and (b) evidence of correct capitalization, punctuation, and Ivy League diction.

    It also lacked the small-timer viciousness of the Atlantian...not all of it, just the vicious part.

    whnay. is bigger time than I will ever be, at least metaphorically.

    Never had it. Cadbury's Drinking Choc is good enough for me when I don't want to melt a chocolate piece in a pot and whip it into some milk a l'ancienne -- which I haven't done since returning to the states. Come to think of it, I haven't had a cigar since then either. I still feel like holding on to my shagreen lighter though.
     
  9. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    Thank you for the kind words and generous thoughts. I appreciate your patronage...
    Looking forward to the whole process.

    I thought you had a vow of celibacy or sthg... ?
    I just lived in a seminary for a while to get my dis done.

    ... Their hot chocolate is a great comfort to unattractive women throughout the Boston area.
    [​IMG] Jerk! That girl was a former model. I may never have a more beautiful girlfriend. Of course, I've said that before... She also had a few post grad degrees and had set up an ngo that founded and ran grade schools in the poorest, rural areas. Oh well.

    Good for you for commissioning a pair, emptym. I would very much like to see these when they are completed. Did you order shoes or another pair of boots...
    I ordered a pair of chukkas/George boots like the ones DW started a thread on, but in shell cordovan.
     
  10. rossi

    rossi Well-Known Member

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    About the channeling of the stitching in the outsole: when you are in the situation of having these open channels, would it not be an effective idea to fill that channel up with some pieces of leather? I'm thinking snares of leather that you push in and which would then expand when you walk. That way, the stitching is protected from debris.
    ?
     
  11. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    [​IMG] Jerk! That girl was a former model. I may never have a more beautiful girlfriend. Of course, I've said that before... She also had a few post grad degrees and had set up an ngo that founded and ran grade schools in the poorest, rural areas. Oh well..

    Sorry. That's the kind of woman who ends up with guys like me.

    I know that this is not fair, but presumably, I will pay for it by slow roasting in Hell.


    - B
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    About the channeling of the stitching in the outsole: when you are in the situation of having these open channels, would it not be an effective idea to fill that channel up with some pieces of leather? I'm thinking snares of leather that you push in and which would then expand when you walk. That way, the stitching is protected from debris. ?
    I'm not saying it couldn't be done..nor that it hasn't been done...but considering the conditions that the outsole is exposed to, I doubt that it would be effective. The first time you got into any gravel or grit, those pieces would be scoured out...in a trice. Beyond that, if the maker or manufactory simply takes the time...mere seconds in most cases...to cut the channel with the machine and close it back up when done, it is probably as effective at preventing untimely wear as any other solution. I'm not sure that a hand cut horizontal channel is all that much more effective than the vertical channel, although the horizontal channel certainly looks cleaner and more professional. But I am sure that the vertical channel shown above is much much more effective at prolonging the life of the outsole stitching than either exposed stitching or stitching aloft. And if the horizontal channel looks more professional than the vertical channel, the vertical channel looks more professional than exposed stitching--it's a sign that somebody cares, IOW.
     
  13. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    Sorry. That's the kind of woman who ends up with guys like me.

    I know that this is not fair, but presumably, I will pay for it by slow roasting in Hell.

    Why would getting the leftovers of guys like me condemn guys like you to hell? [​IMG]

    Btw, have I told you my image of hell, or heaven? Neither is of a place. Both are of states, states of perfect knowledge, such that one sees ones whole live clearly, with its good choices and bad choices and their good consequences and bad consequences. It'd be kind of like the visions in A Christmas Carol -- must-see holiday viewing imo. At least once.
     
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Sorry..but the really beautiful women all end up with guys like me--landed gentry: [​IMG]
     
  15. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    Why would getting the leftovers of guys like me condemn guys like you to hell? [​IMG]

    Better you than Tiger Woods.

    Btw, have I told you my image of hell, or heaven? Neither is of a place. Both are of states, states of perfect knowledge, such that one sees ones whole live clearly, with its good choices and bad choices and their good consequences and bad consequences. It'd be kind of like the visions in A Christmas Carol -- must-see holiday viewing imo. At least once.

    I've actually seen Hell, and it involves low grade gin at a party.


    - B
     
  16. Pezzaturra

    Pezzaturra Senior member

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    They have a little shop in Harvard Square. Their hot chocolate is a great comfort to unattractive women throughout the Boston area.

    - B


    "You Lie!"

    They cannot possibly produce so much chocolate.
     
  17. mhdena

    mhdena Senior member

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    OP, thanks for your insight. Since you've been making points about durability, what is your opinion on adding a rubber topy to the sole of a leather shoe? And how about rubber soles in general?
    Several years ago (15) I had apair of Ballys resoled, they did not fit the same as before. I asked the shoe repair guy about it and he suggested to use Topy on the next pair before they wear out. Well not only have I used Topy on the next pair but every pair of dress shoes I've bought since, if it wasn't there already, about a dozen pair. Brand new shoes get Topy!! I have a 12 year old pair of Ferragamo Walters that have been re-topied twice and look great and feel better having the same original fit. I never wear the same shoes 2 days in a row which having many pair helps [​IMG] So I am a firm believer in Topy or Vibram BEFORE wearing them.
     
  18. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    ... I hope we will be seeing more of your non-western pieces in the future, as I do like those very much indeed...

    DW has been kind enough to agree to create a pair of brown wingtip oxford shoes for me. I am aware this process takes some time, so I am waiting patiently. Once I have the completed shoes in hand I plan to take detailed pictures of them and share them on this forum (if that is ok with DW).
     
  19. sfnapolifan

    sfnapolifan Well-Known Member

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    "You Lie!"

    They cannot possibly produce so much chocolate.


    vox is overstating the case. really it's just unattractive women from cambridge, allston and watertown.
     
  20. sfnapolifan

    sfnapolifan Well-Known Member

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    DW has been kind enough to agree to create a pair of brown wingtip oxford shoes for me. I am aware this process takes some time, so I am waiting patiently. Once I have the completed shoes in hand I plan to take detailed pictures of them and share them on this forum (if that is ok with DW).

    measuring by mail? 1 year wait?
     

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