The whole process starts with taking measurements. We do that for both feet naturally because they are often different from each other. When a customer have an orthopaedic problems we suggest adjustments in order to improve comfort and minimize the problem. We choose the model of the shoes, it usually is one of the models we got in our store – or, rarely, choose something from the catalogues. The main point of this part is the choice of type and colour of the leather. Customers can choose from over 100 options but if that is still not enough we are able to get absolutely every leather in a very short time. During the first few days we work on the last. The master shapes them using special tools. When the last is finished the leather goes to the upper maker (finisher) who actually makes the shoe. Using uppers, four kinds of leather, two types of glue, wooden pins and wax the shoemaker creates a unique pair of shoes. He needs approximately a week to ten days to finish it. When shoes are perfectly dry we take the last out and finish the inner side. In accordance with the width of the feet we choose proper pair of shoe trees and leave the shoes for finishing and polishing. After three to four weeks shoes are ready to pick up. If needed, they can be delivered anywhere in the world. Prices for a bespoke pair for man, made of calf leather start at 2600-3600PLN (£500-£700; €650-€900)…
It’s easy to fall in love with a pair of oxfords, particularly if you’re browsing for shoes online. They’re naturally sleek, with minimally detailed uppers that give the shoes a sense of formality. And for many people, dressing up is the same as dressing well. Derbies by comparison can get lost in the mix, but I find them infinitely more practical. Like most men, I rarely wear suits. And for daily use, oxfords just look off to me with sport coats and trousers – even worse with jeans. They’re simply too formal.
When it comes to derbies, none make my heart pitter patter as much as the Norwegian split toe. I love them for both their design and how much they repulse others. It’s true they can look a bit taxidermic. And if done poorly, an elongated toe seam can even seem phallic. When everything comes together well, however, nothing looks as good to me. Wingtips are too common; cap toes too plain. Norwegian split toes plant your feet in the ground and say you like something a little different.
Apparently, the style has some workwear roots. John Lobb of St. James calls the style a Navvy cut for how they used to be worn by British navigational engineers (or navvies for short). Nicholas Templeman, who used to work as a lastmaker at the company, tells me men used to wear them when … Read full story here.