chrstc

Inactive user
Hello,

I know I'm going to regret getting involved in this thread but it does seem to me that one incredibly important aspect of the "factory mentality" and mass production has been missed. Very few bespoke makers today make for younger men or women. One of the shoemakers that I use tells me that I am one of their youngest customers and I am by no means that young any more. Quite simply even the very best makers such as Fosters and Lobb etc would struggle to survive if they relied purely on successive generations of the same families coming through their doors. They need new blood, new customers willing to spend what is, let's face it, an incredible amount of money on a single pair of shoes and very few people would make the leap from Walmart shoes to Lobb St James without going via EG, C&J and a whole range of other makers first.

Factory made shoes opened up the market a whole new clientele who could not otherwise afford good shoes. In that sense the factories have kept traditional shoemakers in business and that is something which shouldn't be overlooked regardless of whether quality standards haev suffered over the years. Personally I would rather see a large group of people in a position to buy GY welted shoes rather than keep them as the preserve of the super-rich, thus condemning the trade to eventual extinction.

Chris.
 

Groover

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
For the 95% who don't know what gemming or an insole rib is, here is a picture of the rib, the white canvas running around the insole.



Here is a picture of the welt after being machine stitched through the uppers,linings, and the rib:

 

clintonf

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Clint,

I thank you for your reply. Bear with me while I observe that people like you are more responsible both for my testiness and my continued engagement with futility than any other factor.

I guess I knew that it was futile. But there were just enough people such as yourself and MF177 to encourage me...just enough thoughtful, even encouraging PM's and emails to foster the hope that someone was listening and, more importantly wanted to hear...or understand.

In passing, I never intended that anyone stop buying their favorite brand of shoes. I am not now, and have not been selling anything. I have scrupulously avoided pushing my own work as an alternative. I simply thought people who consider themselves discriminating would welcome the information and insights.

Again thank you for your courtesy.
DW, you are absolutely welcome. See below for further comments.

And most importantly the original last...again something the cobbler wouldn't have.

is that a correct reading?

I think so, I've done it...and call me DW, if you please.
Now, this is interesting, as someone who's recently gotten into shoes, I have always used local cobblers to do any resoling work. Unfortunately, I've been less than pleased with the result (more about quality than fit).

However, to send a pair of shoes back and pay up to an additional $300 is relatively pricey in comparison a cobbler's general prices.

From my, admittedly limited, understanding, having the shoe "taken care of" by the manufacturer seems the preferred choice. But for me, having to wait weeks for the shoes to be ready combined with cost, has always been a factor.

As I mentioned before, I tried to get some information from one or two people in the shoe industry. I got a positive response from one, who claimed that they've never seen a "gem" fail on a pair of shoes.

But that's just one maker, out of the many around. I just wonder if MF177 may have a point that some of the potential gemming "failures" of shoes may never happen or be identified as such, because the original manufacturer will replace all of the relevant parts when they "service" the shoes?

I have absolutely, no proof of this, but I can't help but wonder?

Very interesting. Thanks DW.

This made me wonder, C:

Is the reception DW got here similar to the one someone pushing C&J or EG would get when posting on a "fashion" forum (one that pushed Gucci and Prada)?
Well, I think some strong and challenging points were raised here and, for some, it must seem like an attack on the very essence of RTW shoe making. So, I guess that there would be some resistance.

But looking at it in context, there must be a reason why Bespoke shoes are deemed "better" than RTW shoes aside from the individual lasting aspect.

I doubt that I'll be changing my buying patterns any time soon, as I cannot afford to spend a vast amount in shoes and I've already collected some "nice" RTW shoes along the way. I'd like to try bespoke, but there isn't a need for any at the moment and most of my shoes fit me well (I guess I'm lucky)

But at least, I should be able to ask better questions of the makers of the RTW shoes that I buy.

Hence, DW good job done (in my opinion).

