The All-Inclusive Shoe & Boot Thread

The Shooman

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It's interesting how many s.f types don't seem to be able to tell differences in quality between various things. With shoes many seem to have no idea, and with cashmere jumpers many also seem to have no idea. I don't like to read that forum much anymore because too much nonsense is said. There used to be good posters there once, but now they are too few.

Various men said they can't tell the difference between camina and edward green. I don't see how they couldn't tell. Both shoe brands are world's apart.

Many on the forums seem full of group think and just buy for brands.
 

walker

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here is a nice rallye about the price-value-ratio of EG.

fun fact: dude is obesessed with finishing, etc., but cannot see how poorly EG is in this field. ymmw.

#34082
https://www.styleforum.net/threads/...nd-where-to-buy.291745/page-2273#post-9663994
I particularly like the distinct undertones of the new guy fracanzano

on top, he mentions quite obscure brands and makers to the saturated audience. münchner schuhwerkstätten & handmacher, both offer excellent value.

at the end people will still buy the overprized crap EG offers them, who really cares? I dunno & I don't ...
 

Dropbear

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I’m still living in the two new pairs of boots I got late last year and still have an aversion to pulling out the three pairs of RM Williams I wore for so long I hated the sight of them all.

Thinking about gets couple of new pairs of shoes:

A ‘summer shoe’ that won’t look out of place with summer linen suits. Suede?

A casual tan to mid brown longwing that will work with jeans or chinos.

Keep in mind that I have duck feet (11EEE) and feel most comfortable in something substantial (rugged boots not effete slippers) - even if I’m trying to branch out from that now.

Budget, up to about $300 each pair so I’m not in the league of many shoes in this thread.

Suggestions welcome!!
 

fxh

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I’m still living in the two new pairs of boots I got late last year and still have an aversion to pulling out the three pairs of RM Williams I wore for so long I hated the sight of them all.

Thinking about gets couple of new pairs of shoes:

A ‘summer shoe’ that won’t look out of place with summer linen suits. Suede?

A casual tan to mid brown longwing that will work with jeans or chinos.

Keep in mind that I have duck feet (11EEE) and feel most comfortable in something substantial (rugged boots not effete slippers) - even if I’m trying to branch out from that now.

Budget, up to about $300 each pair so I’m not in the league of many shoes in this thread.

Suggestions welcome!!
I always think suede with linen. But many see suede as a winter thing. Perhaps a medium brown leather penny loafer with linen.
 

fxh

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RMs are too heavy for linen - you need lightweight shoes that look lightweight to pair with the summer look & feel & impression..
 

The Shooman

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RMs are too heavy for linen - you need lightweight shoes that look lightweight to pair with the summer look & feel & impression..
Exactly! With summer linen l usually wear various light weight loafers and monkstrap shoes, but sometimes l also wear various heavy tan derbies for my own unique reasons.

Today l wear navy and white spectator loafers by Church's with navy linen Paul& Shark pants. It is really a perfect combination. The pants are super lightweight with really excellent lightweight material.

2 more weeks of this rot (hot weather) and then it's finished for the year. Can't wait until l start rugging up again in top Scottish cashmere.
 

The Shooman

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Josh Leong bespoke shoes in Singapore.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/joshleongshoes/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1558557934412549

Does a nice job, but still needs to work on the refinement of the lasts if he wants to do close cut fiddleback waists etc. The shoes don't take the shape of the foot like how Berluti and Cleverley do it.

People want something that flatters the foot, not just a big shape on the foot. If these type of shoe is made it has got to be done right. That is the difference between the great shoemakers and the ones who can't charge the big bucks. The great shoemakers shape lasts that are works of art and make the feet look stunning, it is a magic few makers have. .

He is a very capable shoemaker, but like many Italians, his lasts are lacking. They just can't seem to balance the style of making with the type of last. If a man want to make big shoes he needs to choose a manly grand style to suit the lasts instead of using French/English refined styling on gainly lasts.


https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/2127229767545360/?type=3&theater


Not taking the shape of the foot. Excess leather.
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/2010036055931399/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/1719607068307634/?type=3&theater

Not really flattering to the feet. Lots of excess leather there.
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/1958687734399565/?type=3&theater

Big gainly lasts with refined waists. Doesn't quite work does it.
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/1868342106767462/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/1866000530334953/?type=3&theater
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/1784612235140450/?type=3&theater

Looks a touch similar to the Vass F last:
https://www.facebook.com/joshleongshoes/photos/a.1558557934412549/1753931018208572/?type=3&theater
 
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The Shooman

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See...the really great shoemaking houses are not just shoemakers, they are artists and they sculpt gorgeous lasts. When you put that all together you get something few makers have, a work of art.

Of course there are also the AH shoes and John Lobb London, and they also make works of art, but the thinking is very different. Those makers know how to balance the more voluminous lasts with manly style to make perfect shoes with grand presence and/or character.

But you also get those makers that don't fall into these categories....they just can't get the balance right. They are good makers but they languish in the middle unable to make works of art.
 

shookt

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It looks like he does MTO as well. It'll be interesting to know which of those exampels were on standard lasts versus the actual bespoke process.

How powerful is the customer in the bespoke process? Do people often overrule the shoemaker in terms of last/leather/stylistic choices? Or are the parameters usually quite general and then the rest is up to the shoemaker?
 

The Shooman

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It looks like he does MTO as well. It'll be interesting to know which of those exampels were on standard lasts versus the actual bespoke process.
I get the feeling the `so called' bespoke is probably altering an already pre-made industrial last by adding to it. Why? Because most have that typical big volume shape that last factories make to fit everyone. They aren't too shapely, they are just big and typical rtw lasts. Instead they would be rtw lasts adjusted to fit a foot better, but never a true individual last because it lacks all the hallmarks of one. Why? Because it is a shape made to sit on a foot....it only adds to the last and not subtracts like a true bespoke process would do to perfect the shape. So l think his MTO and bespoke lasts won't look much different on the foot...they would only different because the shoes would fit better, BUT they would still be big volume shoes on the feet that don't really conform to the foot. He won't be sacrificing lasts by subtracting from it because it is not true bespoke IMO, instead he would have a bunch of stock lasts that he only adds to, and that is why they have that industrial shape.

See....again, this maker puts shapes on the feet. He uses industrial lasts that are altered only by adding.
Cleverley and Berluti bespoke transform the foot into a thing of beauty. BIG difference. True bespoke lasts because it not have look of industrial lasts, instead they are more transformed to fit one foot very closely by adding and subtracting.

Note: eventhough Cleverley have a basic shape to go off, it is still not the typical industrial last, and it employs adding and subtracting. BIG difference.

shookt said:
How powerful is the customer in the bespoke process? Do people often overrule the shoemaker in terms of last/leather/stylistic choices? Or are the parameters usually quite general and then the rest is up to the shoemaker?
I don't know because it depends on each maker, but l think some makers are more open to individual style choices now. Why? The internet has changed how things are done IMO.

The other issue l wanted to mention is the `igent effect'...ie, having shoos that are mutton done up as lamb. In other words, igents who have the wrong type of shoes in flashy designs and colours and heavily antiqued. They mix ordinary shoes with cindarella colours and designs, so now we have antiqued Vass in various colours and all types of monstrosities because people with no artistic sense have free reign to do whatever they want. IMO, in the old days the availability of antiquing services was limited, and shoemakers also saved clients from their own stupidity by limiting crazy ideas for shoes that didn't make sense.

See...with the free reign of hopeless non artistic clients has come a rise in shoo monstrosities. Igents need to be given limited options because they need to be saved from themselves. So many have little idea. Left brained thinkers. Pthh.
 

The Shooman

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Some people argue the industrial lasts can get a good result by just adding, and it can, but it is still more limited and prone to problems if used for certain types of shoes. Why? Because if the last needs some volume taken off slightly, a smaller last needs to be used and build up a lot, and this can be difficult and bring forth problems when someone is not a true last maker. Where-as subtracting from a last is going to be easier and to shape. It's hard to explain, but it is different. There is a reason why Berluti and Cleverley and others add and subtract...it is because it is easier to get a really refined last that is shaped closer to the foot and much more individual to the foot. With big volumes shoes with more room and classic shapes it is different,....adding is good enough because a shoemaker doesn't have to subtract to get that really glove fitted shoe.

