After the shoes are lasted the insole and welt are attached using glue. It is after this stage when the customer comes in for a fitting. If the fit is not satisfactory adjustments can still be made. Otherwise, the shoemaker proceeds with stitching together the welt, upper and insole. I wanted a narrow waist on this pair so the welt does not extend to the entire length of the shoe. Continue Reading
Traditionally, bespoke shoes are made with a last that is made specifically for an individual. This process makes bespoke shoes expensive because creating a unique last takes a lot of time and effort. With Sapatero Manila the process is slightly different. Instead of creating a last from scratch they instead customise an existing last using the measurements and shape noted down in the first part. Layer upon layer of leather is applied and sanded down until the desired measurements and shape is achieved. The advantage to this are two-fold. Sapatero Manila is able to keep the cost down and deliver a pair of shoes in a much shorter amount of time. Continue Reading
Last summer Raymond Villanueva went to Europe and came back impressed with the quality of shoes being made there. After his trip he thought of getting into a new hobby: shoemaking. Eager to learn how to make shoes he went to Marikina, the shoemaking capital of the Philippines, and paid a factory to allow him to work there. There he learned how to make a pattern, how to skive leather and how to last — essentially how to build a pair of shoes from start to finish. It wasn’t long until he realised that given the right materials, designs and standards that Philippine-made shoes can be at par or even better than European-made shoes. With this in mind he established Sapatero Manila as a bespoke shoemaker offering shoes that lasts a lifetime, features timeless designs and above all great value. Continue Reading
Getting a pair of suede shoes has been on my mind for some time now. Suede is soft and therefore comfortable. It still looks great even when a little beat up. With those qualities I decided to pick up the Carmina Hawthorne navy suede penny loafers from Epaulet New York. I had some concerns with the sizing so I contacted Mike and he told me to size down to UK 9 (for reference I wear a UK 9.5 on my Carmina dub monks on the Inca last). The sizing advice he give was spot on and the shoe fits like a glove. The Xim last is perfect for my slightly wide feet and somewhat low arch as opposed to the Uetam last which fits slim and gapes around my arch. Continue Reading
Resoling a pair of shoes is fairly straightforward for cheaper shoes. But when you’ve started to invest in high quality footwear resoling costs a lot more and involves shipping your shoes back and forth to the manufacturer. I know that owning nice things means spending the proportionate amount of time and money in caring for them. However, the costs and downtime of having shoes resoled by the manufacturer is not practical. This has led me to put sole protectors on all of my new shoes. Continue Reading
UNIQLO Perfect Shape Cargo Pants + Tricker’s Burford in Espresso
My friends behind The Refined Man Shop and I got together for a shoot to show how we’d wear the Tricker’s shoes and boots that were brought in. Here are some photos from that shoot where I am wearing the various pieces with different pairs of trousers. If you are interested in buying any of the shoes featured here please go visit The Refined Man Shop on Facebook or email theRMshop@gmail.com.
Last year two of my friends who are also into menswear teamed up to start The Refined Man Shop. Their mission was to bring in the best brands of shoes and boots to the Philippines and make it accessible by selling it at a reasonable price. Their first batch of shoes is by Tricker’s − a well-known English shoemaker based in Northampton, England. They are known for their brogues and boots and that is evident in this batch. All their shoes are Goodyear-welted and uses the finest calfskin leathers. The detailing is classically British and the thick soles are meant for walking a lot whether in the city or the countryside. These shoes will work with any casual outfit whether they be jeans, chinos, or cargo pants. Continue Reading
After I bought my Carmina dub monks I went to Tassels to pick up some items for my shoe care kit. I’ve never seriously taken care of my shoes before so I thought it was time to up my game. Since my dub monks were in brown I got both Saphir Medaille D’Or creme and wax in medium brown. Saphir makes the best shoe cremes and waxes so it was a no-brainer purchase.
Unlike cheaper brands, Saphir’s cremes and waxes are made with natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, carnauba wax, a variety of nutrient waxes and twice the amount of pigments. You can tell the quality of the ingredients used just by the wonderful smell it gives off when opening the jar and can.
Cremes and waxes serve different purposes so it was essential to buy both. The creme is used to restore color and give off a soft shine while the wax protects the leather and is used to give a high gloss shine.
Rounding out the kit is a horse hair brush (also from Saphir) for removing dirt and debris. Wallace of Tassels made my kit even better when he included a polishing cloth as a gift. A nice gesture that will surely not be forgotten.
In terms of footwear I can say I’ve covered the basics. So for my next purchase I decided that I would get a style that looks great in either a suit or jeans and everything in between. The style that I had in mind was one that you don’t see very often: the double monk strap. My decision came down to the Carmina Double Monk Strap in Calf Brown on the Inca last which is carried by The Armoury. Continue Reading
Introduced in 1967 the Tretorn Nylite has been around for decades. It was once worn by the legendary tennis player Bjorn Borg (fact: I used to be a tennis player) and has become a classic that has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last two years thanks to The Nylite Project.
Its Eco OrthoLite insole was the reason I chose these pair of canvas sneakers. This type of insole is so comfortable you can walk in them for hours. It is lined which makes them a pleasure to use sans socks. It works with almost anything but I like to wear them with chinos or shorts and a polo shirt. Best worn on sunny weekends.