Santoni’s Goodyear Line
I have a love/hate relationship with Santoni. I don’t really hate them, they are actually very nice people who treated me very kindly when I went to visit their factory some years back. But I do love what they can do, which is what they do least of i.e. their Goodyear welted line. They seriously have the potential to be one of the greatest factories in Italy, doing shoes that stack up against any John Lobb, any G&G or any other British maker for that matter. But instead they don’t. They make the shoes that give the best ROI (their blake stitched stuff that they can churn out quickly). Now, I can’t really knock them as a business, because they are brilliant at that –having grown tremendously in the last 10 years– only that I wish that I saw more of their goodyear line. I remember the first time that I had seen their goodyear line (before ever coming to Europe) and I thought it was the best shoe ever. The sole was beautiful, the leather was of extremely good quality and the finishing details were as clean as ever. But then after that shoe, I never saw another one again, only in pictures (and very rare at that). Now I have a good feeling why they don’t make more of them (high costs, harder to sell etc) but I just wish that they did, because I think that they would be recognized as every bit as good as their competition…..