Here is an extreme example, but it demonstrates true bespoke potential. Could you get a shoe like this by taking a small last and adding to it? NO! This could only be done by the adding and subtracting method used in true bespoke last making (see finger shoe in bottom left corner).
Finger shoo.jpg
 
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The Shooman

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Here is a custom boot maker who used to make blobs for shoes.
https://johnallenwoodward.com/shop/shoes/alligator-shoes/

His son saw my post at fnb.com about his boots and asked me what l thought of his shoes. I told him what l thought, and it was brutally honest. Since then he has changed all his lasts and makes shoes much much nicer.
https://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/viewtopic.php?id=18769

See...these people are top makers, but they don't have eyes for balance and artistry. They have top skills but make boots/shoes on ugly blobby lasts. Virtually all custom makers in the U.S and Australia use lasts that look like orthopedic lasts to make blobs, and top makers sell themselves so short.

Allen has now gone from big ugly orthopedic blobs to this! He did exactly what l suggested to do imo, he copied the Gaziano & Girling lasts. Too much competition these days....people won't settle for ugly blobs anymore.
Woodward shoes..jpg

He does his version of Gaziano & Girling.
Woodward shoes 2.jpg

Josh Leong's last are reasonable, but if he really wants to get his work right up there he needs to close the gap and get those lasts right. If Woodward can go from blobs to sleekness, Josh can do it too. I hope he reads it.

All he needs to do is go to the huge last factory in China, select some really elegant lasts and get a proper maker to duplicate them in England, and then head for the top of the mountain and match it with the best. The Japanese do it, and he can do it. It just takes awareness!!!
 
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walker

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My poor small-volume feet are in dire need of a maker that can subtract!
not necessarily.

literally, it is what english makers do. it's okay from a design aspect, not so much for adressing irregularities of your feet. that's why english makers have more fitting issues and almost never come back when they have to calibrate the last using the reverse method.

the austro-hungarian school of shoemaking is more keen on orthopedic features hence they address the issues of your feet going from a bespoke last.

quite logical, imo. of course it is easier to sculpt a genuine bespoke last in adressing the critical area. when you substract, it is gone, when it is gone and the switch back is crucial. no rocket-science.
 

shookt

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How do those Vass fit your feet? How do they fit on the instep, around the ankle, side of the foot and on the top of the feet area? Nice and snug, or still roomy?
My shoes are from Attila haha, not Vass. They fit really nice and snug - best fitting shoes I have. Cordovan seems to be a tougher leather than calf, though, so still breaking it in.
 

The Shooman

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Trump delivers my dream look that l always wanted to do since l was a kid. He does the `millionaire look', or should l say the billionaire look. He wears stunning ltalian blake stitched high fronted Artioli loafers in thin leather with a suit. I have always held that look in very high regard and I always wanted to do that look, and eventually l did because the high flyers of the 80's inspired me with their brilliant ltalian loafers. Alan Bond did it, Trump does it sometimes, and many high flyers did it, especially in the 80's. Forget captoe oxfords, these guys take it to the next level....they are too big and important to play buy the rules so they wear ltalian high fronted loafers. It's the look of looks....it says i'm the boss!!!

Check out the video at about 3 minutes in. It is Donald at his finest. Check out those brilliant loafers. Simply amazing!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQgt7LuqZ6A

Trump understands, l understand, my local cordwainer understands, and Alan Bond always understood what it's all about.
 

Thruth

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The other issue l wanted to mention is the `igent effect'...ie, having shoos that are mutton done up as lamb. In other words, igents who have the wrong type of shoes in flashy designs and colours and heavily antiqued. They mix ordinary shoes with cindarella colours and designs, so now we have antiqued Vass in various colours and all types of monstrosities because people with no artistic sense have free reign to do whatever they want. IMO, in the old days the availability of antiquing services was limited, and shoemakers also saved clients from their own stupidity by limiting crazy ideas for shoes that didn't make sense.

