This video gives you an introduction into a few of the processes that go into the making of a handcrafted pair of shoes. It takes you through some of the steps which include: measuring the feet, customizing a last, making a pattern, cutting or “clicking” the leather, closing (sewing the upper), lasting (pulling the upper over the form), preparing the sole, welting (which allow for the lining and upper and insole to be stitched to the outsole), and stitching the outsole. Making shoes by hand is a slow and painstaking process, but there is nothing quite like having a pair of shoes made to your measurements!
The process begins by talking with you, the client, and understanding your style and needs. Many who seek custom footwear come to it because of foot issues. We can account for a variety of these issues and strive to lessen them through custom fitting and construction.
How long does it take?
There are a few variables, but generally it takes a couple of months to produce a custom pair of shoes. This includes time for fittings and adjustments.
What are the costs involved?
As in the video, the last comes first! A custom, hand carved, wooden last costs $500; to adapt an existing last is $250. Once your last is made or adapted, you can have multiple shoes/shoe styles produced with it, as long as the heel pitch (or height) remains the same.
Separate from the cost of the last is the cost of the shoe, which depends on the style and type of the construction, the materials used, and the size of the foot.
Stitch-down construction, which involves stitching the upper and lining directly to the outsole, begins at $500.
Welted construction (as seen in the video), involves stitching the upper, lining and insole to a leather strip or welt, before then stitching it to the outsole, begins at $700.
Sandals start at $200, and do not require a last.