A Shoemaker's Blog RSS

Shoemaking: Last Making For Flat Feet

I took in an order for a customer with flat feet and here are some photos of the last that I had made. Normally, I prefer to work with wooden lasts but because of the climate in Singapore and logistical issues, I find myself using more plastic lasts here. Before and After Here is a before and after shot of the last. The left shows the unmodified side while the right has been completed. Another angle While the lasts are built to the customer's measurements, there are usually 2 main points that I pay attention to on flat feet, namely adding volume to the arch and reducing volume from the instep. Here are some photos to illustrate. Big piece of leather...

Continue reading

Shoemaking: Toe Puff Preparation

I've got some enquiries on what leather I use for our toe puffs so here's a short post. Our toe puffs come from Baker, a tannery in Devon UK which specialises in oak bark tanning. Baker's pit tanning process takes about 14months with fantastic end results  Toe puffs from Baker come pre-cut in about 2/2.5mm thickness.  Before and After The edges need to be skived down, with the straight edge paper thin. The round sides are skived to slightly less than 1mm so that they are still strong enough to be lasted. Skived Edge On fitting shoes, I use different toe puffs. On the left is a split leather toe puff from Japan, it comes pre-skived and already thinned but still requires...

Continue reading

Shoemaking: Toe Puff

It took me a while to appreciate how much the toe puff affects the look of the finished shoes. Here's an image of a pair of chisel toe samples being made. Under those layers of leather is a ~4mm thick leather insole. Hardly noticeable due to the unbroken slope down to the feather edge. A small and subtle detail that carries a huge visual impact.

Continue reading