1980s, R&R revival, leather, pomade and creepers shoes
I belong to that generation, like many of the communty members and readers here. So you can know what we are talking about when, asked about our 1st pair of creepers, we get emotional and we recall with joy how we tied those laces or how we adjusted that buckle for the first time still only a boy of 14 crazy about music. It’s difficult to put these feelings into words;
The client is the author
I made customised shoes according to the client’s wish. The concept of one-of-a-kind and unique piece is ranked very highly by my clients who are r&r-loving people, usually musicians, illustrators, tattoo artists, barbers, record/ cars/ motorcycles or memorabilia collectors… passionates about a culture that is so articles-oriented that it could be described as “fetishist”
Ancestral techniques, classic shoemaking applied to R&R
At shoe workshop, choosing the tradition rather than the technology it may be more expensive but it results in a quality work full of greatness authenticity.
Between vinyl and mp3, my customers choose vinyl, between MIDI host track and real drums… my customers choose real drums sound.
By the same token they prefer the exquisitely craft and luxurious finishes from a custom shoe created by the caring hands of an artisan rather than an notoriously impersonal industrial shoe mass produced.
DESIGN & DETERMINE SIZE (FOOT MOULDS)
Created by the customer (online design tool)
Created by the customer (online design tool)
On the basis of traditional round or pointed patterns you may request any style, leather, color, finishes, patina, etc.
How to design? the workshop’s old friends have access to a online design tool.
Since that online tool is not available to the public, If you want to make a pair of shoes with us, you must make a request (contact section) and, once approved, you will receive the link.
The problem of determining the size remotely
We offer a mold system for sizing. The mold is sent to the customer’s home. Once back in the workshop we obtain a plaster cast of the sole of the foot which helps us to correctly determine the size.
With this mold and other references such as weight and height, we can determine the last to be used and even correct it if necessary, thus making a truly personalized and genuinely “made to measure” job
SELECTION, CUTTING AND ASSEMBLING
Leather selection and value
We exclusively work with high performance de luxe leathers from certified suppliers (EU and USA)
Each part of the pattern of a shoe must be arranged in a strategic place on the skin, taking into account aesthetic criteria ( direction of the grain, tonality…) and technical criteria (for example, traction or flexing on certain skin area)
Now we sew the different pieces of the upper and lining with dexterity, pulse and good aesthetic criteria. It is also the moment to add the appliqués or metallic accessories such as buckles or the distinctive “D” rings.
From now, more than 250 manual operations will be required.
We can imagine now a shoe in its final form. Since there is a large quantity of processes, we only mention some of the most important here.
A shoe lasts is a piece of wood or resin that will acts as a mold to shape the instep. According to the selected model and according to the measurements of the plaster, a shoe last was selected at the beginning of the process: It is time to use it.
The craftsman’s expertise becomes clear when the upper is perfectly adapted to the lasts. The piece is now prepared for the first sewing of the goodyear technique.
GOODYEAR WELT, MADE FOR LONG LIFE
Goodyear welting is the most labor intensive, and most durable method of construction of a shoe.
The 1st and crucial step of this ancestral technique is to place and sew the welt, that is a strip of leather that runs along the perimeter of the shoe
Cork and cedar
The cavity formed by the welt is filled with cork paste that serves as a hidden ‘cushion’ . This natural cork layer isolates from external agents and gives extraordinary comfort to the shoe by creating a footprint progressively.
The heel features a cedar shank that provides support and flexibility.
The two-level stitching
After many other operations, finally a thread is sewn through the welt, the upper, and the insole, holding all parts firmly together and creating an unbreakable structure.
GENUINE LEATHER & CREPE SOLES
While much work remains to be done, we are approaching the end of the process. It is time to place the sole. This operation will be done following the same required quality, functionality, nobility of materials and beauty criteria.
Natural crepe ruber sole is an absolute reference and (obviously) the source of the word ‘creepers’ since 1949.
Today it is scarce and difficult to obtain, but we choose crepe rubber due his genuine value, unmistakable character, texture and quality impossible to imitate by any other product.
You can also elect an elegant leather sole as used in classical men’s dress shoes, a perfect choice if you search a more discrete look for work environments : the vibe is both graceful and stylish but still grasps the rockin’ and rather defiant essence of the genre.
HAND DYED, PATINA AND FINISHES
Almost any color the customer requests is possible. The ‘crust’ leather offers optimum qualities for manual dyeing and finishing patinas. Its preparation and neutral color allow maximum penetration of pigments and anilines, leaving visible the grain and natural beauty of the leather
Unique pieces, unrepeatable finishes
Hand-dyed, patina and special finishes are the specialty of the house (picture shows some smoked effect). They are impossible to reproduce exactly in each new pair, conferring a greater degree of exclusivity to each piece making it unique.
Searching for tone
we will try to find the tone and effect you are looking for, although it is necessary to understand that we work with leather and natural products (such as beeswax, resins and pigments) that will evolve in their own way generating unique tones that may differ slightly from the original idea.
OTHER CUSTOMIZATION DETAILS AND THE HANDMADE WOOD BOX
The heel cups is a customisable area with the name of the client and the signature of the craftsman, attesting to the exclusivity of the piece.
You can request a specific cream for the color and/or patina you have chosen for your custom shoes. This artisanal creams are produced using an ancestral formula and natural ingredients such as beeswax, rosin and pigments.
Artisan wooden box
To stress this belonging each pair is presented in a handmade wooden box which can be labeled with any phrase, name, date, etc.
What advantages does Goodyear Welt shoes offer in comparison to the standard cemented shoes?
The stitched leather welt is the visible hallmark of a goodyear shoe. This can be imitated in its appearance … but never in its anchor function.
A goodyear shoe will never suffer a break like the one we see in the photo below. In the image we see how some mid-range commercial shoes have been separated on the heel and on the sides, exposing the insoles. This will never happen in goodyear shoes thanks to the double stitching that welds the different structural parts.
These shoes ⇑above will possibly end up in the trash: the repair in this case offers very bad results due to the artificial material of the soles called TR that does not present good adhesion.
Goodyear w. shoes can be resoled on numerous ocassions
Our throwaway society commonly produces low cost cemented shoes for the bigfashion chains in our cities: once worn out, damaged or outmoded we throw away it.
However, goodyear welt shoes follows other philosophy; this is not a passing fad, they are shoes for life.
His multiple-layer construction allows and easy resole by removing the old sole and attaching a new one. It can be done without falling out of its original last shape or affecting the upper leather.
Therefore, if the shoe is looked after properly in between you will get shoes for life.
The peculiar sandwich formed by the leather insole and the cork filling allows the foot to be printed: the interior of the shoe will gradually adapt its shape, giving day by day and step by step a greater feeling of comfort.
This double stitching technique also prevents the entry of water but allows proper perspiration.
Although goodyear welt shoes requires a period of “taming”, once the welt has softened with use you will get an excellent degree of flexibility and a light and extremely comfortable step.
Because of the additional de luxe materials and and craftsmanship labor required, a goodyear welted shoe is more expensive, but this higher price at purchase will surely pay out on the long run. My clients looks at footwear as an investment rather than an item of expenditure.