Hello,

I know I'm going to regret getting involved in this thread but it does seem to me that one incredibly important aspect of the "factory mentality" and mass production has been missed. Very few bespoke makers today make for younger men or women. One of the shoemakers that I use tells me that I am one of their youngest customers and I am by no means that young any more. Quite simply even the very best makers such as Fosters and Lobb etc would struggle to survive if they relied purely on successive generations of the same families coming through their doors. They need new blood, new customers willing to spend what is, let's face it, an incredible amount of money on a single pair of shoes and very few people would make the leap from Walmart shoes to Lobb St James without going via EG, C&J and a whole range of other makers first.

Factory made shoes opened up the market a whole new clientele who could not otherwise afford good shoes. In that sense the factories have kept traditional shoemakers in business and that is something which shouldn't be overlooked regardless of whether quality standards haev suffered over the years. Personally I would rather see a large group of people in a position to buy GY welted shoes rather than keep them as the preserve of the super-rich, thus condemning the trade to eventual extinction.

Chris.
Very good point and aside from making the manufacturers sums of money, factories have brought a lot of exclusive, and otherwise prohibitively expensive stuff to the masses. I, for one am grateful for that.

It would be interesting to get a RTW's shoe Manufacturer's point of view on this thread. Not to start some sort of witch hunt or Internet argument. But, potentially, to provide a rational behind the use of such materials (is there any reason bar cost for it's use?).

Just a thought....

Clint
 

clintonf

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Clint,

I thank you for your reply. Bear with me while I observe that people like you are more responsible both for my testiness and my continued engagement with futility than any other factor.

I guess I knew that it was futile. But there were just enough people such as yourself and MF177 to encourage me...just enough thoughtful, even encouraging PM's and emails to foster the hope that someone was listening and, more importantly wanted to hear...or understand.

In passing, I never intended that anyone stop buying their favorite brand of shoes. I am not now, and have not been selling anything. I have scrupulously avoided pushing my own work as an alternative. I simply thought people who consider themselves discriminating would welcome the information and insights.

Again thank you for your courtesy.
And most importantly the original last...again something the cobbler wouldn't have.

is that a correct reading?



I think so, I've done it...and call me DW, if you please.
Very interesting. Thanks DW.

This made me wonder, C:

Is the reception DW got here similar to the one someone pushing C&J or EG would get when posting on a "fashion" forum (one that pushed Gucci and Prada)?
Hello,

I know I'm going to regret getting involved in this thread but it does seem to me that one incredibly important aspect of the "factory mentality" and mass production has been missed. Very few bespoke makers today make for younger men or women. One of the shoemakers that I use tells me that I am one of their youngest customers and I am by no means that young any more. Quite simply even the very best makers such as Fosters and Lobb etc would struggle to survive if they relied purely on successive generations of the same families coming through their doors. They need new blood, new customers willing to spend what is, let's face it, an incredible amount of money on a single pair of shoes and very few people would make the leap from Walmart shoes to Lobb St James without going via EG, C&J and a whole range of other makers first.

Factory made shoes opened up the market a whole new clientele who could not otherwise afford good shoes. In that sense the factories have kept traditional shoemakers in business and that is something which shouldn't be overlooked regardless of whether quality standards haev suffered over the years. Personally I would rather see a large group of people in a position to buy GY welted shoes rather than keep them as the preserve of the super-rich, thus condemning the trade to eventual extinction.

Chris.
For the 95% who don't know what gemming or an insole rib is, here is a picture of the rib, the white canvas running around the insole.



Here is a picture of the welt after being machine stitched through the uppers,linings, and the rib:

Nice pictures G!!

Thanks for the visual explanation.

Clint
 

Nick V

Senior Member
Regarding re-crafting:

Almost all repair shops will re-craft a shoe using metal jacks or presses. They use a few sizes to accomodate the full size run of mens shoes. Very few shops actually use lasts custom fitted for each pair of shoes. Doing so will prevent the shoe from being mishapped during the re-craft process.
Now, the factories have the exact lasts used in the manufacturing process. Therefore, preventing the shoe from changing shape. Make sense?
I can't tell you how many times shoes were sent back to the factories and the factory aborted the job half way through because they could not finish it. Or, the customer complained that the shoe did not fit right after the re-craft. Well, those shoes get sent to us to finish or correct. I am talking high-grade shoes only. So, if I don't have the original lasts and the companies do, how do those shoes wind up in my shop for us to correct or finish?
I'll tell you why, a good craftsman that takes pride in their work will go the extra distance (which also translates to his out of pocket expense) in order to get the job right. Not many in my industry have that mentality which hurts the repair industry. There are those that do.
So if your repair shop has satisfied you in the past and has proven by their preformence that they appreciate your business continue to use them. They certainly appreciate your business and are willing to continue to earn your trust.
 

