There’s no denying that purchasing a pair of custom men’s shoes will always pose a significant investment. The idea is that you aren’t just buying a pair that fits you perfectly; you’re also going through the effort of choosing materials and craftsmanship that you rightly expect to last a long while.
However, not all custom shoe makers are cut from the same cloth. Anybody with the right set of skills can put together a shoe, but you won’t know how well they do it until you purchase a pair and try it out for yourself. There are, however, ways to figure out if a pair of custom men’s shoes is high quality just from examining it thoroughly, before and after it arrives. Here’s how:
The upper materials refer to everything that makes up a shoe above the outsole. Makers of custom men’s shoes, such as Idrese, generally allow you to choose your own materials at the design stage of the process. Here, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to decide which materials are best for your needs.
What you’ll want to keep an eye out for are the specifics. “Leather” is an unregulated and rampantly used term that covers all types of leather, including low-grade and even fake leather. Some manufacturers even use the term “genuine leather” to refer to materials that are actually a leather blend mixed with plastic or some other chemical. So, just because a custom shoe maker says they offer “men’s leather shoes” doesn’t mean that you should trust them at the outset.
Instead, look closely at the materials that are available for selection. If you want truly genuine leather products that will stand the test of time, go to shoe makers who emphasize their use of the real thing. Key leather-related terms worth noting include “full grain” and “authentic patent”, among others.
When in doubt, don’t ever hesitate to ask the shoe manufacturer about the source of their leather. On that note, steer clear of any shoe maker who refuses to disclose the materials of the uppers they use and how they’re sourced. At Idrese, you can be sure that your custom men’s shoes are always crafted using real full-grain leather sourced from a top Italian tannery. You can also always speak to one of their customer representatives should you have any concerns.
Construction & Craftsmanship
Shoe construction refers to the way that the upper materials are joined together with the soles. There are two ways to go about this: the uppers are either stitched into the sole, or the two pieces are glued together.
You may sometimes find the term “cemented” being used when referring to how a shoe is constructed. Don’t let this fool you. Cemented is just another word for glued, and it is the lowest quality of construction. When the materials are merely glued together, you can expect them to have a short shelf life because glue, inevitably, dries out. Glued shoes are also usually a sign of mass production, as it’s cheaper and easier to construct footwear this way.
High quality custom men’s shoes are always stitched, but you shouldn’t stop just because you see that word floating around. Some manufacturers make use of a “Blake stitch” to construct their shoes, but this only means that they’re first glued and then single-stitched. This type of stitch makes them last a little longer, but don’t expect to still be wearing them after a year or two.
Shoe manufacturers that are dedicated to producing high quality footwear will offer “Goodyear welt” construction, which means that they use a special double-stitching method on their custom men’s shoes. Goodyear welting is a labor intensive process that requires an immense amount of skill to do perfectly. At Idrese, every pair of shoes in their catalog is Goodyear welted. They also offer Goodyear welt as a base option for custom orders.
For the best custom men’s shoes at sensible prices, choose Idrese today! Choose from one of their pre-made styles or Design Your Own pair now.