The Shoe Snob Blog

September 17, 2011

Written by , Posted in News

Shoe Of The Week – Maftei

As the world progresses, it becomes harder and harder to say that one thing, whether it be a product or service, is best found here or there. This used to be the case many years ago, but as people become more and more curious about the arts and crafts that were once famous in a certain area, they begin to take it upon themselves to become just as good. Some even go as far as becoming better. So, for me it’s very nice to discover shoemakers that come from areas that one not might suspect would be a place that offers bespoke shoes at a high caliber. While this might still be the case in some countries, it is definitely not in Austria, as this shoe by Maftei looks just as good as any prominent maker in the industry. Not only does the shoe look good in a construction aspect, but the style is among my current favorites, pairing two colors that I love together and doing it in a very unique and beautiful way. Have a look through his site and maybe you too will find something that strikes your fancy and presents itself as unique and individual.

  • Interesting find, their collections seem to be heavily inspired by Cleverly to me, with their sleek but classic profiles and chiseled toes.

  • Linetti

    You really don’t have an idea, do you? maftei.AT -> AT -> AUSTRIA. Austria is one of the most prominent areas for bespoke shoemaking in Europe, and one of the areas with the most history as well.

  • Benjy – Could very well be….who knows.

    Linetti – No need for the attitude my friend. Under the contact tab in the website, did not see anything that indicated Austria, just saw the city Bucharest named, so assumed it was Romania. We can’t all know everything…

  • Linetti

    Certainly not, but same thing with Hungary etc. a few posts ago… rather annoying for an European, reading an American article writing about Central European shoemaking, sounded for me like it was the most unnatural thing to be discovered ever.

  • Linetti – And what Hungarian thing did I mistake? Because I mentioned that Laszlo Vass was small? In reality, he is, when compared to many. It was not a jab at him in any way. It was a compliment to say that someone, who is RELATIVELY small in the shoe industry is respected and sought after by so many. Maybe you just don’t understand what I am trying to say. I wouldn’t expect you to know everything about the States, that would be ignorant of me….
    And the way you say these things, assuming that one is not able to make mistakes sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder against Americans…Please, if you don’t like what I say, then don’t read my blog. It’s that simple.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • dollarkvn

    On the Topic of Austrian Shoemakers, have you seen Rudolf Sheer? Family run since 1816 they make wonderful shoes. Sadly beyond my price range since they only do bespoke work.

  • Well said my friend.

  • Linetti

    It is a common prejudice in Europe that Americans only see their country ( concerning the issue of development etc.). In my class some friends of mine went off for an exchange year to the States. As a first interaction they were asked questions like “Is there electricity in Austria”, “Are there kangaroos in Austria?” and so on. Now guess what my thoughts about the average American are? These questions, that show a general lack of general education, were not a single case, but came up with about every second of our exchange students.
    And now you come along with something like “Even me, I must admit, would have never thought about going to learn bespoke shoemaking in Croatia, Poland, Hungary or any other country outside of England, France, Italy and Japan, …” which has for me personally the side taste of the same type of arrogance like in the questions above, which makes me run a bit uneven, if you like.

    I hope you now understand what I wanted to express, I tend to be a bit harsh in the first place (which was perfectly reflected in your last answer)

    And Scheer is indeed worth a look. If your look at scheer.at under the section “Shoes”, you will find one of the most beautiful black shoes I’ve ever seen, called the “Classic fully smooth shoe”, 7th picture.

  • Dollarkvn – No I have never heard of them, but thank you sharing their name. I totally understand how you feel. There are vast amounts of shoemakers that I would love to order from, yet cannot afford to do so.

    Vladimir – Thank you my friend

    Linetti – Even if I was being arrogant and ignorant, you are no better than me with the way that you respond and think about American society as a whole, due to a few stupid people. You are generalizing yourself in this instance. And you must understand that America is a BIG place and yes, our education system is far less than great, which unfortunately leaves many syllabuses without world history in it. But I highly doubt that you could tell me many things about my country, and would even venture to utter some common generalizations if questioned, such as I have.

    For 90% of the world population (or even more), I can guarantee you that they only think of those countries when thinking about bespoke shoemaking. And my phrase was actually intended to belittle myself, saying that I, a person who is obsessed with shoes, only thought to look in those places when there was actually a world of opportunity elsewhere. Maybe you don’t understand English so well, as in no way was I ever being arrogant. Then again, I write as if my brain was thinking it. There is not much editing. It’ what makes my blog unique. And don’t forget the title. If I am ever arrogant, it’s because I am A SNOB!

    I understand what you are saying, but I still think that your responses are really not based on what I said (if you re-read them you will see that in no way was I being arrogant) but more due to the fact that you truly have a deep disdain for American people’s intelligence, which you highly underestimate based on a few ignorant people that you experienced. And in this case, you saw the opportunity to try and prove that by correcting me on my mistake.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • the idler of march

    I think Linetti should be congratulated on his profoundly logical argument – clearly the best way to show that American people are prejudiced is to find one and be prejudiced to him/her.

    If anyone was still left in some doubt, I can confirm that there is electricity in Austria. It is more or less a prerequisite for one of the pillars of Austrian culture – raising your family in a self-constructed underground dungeon – you can just about do without it but your children end up awfully pale.