See...with the free reign of hopeless non artistic clients has come a rise in shoo monstrosities. Igents need to be given limited options because they need to be saved from themselves. So many have little idea. Left brained thinkers. Pthh.
This in spades. Free reign indeed has created so many abortions in the iGent world of late. Group Think-Group Buys and Group Think-Solo Fails. Once a brand opens itself up to allowing educated-by-the-internet iGents to freely choose creations that are a mesh-mash of traditional intent with unintentional bad choices the floodgates are opened and there is no going back. Mis-mixed media combinations of country and city, peculiar leather combinations and colours, traditional models on exaggerated modern lasts, and other strange discordant concoctions. It is the iGent equivalent of clown shoes.

No better example than EG and JLP. EG is now squarely in the hands of the village idiots and their holding tightly to classic models and colour ways is now lost. The fugliest examples of this is the EG Galway boot that iGents covet fucking with as much as they covet EG Dovers. The Galway now regularly appears in frutified, incorrect, unauthentic, and effeminately made over form.

You generally don't see JLP abortions like you do from others do you?

The Shooman The Shooman is right about the Cordwainer being the gatekeeper of the process. Same as it should be for the tailor-client relationship. Defer to the expertise of the expert, participate and be guided to success.
 

The Shooman

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This in spades. Free reign indeed has created so many abortions in the iGent world of late. Group Think-Group Buys and Group Think-Solo Fails. Once a brand opens itself up to allowing educated-by-the-internet iGents to freely choose creations that are a mesh-mash of traditional intent with unintentional bad choices the floodgates are opened and there is no going back. Mis-mixed media combinations of country and city, peculiar leather combinations and colours, traditional models on exaggerated modern lasts, and other strange discordant concoctions. It is the iGent equivalent of clown shoes.

You completely get it. Well said!

Thruth said:
No better example than EG and JLP. EG is now squarely in the hands of the village idiots and their holding tightly to classic models and colour ways is now lost. The fugliest examples of this is the EG Galway boot that iGents covet fucking with as much as they covet EG Dovers. The Galway now regularly appears in frutified, incorrect, unauthentic, and effeminately made over form.
The Galway is a shocker. The EG colours are best in black, browns and burgundy, but not so good in green and blues etc. JLP is much better with unusual colours imo. I see lots of ugly EG now.



The Shooman The Shooman is right about the Cordwainer being the gatekeeper of the process. Same as it should be for the tailor-client relationship. Defer to the expertise of the expert, participate and be guided to success.[/QUOTE]

Sadly l think the cordwainers allow this rot because there is big bucks in making ugly igent shoos. Lots of people read the internet and see the shockers posted in blogs and on forums and the rot spreads like wildfire. Now Vass has sold it's soul to cater to these folks. Before too long you get a bunch of people who don't know their shoo from their elbow, and they think it is normal to have norvegese with a close cut waist (see pic above in for Francis Waplinger bespoke with the shocking antique job) or visible metal eyelets on fine dress shoes or some type of incompatible design. And before too long you get clueless sellers entering the market selling all types of crazy things. Now it is the blind leading the blind.

Interestingly enough, Santoni does some silly things too. I have seen their version of the Dover with a single sole. I have also seen norvegese shoes with a close cut waist. They have been doing it for years. I bet it is silly clueless designers sitting in the office forcing stuff on the cordwainers and factory staff that doesn't make sense. And it is true....a cordwainer told me designers take free reign to do whatever they want, they don't care if the shoe breaks easily or looks incompatible, it's all about being creative and forcing the shoemakers make their design.
 
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walker

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The fugliest examples of this is the EG Galway boot that iGents covet fucking with as much as they covet EG Dovers. The Galway now regularly appears in frutified, incorrect, unauthentic, and effeminately made over form.
I'd probably say: a QC which is lower than Alden and AE altogether, not only in relative terms to production numbers and price/cost ratio is a bigger concern than idiosyncratic colorways, not?

against the urban myth created by igents, handling a pig-bristle is not regarded the highest skill in terms of shoemaking. as a producer, you can and/or want a handmade feature, but then this is it.

when you have a brief look at the defending argumentation over at styfo. most of it is irrational to the crux of shoemaking and delievering a fine product. EG is seen as the pinnacle of RTW, in which world, huh?

imo, there is no bigger gap in quality and appearance from "vintage" to current production in comparison to other english brands. admittedly, there is cost cutting all over the place, but EG is really dropping the ball here.
 

