The Shoe Snob Blog

Bespoke Makers Archive

January 18, 2021

Next Level Sneakers – Masayuki Kaneko

I really think the hardest thing in shoemaking is combining sneaker elements with dress shoe design/style. And I tell you, these ones here by Japanese shoemaker Masayuki Kaneko, are easily the best ones that I have see yet. Being that the foundation of the two different types of shoes are so profoundly different, most attempts at combining the characteristisc of each turns into a Frankenstein result that is neither attractive and sometimes not even weareable. […]

December 28, 2020

Elephant Boots by Alte Art – Next Level!

Well, there is a first for everything and this is the first elephant balmoral boot that I have ever seen. And man is it impressive! And it is no surprise from whom it comes from as these Japanese shoemakers are producing some of the most interesting pieces of art in today’s world, at least for my taste! And their name is Alte Art. Admittedly, I do not know a whole lot about them and their […]

December 9, 2020

Written by , Posted in Japanese, News

Boot Progression by Hiro Yanagimachi

I have been a fan of Hiro Yanagimachi ever since they first came out on the scene of Instagram, way back when. And since then, it has been a pleasant stocking of their brand and progress. One thing I like about Instagram is how you can see a brands’ essence gets shaped and/or adapts to the times, with each passing week and blocks of 3 images. In this case, the essence of Hiro Yanagimachi is […]

November 20, 2020

Next Level Handstitching – Hiro Yanagimachi

What I always loved about Japanese Shoemaker Hiro Yanagimachi is their ability to maintain the most classic look while at the same time offering subtle details that not only set their shoes apart but shows irrefutably their level of skill in shoemaking. This boot here shows just that. An otherwise classic apron toe derby boot, but with next level handstitching. And different variations of handstitching at that! In doing so they show the depth of […]

November 9, 2020

Masayuki Kaneko – The Next Great Japanese Shoemaker

In the day and age of having information at your fingertips, it can almost become too much to absorb and sift through. Prior to IG, you really had to do some hard research to find great shoemakers spread across the planet. You had to use Google search and hope that some bloggers, like myself or Shoegazing, had written about some obscure maker that you had never heard of in order to continue your quest for […]

November 4, 2020

Written by , Posted in Bespoke Makers, News, Other

Blue Sharkskin Boots – Castez Ermili

I love to see the brain being creative and coming up with ideas never before executed. And these blue sharkskin boots by Argentinian shoemaker Castez Ermili (based in Mexico) show just that type of execution with all of the small details shown in the make up of this boot. Sharkskin has always fascinated me. I particularly like it in a burgundy, as I first saw it way back when, in the workshop of Stefano Bemer, […]

October 19, 2020

Creative Loafer Design by Francis Waplinger

I have always loved the look of the Belgian style loafer design, but was never a huge fan of their traditional sole that was essentially built as a house slipper. Being a big loafer fan, in general, I was always waiting for someone to make that more mainstream in terms of a solid, dress shoe style that could be worn more ‘practically.’  And while I think that there have been a few brands that have […]

September 18, 2020

Altan’s Norwegian Wholecuts – A New Trend?

I have been seeing a lot of Norwegian stitching lately, on several different brands but no one has shown it more than Altan Bottier, of Paris. With their skills in patina and specialization of making elegant wholecut oxfords, they have made a collection of Norwegian wholecuts in various colors and styles (dress vs ‘sport’). I never personally like the Norwegian stitch but like psychology would predict in successful marketing the more that you see something, […]

September 2, 2020

Written by , Posted in Asian, News, Other

The Sharpest Derby I Have Seen

If you have read my blog for more than a year you probably know that I am not a huge fan of derby shoes. Something about them just doesn’t really appeal to me in the same way that oxfords and other dress styles do. But I say this as a dress shoe. I like them as more “casual” styles. But always found it weird when guys wore casual derbies with suits. It never sat right […]

August 31, 2020

Sole Creativity on the Rise!

A strange phenomenon has occurred and that is that people seem to be enjoying more and more the idea of a decorated shoe sole and pictures of them. When I add a sole shot to my IG feed, depending on how shiny it is and the angle of it, often it is getting more likes, comments and circulation than my pictures of beautiful shoes. Go figure. Maybe I should become ‘The Sole Snob’ and only […]