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The Creation of a Bespoke Shoe

When it comes to fashion items, men are usually guilty of seeing the final price tag before quality and will sometimes sneer at bespoke shoes. That is, until they’ve experienced the customized fit of a bespoke shoe and realize that they’ve been trying to cram their feet into something that wasn’t suitable for them in the first place! Typical department store shoes, while far cheaper, can create more problems than they solve and this is why many are gravitating towards bespoke shoes. However, what goes into them?




Every bespoke shoe begins with a consultation. This can sometimes be done online for more simple projects, but those requiring something specific will usually need to visit the maker for an in-person consultation. There, the maker will take precise measurements of the wearer’s feet in order to determine exactly what levels of support and size they actually require.

Hand Made Shoe

Hand Made Shoe

Pattern Cutting

Once the measurements have been determined, then the maker will need to cut a pattern of the foot in order to create the initial shape of each component of the shoe. These will include the upper, the sole, the insole, the outside, and the heel. During the consultation phase, the maker will have determined what sizes are appropriate for each and will develop the initial specification of the shoe through the creation of a pattern based on his measurements.

The Last

Once the pattern has been created, it will compared against a last: a foot-shaped piece of material where the mold will be cast. Shoemakers usually have quite a few lasts at their disposal, so various foot requirements can be created more flexibly.


Once the initial mould of the shoe has been created, then it is time to edge the end pieces of the materials so as to create neat seams when stitched together. This will involve flattening the mesh, leather, or other material and create very crisp lines in the end product. Here, makers will usually request that the wearer come to them for a second consultation before it is all joined together. This will address any last minute concerns wearers may have.

Bespoke Shoes

Bespoke Shoes

Finishing of a Bespoke Shoe

When all is said and done, it’s time for the maker to join the pieces together and finish the shoe. One final clean and polish will accompany the end product and then it’ll be time to ship the shoes to the wearer.

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband