The Shoe Snob Blog

July 23, 2012

Written by , Posted in News

Gaining Inspiration For Shoe Design

As most of you may know I just recently came back from Spain, of which the factory that is making my shoes is located, specifically in the town of Almansa, where there are rumored to be between 30-50 factories (depending on who you ask) making footwear. Think of it as the Spanish equivalent to Northampton, where mostly everything relating to shoes is present within one little town. This means however, that as I was brought into this connection through the vouching of another, that I find myself at the mercy of other business that he needs to attend to whilst we are there. As the very first time that I went, and took pictures of the boot factory, Sendra, for all of you to see how it works (and looks), I found myself again at this factory in their ever-so-big showroom, alone with my imagination and loads of time to kill. As showrooms can be a fantastic place to see how the minds of other designers work, I decided this time to truly open my mind to the details in cowboy boots that might be able to be transferred to normal shoes.

Color combinations: always good to see on something else, to get an idea before attempting yourself
Interesting skin, might look good on a wholecut?
Interesting strap, different than your average monk

Green leather – lovely!
Jean material – very interesting….

What most people may or may not realize is that cowboy boots tend to be among the best footwear (in terms of construction, durability and quality) out there. At Sendra, everything is goodyear welted and made to the standard of your typical high end shoe, such as the likes of Carmina, Magnanni (GY line), Enrile as well as the many other Spanish factories that produce goodyear welted shoes. Believe it or not, legendary Riccardo Bestetti even got his start in western boot making, in America, before going back to Italy to become one of the best known shoemakers around. And while cowboy boots certainly aren’t my thing I found myself appreciating them more and more the longer that I spent looking at them and dissecting their design and construction. And because of this time spent in the showroom, some of the things you will see in these pictures will translate into small details used in my own collection. This is the beauty of inspiration and I find myself, more often than not, finding inspiration to my designs from footwear that is not at all in relation to my own, such as cowboy boots, sneakers and women’s shoes.

Black on Tan: Love it!
What looks like sheep’s wool: interesting…
Interesting fabric and buckles
In case I ever want to use bright yellow???
Just for laughs….
Stitching on upper….could be interesting if done classicly

Infinite inspiration….

Because it has been so long since I had gone to Spain to work on my collection, we worked very fast this time, knocking out everything that needed to be done. That means I: modified my medallion (only slightly), secured the insignia that goes inside of the shoe, finalized my lasts to their final width/length proportions, and picked all of the colorways for my 14 different models (32 SKU’s in total). And now these will all hopefully be done by some time in September. But as prior experience would have me say, this is not official. I managed to create some colorways that I had not previously thought of, that I am very excited about and think that many of you will be too, at least I hope so. One thing that I did find and hope to use, is that red piece of pebble grain that you see in the picture below, paired with black (my favorite shoe color combination – as the logo would have you believe). So, as you can see, while there have been several hiccups in the process, I am progressing as quick as I can….

Fringe galore
Interesting strap….


  1. Alex B
  2. Alex B

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *