The Shoe Snob Blog

November 11, 2016

Written by , Posted in English, News, RTW Makers

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SHOES PART 5: 41-50

Vass shoes courtest of Ascot Shoes

Vass shoes courtest of Ascot Shoes

 

***Pics in post have nothing to do with the post itself, except the last picture which is in reference to rule 50.****

41. One rule in this long list stated that shoe fit is subjective. While this is true on a personal level, the way a shoe should really fit is by hugging your foot, like a glove does to your hand. The reason why is due to arch placement (which translates how much support you are getting). Lasts were made on the basis that there are standards to feet and where their arches are. Now of course, these rules can be broken by many as some people will have really long arches with short toes, and really short arches with long toes, thus throwing all the general rules out the window.

But for those with relatively normal feet. your arch should be proportionate to your length. That being, the arch in a last should correspond to the arch placement in your foot. If you wear shoes too big or too small, then that arch placement will be off and that is where feet problems come in. Wearing shoes too big causes your arch to overwork itself which can cause significant problems. Wearing shoes too small causes many other things, least of which are corns. So, that being, a shoe should be felt, not feel like it’s dangling on your feet. That is bad fit. Feel the shoe, like you feel a glove.

42. Creasing in the cap is automatically a sign of  bad fit….WRONG!!! This could be due to a million and one things, only one of which could be bad fit. Could be the pattern, could be your toe length, could be if you are a shoe salesmen and constantly get down on one knee will creasing the hell out of your shoes/toes while measuring feet, could be the toe stiffener was cut to thin or too short or a ton of other reasons. So Mr. know-it-alls on the internet, don’t go giving newbees the wrong info. It’s bad fit only if the shoe was bespoke as all of those things would have been taken into account!

Your classic cap toe by J.FitzPatrick Footwear

Your classic cap toe by J.FitzPatrick Footwear

43. The physical difference between split grain and full grain suede is simply how long the nap is. The difference in reality is more than twice the price (buying it from the tanneries) yet, I don’t feel that it is twice the quality. Almost no shoes under £400 will be using full grain suede, despite what they say. It is not cost effective. The only exception is certain large brands that own their own factories. But brands that buy from another factory and cost less than £400 will be using split suede. If they say otherwise…..well I am sure you know what I am getting at.

44. The only difference between 1st grade and 3rd grade leather is the amount of blemishes on the hide. It’s like comparing a person that was physically fit their whole life who ate right and whatnot versus someone that chain smoked, drank and never exercised.

45. On that note (see 44), there are rumors (that are true) that some (if not many) high end shoemakers will buy up all of the tanneries 3rd grade leather (at a great price) only to cut one pair of shoes from it and then throw the rest away. Now assume we are still talking about high end makers (think +£700), the alternative is buying 1st grade leather and making 3-4 pairs from it (as one can never utilize the whole skin when making +£700 shoes). So don’t be fooled thinking that your favorite maker is only using 1st grade skin. You wouldn’t believe the amount of tricks there are in the shoe industry.

Your go to brogue boots by Crockett & Jones

Your go to brogue boots by Crockett & Jones

46. If you are aspiring to be in the shoe industry, there is one thing to remember: timelines are always a lie. If a factory says 2 months to make the shoes, you better be well prepared for 4 months. That is why it is always better to under promise and over deliver to your customers. It’s a fool’s errand trying to tell your clients that you will get things done quicker as only you will be left picking up the pieces to your client’s disappointment.

47. I touched on this with a proper post that you can find HERE, but in reality a shoe only takes a maximum of a week to make, never 3-4 months. The reason why there are 3-4 month quoting periods is because you are never the only client of the factory. A factory (a good one that is) is simply a system of queue’s. That’s it. Shoe ordered, back of the queue. Deal with it and never think that you are so special as to get to the front of the queue.

48. Colored linings can stain your lighter colored socks, especially a red lining. Be weary of colored linings…..especially the brighter ones.

49. If you wear a closed channel sole for the first time on a wet day, there is a good chance that the water will help to separate the flap that creates the closed channel. Always wear your closed channeled shoes for the first time on a dry day.

50. I haven’t said this in years but feel for some reason that I must say it now: SQUARE TOED SHOES SHOULD NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. THEY ARE JUST OUTRIGHT UGLY AND THE FURTHEST THING FROM COOL OR ELEGANT!!!

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