A Visit to a Local Cordwainer

Thruth

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Did the trial fit today. Amazing fit overall especially in the heel and instep which is a problem for me: heel slippage with RTW. Left boot needs to be adjusted for my typical pressure point in the forefoot.

Rivals the fit of my bespoke Cleverley's.

He pegged the sole as well which I wasn't expecting.

Leather is waxed and needs to be shined up.

Lining leather is very nice and soft. Well done.

Initially he punched one hole on each strap. He will punch a couple more on each. Slightly tight on the right shoe.

Will try on again tomorrow.

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Thruth

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Well done good sir.
Thanks. A good first attempt. He nailed the fit which is critical. Leather quality is good but not spectacular. He can get high end French calf but says it would raise the price into EG & JL territory as he cannot get the price that volume buyers get. Plus he does not want to go this route until he establishes his client and business base. He says: "when someone tells me I really ought to be charging more, that's when I'll do it"
 

doghouse

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Thanks. A good first attempt. He nailed the fit which is critical. Leather quality is good but not spectacular. He can get high end French calf but says it would raise the price from $850-$1000 to $ 1600 which pushes it into EG & JL territory as he cannot get the price that volume buyers get. Plus he does not want to go this route until he establishes his client and business base. He says: "when someone tells me I really ought to be charging more, that's when I'll do it"
Well, I'll certainly not drop him a note telling him to charge that low down Thruth an arm and a leg.
 

Thruth

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Well, I'll certainly not drop him a note telling him to charge that low down Thruth an arm and a leg.
i appreciate that. need to keep prices reasonable so us hillbillies can still get us some shoes!
 

walker

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Leather quality is good but not spectacular.
can you give an example of spectacular? just wondering how to rate this?

of course, he is not getting volume buyer rates, but whats his source? probably there are possibilities out there?
 

Russell Street

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I have to say that using more reasonably priced leather on an initial attempt is the wise way to go. They certainly look good, particularly for an unfinished product.
Left boot needs to be adjusted for my typical pressure point in the forefoot.
This is where I might learn something. I'm somewhat familiar with tailors tossing basted jackets on for fittings and making adjustments. I'm unsure what can be tweaked along the way on a shoe.
So the strap is the full extent of fastening, beyond exact fit? Or is there elastic too liek with most monk-strap shoes?
 

Thruth

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can you give an example of spectacular? just wondering how to rate this?

of course, he is not getting volume buyer rates, but whats his source? probably there are possibilities out there?
Somewhat subjective, yes. First, I go by what he says in ranking the leathers he has access to. The better ones - at least by the swatches - were not the ones he used according to him. Finer grain, from a better location on the hide.

He buys leathers from a Canadian supplier and says other markets get better hides than Canada. I asked if he sources from Europe. The better leathers are from French tanneries via a German supplier. He needs to do more searching for sources. But this is just a conversation. The boot's leather is nice and I am quite pleased.
 

Thruth

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I have to say that using more reasonably priced leather on an initial attempt is the wise way to go. They certainly look good, particularly for an unfinished product.

This is where I might learn something. I'm somewhat familiar with tailors tossing basted jackets on for fittings and making adjustments. I'm unsure what can be tweaked along the way on a shoe.
So the strap is the full extent of fastening, beyond exact fit? Or is there elastic too liek with most monk-strap shoes?
Well if they did not fit at all. Back to the drawing board and make a new pair based on remeasurement. The shoe can be stretched and tools can be used to create create relief in tight areas. Thicker sock liners can be used to reduce volume if that is an issue.

With this boot there is no elastic. The construction of the heel and instep provides the key to fit like a cowboy boot wood (except in these there is no heel slip built in). The strap is functional for a tight fit across the front of the foot.

That is why Walker rightfully had concerns with this type of boot for a first commission as getting the fit right in the first go is always an issue and with no lacing there is less room for error.
 

Thruth

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So a follow up after wearing the boots several times now. Break-in was minor. After a need to have the left boot adjusted with some relief and stretching for my toe knuckle (for lack of a better word) they are an incredibly comfortable pair of boots.

No aberrant creases developing. They are both comfortable yet rigid (in a good way). I put this down to the last being well modified for my feet and the pegging. The fit around my heel is far better than any RTW shoe. Previously, the AH boot I got from Walker had the best designed heel cup I had run across (not counting my bespoke shoe last from Cleverley).

The fit across the vamp is close but not excessively tight. There has been a bit of stretch such that the boots buckle without too much effort.

The biggest difference I see and feel between this modified last and my RTW boots are that with length they are somewhere between an 8.5 on the Brannock and the typical 9 or equivalent that I typically wear.

