The Shoe Snob Blog

April 28, 2011

Written by , Posted in News

Today’s Favorites – Craig Corvin Bespoke Shoemaker

Becoming a bespoke shoemaker is tough, but becoming a bespoke shoemaker in America is even harder. But thanks to a few people who are teaching what they know and sharing it with others, there is a way if you have the will, and a few bucks. Funny enough, as I was starting out, I was looking for people to learn from and I never knew until years later that I had a bespoke maker right in my backyard, in Seattle. That is Craig Corvin. After reading his blog and sending him an email, I quickly discovered that Craig, like me, started his learning process at The Shoe School, which is a tiny workshop run by two wonderful people, Alan and Jane, in a small, quaint town in Western Washington. He then took what he learned from that and went on to study under Marcell (otherwise known as Koronya) in Budapest, Hungary. The rest seems to be history and now Craig does what he can while still maintaining another job, all for the love of shoemaking.

I know that it is hard to find bespoke shoemakers in the States and I thought that this might give some of you, a chance to see that you do not need to go all the way to Europe or Japan or where ever to get bespoke shoes, you can just look in the NW of the States. On another note, on the day of the Royal Wedding, here in England, I will be taking the day off from work to go shape my new lasts and learn how to cut a pattern, from my very own design. I am quite excited and can’t wait to show all of you my finished product, although that might be a little while from now. But as a clue to what it will be, I will just say that it does involve fabric.

  • OOH, can’t wait to see your finished product and including fabric into the equation, risky but I LIKE IT!
    Kinda feels like the Royal Wedding for us Shoe Snobs around the world. All will be watching so keep us posted.

    Julio B.

  • Justin,

    I forgot to mention a question that I had in mind. With the purchase of a rubber sole, can they be taken in to be replaced with a leather sole? As to properly placing it in the ”dressier” category or can a rubber sole lets say on a slim monk strap shoe be business or formal attire?

    Julio B.

  • Julio B. – Thanks, I am quite eager too!! It might be awhile though, as it is tough to take time off, yet also coordinate with the individual that shows me how to do these things. And then once the pattern is all said and done, I have to wait for it to be closed and then I have to make it. I am just hoping that before July, I will have the shoe!

    If your shoes are goodyear welted, and not glued, then yes it can be done, but make sure that you take it to a good cobbler. You second question depends on who you are talking to. Traditionalists would not touch a rubber soled shoe to a suit in a million years, but for me, the the sole is slim and you can’t tell from a meter away that the sole is rubber than I would say yet, wear it for business attire. Now formal attire, on the other hand, I believe is best with a leather sole.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • Well said Justin.

    Thanks and cheers!
    Julio B.