The Shooman

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Yes they are an irrational lot. I once talked about E.G cost cutting and pointed out that glue plastic and canvass was holding those E.G's together and that canvass glue and plastic doesn't last forever. They didn't want to hear that. That is why it is pointless trying to have a conversation over there, + bully boys try to shut you down. I say to leave simple minds alone....let them dream l say....let them be in a bubble of delusion.
 

shookt

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Handwelted shoes ftw. Here's a funny thought: if a collection contained both GYW and HW shoes, would it make sense to baby the GYW shoes and wear out the HW shoes or the reverse? On the one hand, HW shoes are harder to come by. On the other, they can actually stand up to the abuse.
 

The Shooman

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People don't seem to understand that components inside shoes do wear out. The canvass that holds the plastic feather on the insole of the GYW shoe wears out. So do the stitches to inseam a shoe. Recently a friend told me his Cleverley bespoke needed restitching because the thread wore out inside the shoe. The point is, once these things happen GYW usually can't be repaired where-as hand welted can be with ease. The top GYW makers do come clean about the cost cutting measures they employ in the making of their shoes, but they deny everything until you let them know that you know what is going on, then they come clean and admit it. The top cordwainers also know of the problem.

A factory in Australia also told me many years ago about the "construction problem" with GYW shoes. The owner's son who makes the shoes told me that they make their shoes differently (fairstitch construction) because the many English shoes they repair have a "construction problem", and it is common. He said after 7 years many of these shoes get sent to his factory for repairs because the water and salt gets into the insoles and brings about gemming failure. SO....if the water gets in, the stitches and canvass holding the feather can rot.



Handwelted shoes ftw. Here's a funny thought: if a collection contained both GYW and HW shoes, would it make sense to baby the GYW shoes and wear out the HW shoes or the reverse? On the one hand, HW shoes are harder to come by. On the other, they can actually stand up to the abuse.
I don't wear my GYW shoes in heavy wet weather. I always wear my hand welted shoes and fairstitched constructed shoes in wet weather. None-the-less, if l get caught out in rain in GYW shoes l couldn't care less.


would it make sense to baby the GYW shoes and wear out the HW shoes or the reverse?
I wouldn't even worry about it. Wear whatever you like. When it wears out buy a new one.
 

The Shooman

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Mr X tells me that gemming failure is such a problem that companies have now taken to stitching the plastic feather to the insoles. Mr X should know because he goes to China and teaches the factories how to make shoes properly, and he reports that this is what manufacturers are now doing.

Here is Mr X. He knows about these things. Actually Mr X knows lots of things, and he taught me lots of things too. We used to have shoo conversations for several hours on regular occasions (often it was weekly) for many months. Our talks would run several hours into the very late hours and he'd show me many things and secrets of shoemaking.
Mr X 3.jpg
 

shookt

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I wouldn't even worry about it. Wear whatever you like. When it wears out buy a new one.
True, at the end of the day shoes are meant to be worn. The fights over on SF regarding gemming failure are legendary.

Mr X tells me that gemming failure is such a problem that companies have now taken to stitching the plastic feather to the insoles.
I guess that is at least better than just glue. I had to run after a bus today and I thought to myself: thank goodness I'm wearing a handwelted shoe today.
 

The Shooman

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a glued sole shoe with high quality leather > GYW shoe with poor leather.

A quality glued sole shoe can be resoled 3 times by a good repairer, and if a topy is put on it can last for many years.
A GYW shoe can be resoled numerous times IF the construction doesn't fail. The big issue is that they can be difficult to repair.

Many cordwainers in Melbourne Australia don't want to machine stitch shoes anymore because they don't think it has much benefit over glued soles. Frustratingly they ALL tell me this. I disagree, especially when it comes to fairstitch (blake-rapid) construction, that is an awesome construction and next best to hand welting imo. The key is to blake stitch the insole to the slip-sole and then to stitch the rand to the slip-sole to the out-sole and to wear the shoe so only the out-sole is worn down so the blake construction never needs to be redone again. If blake construction needs to be redone the cobblers will mash that insole and upper after a few resolings and things can get tricky from then on because the integrity of the construction is damaged permanently.
 
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