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Issue 37; Just a Shoe Thought

The shoe has and is very much taken for granted, especially by me.  I have owned and do own a large collection of shoes, maybe in comparison to your average gent.  They range from cheap pairs that do the job to slightly higher priced pairs.  But no matter their monetary value they do the job, keep my feet covered and protected when out, to varying degrees. 

But I stopped the other day whilst putting a plaster over my heel as breaking in a slightly midrange pair of derby shoes when I had a thought about my new shoes, when I came upon, nestled inside, the term ‘hand finished’, I had never thought how much skill it takes for me to have shoes.

It is an art form, not something you can pick up in a week at some hipster retreat.  Years of training come together even for a very standard midrange shoe.  Are we slapping these amazing talented people in the face with our low priced heel rubbing shoes, no.  All shoes have a cordwainer in the mix, whether just a finish off or some the whole shoe.  

They are so skilled that one person can make hundreds of pairs in a day, which is the thing keeping fast fashion going.  To watch these people work is amazing for what we mostly take as a necessity and a right to have shoes in the western worlds.  We walk though all manner of life with different shoes, boots and trainers but the makers are lost.

It is known that someone will look at your shoes to sum up who you are, James Bond did it often.  Next time you buy a pair of shoes, or put a pair on, whether from a high street brand or a shoemaker, even down to bespoke shoes, just remember the work that goes into this humble item that has a big impact but really just serves a purpose.