“Here lies Carrie. She had two loves and lots of shoes.” No matter how strange that would sound, Carrie Bradshaw and I have one thing in common: shoe addiction. To me shoes have ceased to be just footwear. Just like some people collect watches, others paintings and butterflies, there are men who collect shoes. Shoes, being first of all an everyday use thing, we have the tendency to hide our addiction behind practical order motivations. The cognitive dissonance functions marvelously for a while. There are, however, some small clues that should ring the bell, and one big clue which should signalize that you moved from the shoe lover category into the collector category.
When you have more than three identical pairs of black captoes, when you start to have a shelf of loafers in patinated nuances of brown, when you start to not like dainite rubber anymore for your winter boots, when you have both Edward Green Dover and Russian hatchgrain split-toe from Saint Crispin’s, when you have your own personal last at two different shoemakers and you dream of a third one, when you recognize a new C&J models in an instant, when you look at an old John Lobb Bootmaker pair and you feel its story, when you search for Roberto Ugolini’s studio in Florence, when you plan your holidays depending on the shoemakers tht have studios in those cities, or when you know the tannery where the leather of your derbies came from, things should be pretty much clear. You are a collector.
To you, shoes have ceased to have a practical function. You see the story behind them and you feel differently each touch. In short, you develop a special organ with the help of which reality begets unthinkable meanings. Nevertheless, I believe that the litmus paper that tells you that you’re definitively caught by the shoes story is the Goyser. If you are not Hungarian or if you don’t come from a Germanic space, the path towards Goyser is a sinuous one, and the choice of this model comes when you reached the late stage of the passion for shoes.
Goyser starts to become the love for age. It embodies all that you search for in a shoe: it is usually a comfortable derby, the expression of a special talent of the shoemaker. It associates very well to unusual leather models, it has character, it is not flashy, and, especially, it is a good companion for casual wear. My first direct contact with a Goyser stich, from what I can remember, was with a very beautiful Benjamin Klemann model.
The shoes belonged to a friend of mine from Germany, and since he was no big fan of the goyser we managed to make a win-win trade. Later, I tried several other models, but I must admit that the true goyser spirit can only be found in the Central European space – Austria and Hungary. The most beautiful models I’ve seen were from Materna, Maftei, Laszlo Vass and Rozsnyai. Shoemakers from this area understand very well the fact that you cannot build a goyser on any sort of last. Italians and French fall into the sin of making hybrid goysers – shoes with a very elegant line improperly decorated with a stitch that has nothing to do with the last. At Materna and Maftei I saw extraordinary models which proportions were perfect. P2 from Laszlo Vass is also a model that lends itself very well to goyser.
Recently, however, I discovered a rather unknown Hungarian shoemaker. The shoes of Sandor Rozsnyai match perfectly my taste. In the images below you can see two models which are alike in their spirit. Both are comfortable models made on the same last. For goyser, unlike the precedent model, I chose a 360 degrees stitching with black thread. I did that in order to soften the massive stitching. Both models are very well stitched and prove that Rozsnyai is a mature shoemaker. There is no negligence and no small execution mistake. If you want to try a goyser that wouldn’t disappoint you, his shoes are an excellent choice. The next model will be one inspired from a Materna model – a 360 degrees wing derby goyser made of calf/grained leather.