Is It Truly Possible To Get Bespoke Shoes, Or Anything For That Matter, Over The Internet?

Rambo

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Spurred on by this bunch of horseshit:

http://www.styleforum.net/t/334169/jan-kielman-shoes-internet-bespoke-service/30#post_7209989

Pretty tight. I measured it too loose, so my shoes came out a bit big. Easily fixed with a thin insole though, and since the proportions were correct they fit great now. Do not expect a perfect fit with your first order though, it's very hard to get it just right first time with own taken measurements and no test shoes. For next order you can easily show pics and describe what needs to be changed.

JimmyRustler and I were discussing whether it was truly possible to get bespoke footwear over the internet. Jimmy, obviously, sternly believe that it is not. I wouldn't touch ordering a shoe without trying it on, but that's because I have very difficult to fit feet.

Then I wondered if it was truly possible to get something fully bespoke without any person-to-person contact. Strictly internet only. What do you guys think?
 

walker

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this has been discussed at length several times. the conclusion was, that it depends on the definition.

btw, it's called long distance bespoke then. It's not recommended for neophytes, though.

smorgasbrod is one. he is a promoter and this thread was just resurrected for shilling... it's always the same pattern he uses.
 

ConchitaWurst

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Well, he's got a very distinctive taste....

What strikes me is that quite a lot of people posting on fora about bespoke and MTO shoes are getting very flashy shoes. Flashy - hard to wear - colours, exotic leathers, preferably in bi-matierère and bi-colour models.

Wonder why that is.
 

walker

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He doesn't really talk about the sizing much, but the shoes themselves are fucking ugly.

this is a preview on his order. it's his first attempt with this maker. they are in the works. afaik, he hasn't done bespoke before. he just recently ventured into this field with koji suzuki while his first trunk show in the U.S. and A. very nice, avavia

he has a sweet spot for "special" looks when it comes to his footwear...
 

ConchitaWurst

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Well, he's got a very distinctive taste....

What strikes me is that quite a lot of people posting on fora about bespoke and MTO shoes are getting very flashy shoes. Flashy - hard to wear - colours, exotic leathers, preferably in bi-matierère and bi-colour models.

Wonder why that is.

It may be people thinking strange = individual. Like this

image.jpg
 

Chorn

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What strikes me is that quite a lot of people posting on fora about bespoke and MTO shoes are getting very flashy shoes. Flashy - hard to wear - colours, exotic leathers, preferably in bi-matierère and bi-colour models.

Wonder why that is.
It's dumb. But I suspect it's a result of three things. One, high quality RTW is easily available. It is possible they have all their staples covered. Two, they feel the need to make something as custom as possible. Sort of a bang for your buck thing. Three, they want people to recognize that what they are wearing is custom. The first makes sense, the other two are stupid.

As far as bespoke being available over the internet, with the exception of ties (for which the word is sort of meaningless), I'd say no. I can't imagine making any sort of pattern, be it paper for a jacket or a last, without seeing, feeling, and measuring the object in person. MTM, yes. Bespoke, no.
 

Chorn

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In Seoul, Unipair and Zimmerman's carry Edward Green, Vass, and I think G&G. I'm not much of a shoe person/am realistic and lump everything Carmina/C&J up into "high quality" while acknowledging there are degrees within that. I suspect in Europe and the US it's even easier to find high quality RTW shoes.

I think there are different MTM processes, but the one I'm familiar is involves sets of patterns for various portions of the body. For example, the torso might have three parts. After measurements are taken, the best fitting pattern section is used and modified. Provided the customer is adept at measuring himself (or goes to someone who is)--and that's a pretty big provision--I don't see too much issue in getting a decent MTM piece online if the customer can send it piece back for adjustments.
 

walker

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I'm not much of a shoe person/am realistic and lump - certain makers - into "high quality" while acknowledging there are degrees within that.

fair enough.

I have to admit that I was fixated on shoes. didn't read the thread title carefully. my bad.
 

Thruth

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Tell me if this makes sense.

Bespoke shoes are defined by the creation of a unique last for one individual rather than using an existing stock last. MTO and semi-bespoke (if that is such a word) use a pre-existing last that may or may not be adjusted based on measurements.

So, typically, a foot tracing is done and a series of measurements are taken. Some makers also take an impression of the soles of the feet.Some makers make a test shoe and there is a fitting and adjustments are made prior to going to the finished shoe. Other makers go straight to the finished shoe. Then there is the final fitting.

Depending on the fit there may be adjustments, the shoe may be remade or the information is used for refining the fit of the next pair.

So, theoretically, the measurements can be done from afar and sent in. As Walker has said, this is not for the neophyte. I believe Maftei has a man in the US who will do the measurements. Koronya has someone in NYC who measures and takes a mold of the client's foot.

A test shoe may be of value in remote bespoke to refine the fit prior to going forward.

It comes down to the accuracy of the measurements and solid communication between maker and client.

So, AFAIK, remote bespoke can be done. Not ideal, not easy, not advisable for the typical iGent but possible.

I stand to be corrected
 

Chorn

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When getting measured for bespoke shoes, do they take measurements of the foot in multiple positions?
 

Thruth

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When getting measured for bespoke shoes, do they take measurements of the foot in multiple positions?

Yes, although the amount of measurement is less than one thinks or assumes (also each maker has their own measurement reference points). If I recall my Cleverley experience, there is the tracing of each foot. Additionally there is a secondary tracing to capture arch height. Each foot is measured for length. Then a circumference measurement of each foot:

Around the line at the base of big and little toes

Behind that for the ball of the foot (I'm assuming)

Across the instep

From the top of the foot where the instep measurement is taken to round the back of the heel.

Then there is a "feeling of the topography" where the feet are felt for bumps, lumps, and other such peculiarities.

So, tracing and a few measurements seems so simple. But, you cannot do your own tracing, it will be different than if someone else does it. Then there is the relative tension placed on the tape or how tightly the tape is held while measuring the particular circumference. That is the skill that makes the difference.

So with few measurements there is potential for error.
 
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Thruth

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No. Measurements are not sufficient for bespoke. Client must actually try on the product to ensure fit.

Exactly. Ideally there is the in-person interplay between maker and client. But many makers go right to the finished shoe. So if you were skilled enough to do reasonable measurements and then were sent the shoes and then you then were able to communicate with words and pictures about the fit, the adjustments could be done. I am not saying it is ideal.

Walker can comment on this as he has some knowledge of such commissions via Maftei and maybe others.
 

Thruth

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There are a lot of over-the-top MTO (primarily) and bespoke (far fewer) creations being paraded out on the forums and blogs.

I think collectively you have arrived at the reason. Some iGents simply have no taste. Some want to do something so unique to make women swoon and other iGents salute and/or turn green with envy. Some become so overwhelmed with the possible options they create a shoe that has all the current in vogue embellishments they see on SF.

The act of actively participating in the creation is intoxicating.

For those who have a huge rotation crazy designs have their place.

To me it makes more sense to nail down the fit and end up with a shoe that is eminently useable in whatever element they it is worn. That isn't to say one should not try and arrive at a unique creation but one runs the risk of ending up with something that looks like Aldo, Mezlan or any other RTW maker that uses crazy colours, materials, and finishing.

The neophytes might have the staples covered but wouldn't it be better to avoid the crazy designs and replace the AE seconds? With Meccariello, they have a far better chance of nailing a fit unlike most cosmetic MTO's so they should turn off their creative juice flow for a second.

I have often maintained that iGents know far less about shoes and feet than they should, otherwise we would not still read about insoles and tongue pads to improve fit.

But, I will never "Be at Pitti". I don't give a fuck if another man pulls me aside and asks about my shoes. We already know that what a woman fancies about what a man wears is often not what we would wear.

I'm boring.
 

walker

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I have often maintained that iGents know far less about shoes and feet than they should, otherwise we would not still read about insoles and tongue pads to improve fit.

different parities.

while an insole can be helpful, a tongue pad is always wrong, totally.

understood, the fit in a shoe is not a static condition. it can change over time. an insole, either a generic or a customized, can help to balance the difference.
 

walker

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With Meccariello, they have a far better chance of nailing a fit...

why would you think that? the output is dependent from the input. it's hardly obvious that the typical i-gent can deliver the necessary information when some cannot even buy shoes with a good fit in a store. the jury is out on this.
 

Thruth

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why would you think that? the output is dependent from the input. it's hardly obvious that the typical i-gent can deliver the necessary information when some cannot even buy shoes with a good fit in a store. the jury is out on this.

I suppose an idiot can screw things up. I was thinking along the lines that the test shoe would help zero in on the fit than just the initial measurements (if they chose the Aurum line)
 

Thruth

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different parities.

while an insole can be helpful, a tongue pad is always wrong, totally.

understood, the fit in a shoe is not a static condition. it can change over time. an insole, either a generic or a customized, can help to balance the difference.

Better put than me. Yes, tongue is always wrong. Insole, depending on the circumstances can work but if someone always uses insoles across all platforms makes me think they don't actually know their size
 

walker

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Gotcha. Fugly x 2

I'm not judging his taste, well I probably do.

I doubt his expertise in the process. understood, he is the prototype of a claqeure for certain hyped brands. recently, he started to describe his ventures into the mtm/bespoke process. his write ups are full of platitudes copied from a marketing brochure/dossier. it leaves a foul taste in the mouth...
 

walker

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I suppose an idiot can screw things up. I was thinking along the lines that the test shoe would help zero in on the fit than just the initial measurements (if they chose the Aurum line)

it can be helpful, true. still you have to factor the input part. this requires the ability to communicate the issues and/or adjustements to the maker.
 

walker

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Better put than me. Yes, tongue pad is always wrong.

this is most important.

Insole, depending on the circumstances can work but if someone always uses insoles across all platforms makes me think they don't actually know their size

alright, how is that? I know my size. I have been measured several times and it hasn't changed significantly.

size is one of the indicators to achieve a proper fit, but not the only one. so, I can customize the fit within a certain range of parameters. been there, done that...
 

Thruth

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it can be helpful, true. still you have to factor the input part. this requires the ability to communicate the issues and/or adjustements to the maker.

Absolutely
 

Sartodinapoli

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Sure. I offer my handmade neapolitan shirt service where i first cut a test shirt based on client provided measures and correct the pattern after watching the fit pics.

Also Gaziano did a pair of shoes on the email.
 

Betelgeuse

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When getting measured for bespoke shoes, do they take measurements of the foot in multiple positions?

I remember in the Japanese Shoe Thread there is one shoe maker that even if you need to use some orthopedic insoles (is that correctly said?) he just built them in the insole during the whole process. So basically that shoe will only fit that customer and maybe one with the same problem. :rock:
 
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