  • The Idler of March – Well said…

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • Linetti

    I think of the information I gathered as written above as a random sampling, exchange students where based in Seattle (somewhat your corner, isn’t it?), Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, even Alabama which falsifies the argument of “a few stupid people”.

    And I must correct you because you seem to have lost the benchmark for your and mine and every other readers position in the world’s population. 90 % percent, if not more, don’t think about shoemaking AT ALL.

    And the arrogance, this thought came to my mind just today in the morning, I was indicating comes as well from the answer of the rhetoric question I would like to ask: what should the reason for not thinking of Hungarian, Austrian (I assume you wouldn’t have looked here for shoes some time ago, before writing this article) etc. shoemaking history be? Do you consider Hungarian culture underdeveloped, Hungarian craftsmanship as not worth thinking about? Something must have made Hungary unworthy in your mind. Obviously, at least before entering the world of bespoke shoes, as you write, to be perfectily precise. (This said makes re-reading unnecessary)

    Little comparison: When Mr Scheer I. set up his business, some Americans had just ended the War of 1812 for a few years.

    But all discussion is needless, if no one profits from it. So I like to make the proposition and ask you to make yourself more familiar with Austrian shoemaking and to catch up with the as-is state. Some links for a start:

    http://www.strichpunkt.at/materna/meisterstuecke.php

    Scheer as above,

    http://www.kudweis.at/massschuhe/herren.html

    Maftei which you already discovered

    http://www.massschuhe-schikola.at/

    http://www.balint.at/english/index2.htm

    PPS: SNOB is a latin expression (Latin seems to sadly be something unusual in American schools) and means without courtliness (sine nobilitate). You might want to re-consider being proud of being a Snob…

  • Linetti

    Idler of march: If raising families in a self-constructed Underground dungeon is a pillar of Austrian culture what is than its equivalent in American culture? Raising students which ends for them running around in schools, shooting dozens of other students and teachers, or to march into uninvolved sovereign countries and to incite war?

    My apologies but not answering would not have been an option.

  • Linetti – Although you write English so eloquently and seem to be very well educated, you don’t seem to understand it very well as you miss the mark of most of the things that I say. You say things that make no sense, if you were to study my blog for just a second. Having not thought about bespoke shoemakers in these countries “before” my coming to Europe to study shoes, came from a lack of general knowledge and having never truly took the time to research it. It had nothing to do with thinking another country was unable to produce such craftsmanship or was in your words, ‘underdeveloped.’

    If you go through my blog, you will see how I have mentioned not only Laszlo Vass, Jan Kielman, Saint Crispins, Strugar and also my friend Marcell (of Koronya) and have him credited on my blog as a source of inspiration for anyone who wishes to learn about shoemaking. Being that, you clearly seem to have some grudge that you hold for some unknown reason and frankly, it is starting to bore me.

    You seem to want to argue for the sake of arguing and have a very close minded approach about others and therefore I ask that you no longer waste my time nor anyone else’s by continuing to respond with anger. I thank you for your links. Other than that, like I said earlier, if you do not like my blog or what I write about then don’t come back to read it. It really is that simple.

    PS – We no longer speak Latin so I really don’t care what the word ‘Snob’ origins are. And by the way, since you love to be a smart ass, I did take Latin, IN AMERICA, and received a 4.0 which is the top mark. Being book smart, well-read, educated in worldly matters does not make you better than anyone else, especially when you think it does. It just makes you arrogant.

    Idler of March – Please do not respond to his tasteless remark.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • Linetti

    Being proud of insult, ok, what ever it is that you like.
    And, for the sake of an open discussion, as a last thing, I would really like to hear from you what is more tasteless about my remark than I.o.M’s comment that doesn’t make it necessary to call tasteless on his comment but only on mine?

  • Linetti – Because I can see how that would be misconstrued, I will appease to your request to state that I was referring to his sarcasm in talking about how you were talking about prejudiced Americans by being prejudiced yourself. In no way will I lower myself to talk bad about an entire race. I was not patting him on the back for the second remark….and it was you who started the insulting, because you mistook my writing. DONE NOW!

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • fritzl

    yes, you can find one of the best shoes in the world in vienna. maftei is an excellent example. also, these makers can do woodpegged as opposed to their english colleagues. what a blamage for the kingdom.

  • Fritzl – Not sure that because the English don’t do woodpegged waists or heels makes them any less proficient. It just may because they prefer not to. While I have never seen a Viennese bespoke shoe in the flesh, I can imagine that the craftsmanship would be up there with the best.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • fritzl

    exactly, they are not trained in this technique. in honor to jeremy clarkson and his Stig analogies: some say… …you get the point.

  • This line of commentary boggled me.

    Justin, let the haters hate, continue to focus on the great job you’ve been doing, and more importantly, my crepe soled dress shoe!

  • Fritzl – Well, to each his own. As being the best is very much a subjective opinion, there is no right or wrong. In my opinion, the best are the Japanese makers anyway.

    Benjy – Crazy huh?! Crepe soled dress shoes coming up, just for you! Give me some time to make a name and I promise that I will make them in one of my season’s collection and call them, “The Benjy!”

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • Linetti – Oh by the way, if you still read this blog, you were wrong….Maftei is from Romania, just has shops in Austria and grew his talents there, so actually you don’t have a clue, do you?!!!

    -Justin