So, if you’ve been around here awhile, you know we like to customize things. You also are aware that I like to think I know something about menswear (aka, I appreciate quality and like stuff that looks good). So, while that means I’ve tried out a variety of customized stuff (a suit, some shirts, and a watch), I’ve never done a custom pair of shoes. Well, now you and I can do exactly that via a Kickstarter that is wrapping up this Sunday.
So, normally when you read custom shoes, throw in “handmade”, and the fact that they’re welted (rather than glued construction), then you’re thinking you’re in for a hurting. Surprisingly, they’ve got early bird pricing that starts at just $175, which is frankly unheard of. Of course, we’ve never heard of this company, so you have to think about what sort of quality (in materials and construction) might be in play here. But that’s all Kickstarter projects – caveat emptor, and all that.
However, when you start with a Goodyear welt (the tl:dr on that is allow shoes to be resoled over time, which means you have a pair of shoes that can last decades), there is attention being given to the construction. That leaves the leather as the big question here – ie, how nice is it? And, as you start reading reviews on shoes (yeah, I’ve done that), you will find that the leather plays a big part of how comfortable a shoe is, not to mention how well it looks and ages.
Oh, and on the comfort level – their custom app seems to be on target for helping that be good out of the box, particularly if you have an odd foot size or shape. The long and short of that is, you take a picture of your foot against a piece of paper, and then they customize the shoe to your foot (my guess is that it’ll be tweaks based off of standard lasts for the various sizes, but I’m not a cobbler).
The campaign is sitting at about 80% funded with just a few days to go (it closes out on December 3rd). I like the looks of what we’re seeing here, and we’ve been in contact with them about being able to try out the process (and the shoes). Presumably, once the campaign hits funding targets (if it does), then their sizing app will be tweaked via these early backers, and then there will be some sort of public availability. Once we get to go hands (feet?) on with the shoes, we’ll let you know our impression of things (and especially that leather). kickstarter campaign page