The Shoe Snob Blog

Bespoke Shoemakers Archive

August 2, 2017

Koji Endo Bottier Revisited

  Koji Endo Bottier makes some of the nicest shoes in the world. Predominantly they are quite classic in terms of style but the last shapes are on another level. His almond toe shape is nothing shy of perfect (aka its flawless) and his patterns are spot-on when it comes to being fluid with the shape of the last. As always when comparing shoes against shoes in like pricepoints these two points are crucial to […]

July 13, 2017

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LEATHER QUALITY & HOW IT VARIES

Perfect leather all the way around….top grade too Let me start by saying that this is a long, yet informative post. I made a comment on the blog the other day in reference to one shoemakeris leather being typically of a lesser quality with respects to another maker. Not necessarily that it was a low quality, only that within the grades of high quality, one was lower than the other. This comment threw off the […]

July 11, 2017

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What Makes A Shoe Attractive?

I have seen cheap shoes look good and expensive shoes look terrible. More often than not, it is not so much about the components of the shoe as much as it is the execution of the design. But the design is made up of much more than one may think. Now, the idea of attraction is quite subjective but then again I just don’t think that it really is when it comes to being on […]

June 28, 2017

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Grades Of Shoe Craftsmanship

Bespoke shoes by Gaziano & Girling As I have stated before, there seems to be a whole lot of confusion as to how a shoe is made (whether by hand, machine or a bit of both), particularly due to the lack of knowledge from salesmen at retail stores, as well as the misrepresentation of words (such as ‘handmade’) printed on a shoe itself and/or the marketing of most brands. These two things, coupled with the […]

June 16, 2017

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This Week’s Favorite – Stephane Jimenez Saddle Oxford

As many of you know, I am a super fan of the saddle oxford, ever since I saw the iconic bespoke sample in the workshop of Stefano Bemer back in 2008. It is not often that you see a saddle oxford that is strikingly different than the original design, but Stephane Jimenez (who also trained under Bemer) made one that is quite amazingly different than the iconic model. And it is dashingly handsome to say […]

May 30, 2017

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Tony Gaziano (from Gaziano & Girling) Interview

Being an aspiring shoemaker/shoe designer myself, I find it critical to try and meet the people in the industry who are shoemakers or shoe designers themselves and do my best to absorb their knowledge or input of how exactly one gets into the industry and more importantly, how one successfully stays in the industry. Knowing that I am not the only aspiring individual and that it might not always be easy to get this type […]

May 19, 2017

Masaru Okuyama Blue Bespoke Oxfords

I was at an event a few weeks back and managed to catch site of this immaculate pair of bespoke oxfords by Masaru Okuyama. Unfortunately the place was dimly lit and I only had my mobile phone so I managed to snap a mediocre picture (as you see above) but in no way does this represent the beauty of the shoes at hand. For those that do not know Mr. Okuyama is a Japanese bespoke […]

May 17, 2017

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Gaziano & Girling New Jodhpur Boot Model

Gaziano & Girling never stop ceasing to impress with this new jodhpur boot model that they have launched a few weeks back. Unlike most jodhpur boots that share a very similar pattern, G&G really thought hard about making this one a step and above. First and foremost, you almost never see the seam go all the way to the joint of the foot. Lobb had one that went 3/4 of the arch placement but G&G […]

April 25, 2017

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Things To Know About Shoes, Part 3: 21-30

Here is yet another post about Things to Know About Shoes. If you missed 1-20, you can find them HERE and HERE. I hope that you all enjoy! 21. Grained leather takes the rain best of all i.e. does not show the wear and tear as bad as calf. Suede is next (darker suede that is). Calfskin is actually the most sensitive out of the (main) leathers. So when it rains, wear suede or grained […]

April 11, 2017

Yohei Fukuda Perfection

There are handmade bespoke shoes and then there are Handmade Bespoke Shoes. Guess which one Yohei Fukuda makes? You see, anyone can learn to make shoes, but few can learn to make them to the level that this master shoemaker does. When you see his shoes in person you see complete, flawless perfection. They are literally jaw-dropping and it makes me wonder how much time he puts into one pair. Nevertheless these have to be […]