Tag Archives: shoes

Shoe Laboratory Visit

… or I could write: playing field for big kids, like me. Yes, finally here is the report about my visit in shoe lab. 

Shoe-finishing tricks are the best kept secrets in shoe industry. The finishing can be  your brand identity, and at the same time, the best advertising. By finishing I don’t mean only the shine of the shoes . I can make wonderful shoe shine for almost every type of leather with the stuff what you have at home, and of course there are some extra, very expensive stuff for this purpose. The question is: if I sell a shoe for you  do I have to keep a 3 hours training for you, titled: “how to maintaing your shoe’s perfect shine”, or just tell you: use a wet sponge. And this is the real secret. A shoemaker who sells a pair of shoes that will keep the glossy shine only for a week is not less than a moron. After that week he will have an unsatisfied customer, because most stuffs are not like Kiwi – you won’t be able to buy them at any corner store, or order on internet (except if you find the company, then order a minimum quantity of 200 kg).

On the other hand, shine is not everything: antiqueing effects are minimum as much important than shine. And not the unprofessional “put-on-some-dark-shoe-shine-and-you-get-it” type, because that is not what a serious maker will do. A real good antiqueing should be at least waterproof.

You see? I have demands – I hope you do too, when you pay hundreds of bucks for your shoes. Thankfully there are some help for these problems – a shoe lab. I was visiting one yesterday (this was the 3rd time), and was amazed again. They always tell me more and more about the tricks, and cool stuffs they have. This visits cost a lot for me, but worth every cent. This time I brought some leather to make antique effect and shine on them (yes – I’m talking about the new, limited “The Year of the Bull” serie). I was playing there almost 3 hours, and made some photos to post here on the blog. I will keep you informed about the results later.. 


Pieces of special effects. You guessed it – I will try them ALL.


I think I know what I will ask for next xmas.


This poor guy suffers a lot, but for good reason: SHOES.


Magic table. Do I have to point out, that most of them are in unsigned bottles?


Then using a wax on the surface.


Disgusting, but makes wonders on the shoe.


..put some 15 gr. “x” to “y”… 


mix them well..


but shouldn’t forget about the rest… unsigned bottles.



weapon for the fierce fight of the market. 🙂 OK it’s just airbrush to achieve special effects.


and the moment of truth: testing the new stuff on bull leather (success).

to be continued.

Year of the BULL

Well, not from now, but the next Chinese new year – starting at the end of January – will be the Bull’s year. So I decided to make a collection from bull leather, which is just beautiful. I found a good seller, offering wide range (colours I mean) of bull, and I really like them. The texture, the durability is really outstanding. I made a bull shoe for a customer. After a year I had to refurbish.. and when I finished I didn’t believe my eyes. It looked like new. Bull leather survives everything.






A new bespoke pair

Sometimes I just realise how much time I can spend to finish a pair of shoes – from the point the heels are bulided, “only” painting, waxing, sole painting, decoration etc. is left. One of my friend – makes only RTW dance shoes – can finish his products in minutes. I don’t mean it bad: dance shoes are not for elegant dresses, but dancing on a dusty stages, so fancy, shining heel is really not a demand. For me: this is the most challenging part of shoemaking: I always try to approach the PERFECT finish. And I never can.. some small stain on the sole (it will be dirty after the first step), etc, etc.. I could continue the small details.


This is a relatively old customer: this is his 3rd pair in this year. He knows very exactly what he needs: French boxcalf, double sole, English sewn on his bespoke last.