MF177

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Regarding re-crafting:
I'll tell you why, a good craftsman that takes pride in their work will go the extra distance (which also translates to his out of pocket expense) in order to get the job right. Not many in my industry have that mentality which hurts the repair industry. There are those that do.
So if your repair shop has satisfied you in the past and has proven by their preformence that they appreciate your business continue to use them. They certainly appreciate your business and are willing to continue to earn your trust.
i agree...
 

Xenon

New Member
I know this thread is old but I was just finally able to access the link to "de pied en cap".

Well I owe an apology to all EG lovers as I was under the firm believe Lobb was superior to EG but if the articles and photos in the link are to be generalised for all shoes from lobb and EG, this is untrue. In fact it appears that EG has a slight edge especially in the materials used. For example the heel stiffener is leather in the EG and synthetic for the Lobb.

Are the Lobb Prestiges built like the Lobb taken apart? who knows?
 

emptym

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
While visiting relatives over Christmas, I found this video about DW. Very well made and interesting. It's a few years old. I'd say both he and his wife have actually grown much more handsome over that time.

After I watched the video, I showed it to my parents and other relatives. It helped them understand why I would spend so much money on a pair of shoes. They said the intelligence, passion, and effort depicted in the video made them appreciate DW's boots and hand-crafted goods in general.
 
Last edited:

indylion

Senior Member
I know this thread is old but I was just finally able to access the link to "de pied en cap".

Well I owe an apology to all EG lovers as I was under the firm believe Lobb was superior to EG but if the articles and photos in the link are to be generalised for all shoes from lobb and EG, this is untrue. In fact it appears that EG has a slight edge especially in the materials used. For example the heel stiffener is leather in the EG and synthetic for the Lobb.

Are the Lobb Prestiges built like the Lobb taken apart? who knows?
Not at all suprised. Rider did a thread a while back comparing Lobb to Tramezza.
 

DWFII

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I know this thread is old but I was just finally able to access the link to "de pied en cap".

Well I owe an apology to all EG lovers as I was under the firm believe Lobb was superior to EG but if the articles and photos in the link are to be generalised for all shoes from lobb and EG, this is untrue. In fact it appears that EG has a slight edge especially in the materials used. For example the heel stiffener is leather in the EG and synthetic for the Lobb.

Are the Lobb Prestiges built like the Lobb taken apart? who knows?
You have to wonder, though. Not all Lobbs are the same. As I understand it, only the Lobbs on St. James street is really Lobbs. All the others are Hermes--they just bought a license to use the name Lobbs. That, in itself, is a shame but you can call a quince a pear all day long and it still won't taste like an Anjou.
 

emptym

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Whoops! I forgot the link to the video in my post above. But it's working now. Sorry for anyone's frustration. It's well worth a look.
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
You have to wonder, though. Not all Lobbs are the same. As I understand it, only the Lobbs on St. James street is really Lobbs. All the others are Hermes--they just bought a license to use the name Lobbs. That, in itself, is a shame but you can call a quince a pear all day long and it still won't taste like an Anjou.
John Lobb Paris is owned by Hermes but the shoes are made in Northampton, along with all the other brands. They are similar to EG in quality but more adventurous in style. They put their own twist on classic styles and are definitely some of the most unique-looking shoes made in Northampton.
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.

IMPORTANT: BEFORE POSTING PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF THE LAST POST OF THIS THREAD. IF IT'S VERY OLD, PLEASE CONSIDER REGISTERING FIRST, AND STARTING A NEW THREAD ABOUT THIS TOPIC.