Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 26 May 2017

New Bespoke Shoes

Hello once more, dear readers, we hope you have had a great week.

With the arrival of the sunshine and with a spring in our step, we would like to share a couple of pairs of recent bespoke shoes with you.

First up is a pair of Oxford shoes in a large scotch grain. They are slightly unusual in that most often, people associate Oxford shoes with a more dressy look and grain leathers with a more casual look. But here they are combined to give a great result. We think they would look equally at home in the boardroom or the pub.

The colour is a warm chestnut which would compliment most suit colours or a pair of indigo jeans.

The two lines of 2:1 punching on the counter and cap give that bespoke flavour to the shoes.

Luckily, the customer's feet are an elegant narrow shape, so they give the shoes a sleeker silhouette. We gave the toes a good shine to give the shoes a touch of distinction.

All in all, a great first pair which the customer is very happy with.

Next up is a really interesting pair of low Chelsea boots with an asymmetric vamp and dark purple patina - very cool.

We love this style, very contemporary and unique but with a retro Star Trek vibe - "Beam me up, Scotty".

The patina is a combination of navy, black and purple which really pings in sunlight.

The high shine shows off the colour variation.

 And we fitted them with 3-piece bespoke boot trees made by our expert lastmaker.

Pretty cool - I want a pair!

And that is it for this week. We hope you liked the shoes and we look forward to welcoming you back next week. Until then, happy shoemaking!

Monday, 22 May 2017

New York Intensive Shoemaking Class - week 2

Welcome back fellow shoe enthusiasts! 

I'm sure that you will join us in congratulating the six handsewn shoemaking students who finished their shoes on Saturday in a flurry of rasping, glassing, sanding, polishing, dyeing, waxing and burnishing!!!!!

Here's week two of their journey in no particular order...and, of course, their wonderful shoes! 



Edge trimming...

Channel cutting...

Sole stitching...

In unusual...

...and more traditional stitching positions

Trimming the heel seat...

Heel building

Nail punching...

A break in teaching and time for party shoes...
Heel breast pitch

One still to go

Time to dye...

Edges polished ready to burnish

Almost done...


  A Military shine...

Some great sole patterns...

And they're done!

Celebrating with our generous host, friend and fellow shoemaker Jesse Moore at Fresh Kills Bar in Brooklyn...

At the end of week 1 with James...

And all together....Marc, Ivana, Alesha, Greg, Emily and Abby and me 

It's good night from New York and from us until later this week, happy shoemaking!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Intensive Shoemaking Course, New York 2017, Week 1

Greetings one and all from Williamsburg, Brooklyn where we are doing our Intensive Shoe Making Class for the tenth, and sadly the last time at our fantastic venue on Grand St. Our wonderful host, friend and shoemaker, Jesse Moore is moving upstate and we are going to have to find an alternative space to do the class

The States is a big place and we are open to suggestions...

And so to the class. This year we have 6 intrepid students, all keen to learn the wonderful craft of handmade shoes

Day 1 saw us sharpening our knives, blocking the insoles and skiving toe puffs and stiffeners

The eager group starting their shoemaking journey

Ivana skiving a stiffener

Alisha blocking an insole


After letting the insoles dry overnight, day 2 was spent trimming the insole, preparing the holdfast/feather and lasting the left shoe

Emily trimming an insole

Abby marking the holdfast or feather

Making holes in the holdfast

Day 3

With one heel lasted the day before, the class lasted the second shoe at the heel and then tackled toe puffs.

Greg lasting a toe puff
Toe puffs drying
After drying the puffs, the group shaped them with a rasp and lasted the uppers over.

Marc rasping a toe puff

Day 4

With the lasting complete, we moved on to preparing the welts; making threads; and welting - a hard process which they tackled with enthusiasm and a lot of success. Well done, guys.

To give themselves room to welt, the group spread out 


Nearly done
So we are a third of the way through and I must say this is a very able group. Well done guys and keep up the good work.

Next week we will show you more of their progress. Until then, happy shoemaking!