In terms of width, the modified last corrects for the difference between my normal D width in the forefoot and my narrow heel.

All in all, the result - especially for a non-laced boot - was excellent for a first attempt. I would not anticipate any major changes in the last modification for subsequent boots.

I would request better leather for subsequent boots or at least with a higher level of leather finishing.

In terms of the current exchange rate, these boots represent a solid value for what I got in terms of fit, construction and design. Plus they are done in my own back yard so I can interact with the cordwainer as opposed to traveling or sending measurements via the Internet.

Given a 78 cent Canadian dollar in relation to the USD, 70 cents versus the Euro and almost 50 cents to the pound, buying local is a no-brainer.
 

Rambo

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Excellent report. Looking forward to some more pics.
 

Russell Street

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So does this pegging result in more support or tightness in the arch? I daresay that is something that I would value.
 

fxh

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If they were done in your own backyard where did the bloke sleep? Did he have heating?
 

fxh

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thruthy - baby - mate mate - old buddy - I was going to be a bit mean and post pictures of my shearers boots. But I didn't.

I think I've caught some nice bug off JM.
 

Thruth

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thruthy - baby - mate mate - old buddy - I was going to be a bit mean and post pictures of my shearers boots. But I didn't.

I think I've caught some nice bug off JM.
i kinda like these
 

fxh

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They are good boots for working in. Last forever. Especially shearing as they get a coating of lanolin from the wool on each sheep. So getting a used pair of a shearer is the way to go - soft leather.
 

walker

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That is why Walker rightfully had concerns with this type of boot for a first commission as getting the fit right in the first go is always an issue and with no lacing there is less room for error.
well, I don't remember I voiced it that way. still not paricularly a fan of a strap boot, though.
 

walker

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I would request better leather for subsequent boots or at least with a higher level of leather finishing.
well, that's kind of a miracle to me.

alright, you ignore to "learn" about shoe care. the boot already looks like a beater, which has nothing to do with the leather used. still, you want something "better", whatever that means???

understood, that it normally takes a bit of a training, but this kind of leather is so easy to treat to make it look like a million dollar bucks. this is really mind boggling - just do it!!!

dont forget the trees,
 
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Thruth

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well, that's kind of a miracle to me.

alright, you ignore to "learn" about shoe care. the boot already looks like a beater, which has nothing to do with the leather used. still, you want something "better", whatever that means???

understood, that it normally takes a bit of a training, but this kind of leather is so easy to treat to make it look like a million dollar bucks. this is really mind boggling - just do it!!!

dont forget the trees,
Hmm. Trees have been used since I got them. Look like beaters already? That is the point. Three wears in the office and I have turned them into beaters? Not
Likely.

Does Maftei or EG or even AE enclose a little note to customers and says "now do some shoe maintenance and they will look like a million bucks"? They look like a million bucks right out of the box.

These did not. That is my issue.
 

walker

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I have no intention to make you angry. certainly not. it's a great boot and the heel cup is really remarkable and outstanding. kudos to Mr.Finn.

"destroying" the wonderful leather sole is a pain for me, though

I have no personal experience with new AEs and/or their english counterpart. so my judgement is based on pictures only. most of the time: nothing to write home about, imo.

my own Mafteis are from special leathers, so this is not a comparison either. you can specify the grade of finishing, though. a real shoe lover does it on his own, imo unfortunately their newly i-gent customers don't belong to this group and their influence is not after my taste, anyway. probqably one of the reasons the maintenance job on one of my pairs ended disastrous, fwock.

ps: which trees are you using?

Hmm. Trees have been used since I got them. Look like beaters already? That is the point. Three wears in the office and I have turned them into beaters? Not
Likely.

Does Maftei or EG or even AE enclose a little note to customers and says "now do some shoe maintenance and they will look like a million bucks"? They look like a million bucks right out of the box.

These did not. That is my issue.
 

walker

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well, I don't remember I voiced it that way. still not paricularly a fan of a strap boot, though.
what I remember. I told you to break them in, before - if ever - a rubber sole is applied. this grade of "dilletantism" and/or ignorance is unsatisfying, imo.
 

walker

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hah. he knows where to find me if he uses Mr. Google. besides, he is using the big boys. i am just using the village shoemaker.
we all know, that he is clueless and the big boys are not eager to help him out. kismet
 

Thruth

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zombie wednesday

Thruth how are your shoes holding up after a year?
They are holding up well. Fit is still great. A solid feeling boot what with the hand welting and pegging. Straps buckle easily but no evidence of excess stretching of holes. Leather is fine. Was not spectacular in the first place

They are in the queue for my next sheep shearing session
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