5 Tips for Bespoke Shoes (Pt 2)

Readers can find part one here

“Getting it right” for bespoke shoes is more important because of the cost (not to mention bespoke shoes also live forever).

It’s less harm to screw up buying a cheap pair of shoes because it didn’t cost thousands of dollars. If you blunder with a bespoke purchase, you’ll probably feel a lot of regret, especially if you’ve saved up.

So here is part two of the list:

  1. Wear MTO or MTM first – most people start out that way. Because you will know your likes/dislike about that shoe (e.g. the color, fit, style). Maybe you find that you wear out your toe or heel a lot, so you need a 1/4″ rubber piece or a toe cap.
  2. Invest in toe caps – whether you quickly wear out your heel or not, the toes will eventually wear over time. Protect your shoes.
  3. Be specific about the kind of sole you want – Do you want rubber, leather, or dainite soles? Will you be using these shoes for the rain? Ask your shoemaker how heavy these soles are and question whether you will enjoy wearing them.
  4. Save loafers for your 3rd-plus pair – Loafers should sit very closely to your foot. Technically, loafers are the trickiest to nail because they lack a lacing system. Your shoemaker should already be familiar with your feet and lasts ideally before creating a new loafer last.
  5. Choose your shoemaker wisely – Every shoemaker has a different style. Some Japanese and Italian bespoke shoes look similar, but they are very different in style and finish. Go and visit the workshop first and see if you like the model samples.

*Photo by Hiro Yanagimachi

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