Q & A 8 | Bespoke Shoes

In this video, Kirby Allison replies to several of the questions and comments asked by our YouTube Audience with a theme of Allen Edmonds. We love hearing back from our customers and audience and shortly after this video airs, we will attempt to reach out to all commenters featured in this video with a complimentary pair of our Sovereign Grade dress shoe laces. If your question or comment was featured in this video and you have not heard from us, please message us directly through YouTube.


Hi, I'm Kirby Allison, and we love helping the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. Thank you for all of your comments and questions that you guys have posted on our YouTube channel. After reading them all and answering as many as possible I've selected five of my favorites that we're gonna feature in today's Q&A; video. Since we so often talk about bespoke shoes in today's Q&A; video I'm going to be answering some of the questions from our channel specifically about bespoke shoes. Each of these individuals I've selected will receive a complimentary pair of our sovereign grade shoelaces as a token of our appreciation for their participation in our channel. Remember if you have any questions or comments while you're watching one of our videos please ask them in the comment section below. I try to get back to as many of those questions as possible.

Our first question today is from Adrian Fox, and it was on our why use a pig bristle brush video. His question reads I'm currently having a bespoke pair of shoes made out of crocodile leather. Will this type of brush be effective for use with severe Repton on crocodile leather? So great question Adrian. So fundamentally his question is is what is the best type of bristle to use when buffing an exotic leather like crocodile or alligator. So there's really two different options. One is pig bristle. Now Pig bristle is generally stiffer than horsehair of the equivalent length, or you could use a horsehair brush. Now we use a hundred percent tail hair in all of our horsehair brushes with zero main. The main hair is the more brittle of the bristle or hair in this case and is more likely to break which is what causes all of the shedding. Our 100% pig bristle brush that we sell here at the hanger project has the longest possible cut length, but you can see it's still substantially shorter than the cut length on our horsehair brush. So my recommendation would be to use our deluxe horsehair brush because not only is the horse hair softer but because you're able to get a longer cut length it is an even softer bristle than what you would otherwise have on the equivalent horsehair brush. This is important because you know a lot of the exotic skins are slightly more delicate and so my recommendation would be to use a softer bristle and just spend more time buffing the shoe than what you would use with the pig bristle brush.Congratulations on the new crocodile shoes Adrienne as you can see and our how to care for exotic shoe care video I actually inherited a beautiful pair of crocodile shoes from my grandfather. So if you take care of those shoes by using the proper polish and polish them regularly they really can last a lifetime. Thank you for your question, and I look forward to sending you a pair of our Sovereign Grade shoelaces to use on your new shoes.

Our second question today is from a Brent Morris, and it's on our video where I could show you what my top 10 favorite shoe profiles are on Instagram. His question reads probably a stupid question but approximately how much do bespoke shoes cost. I'm new to this world and just curious, really enjoying your videos. Thanks Brent for your question. It's actually a great question because a lot of the bespoke makers don't publish their prices online. So let's talk about this today. So if we're looking at just the UK bespoke makers there's really three of what you'd call the Heritage High Street bespoke shoemaking firms. John Lobb of course the most famous, Georges cleverly, and Foster & Sons, and then a newer kind of upstart but certainly very well regarded in the UK is Gaziano & Girling. So John Lobb is without question the most expensive. This is John Lobb boot maker which is on St. James. The original John Lobb not to be confused with John La Paris. Now their prices excluding VAT for a bespoke pair of cat-scans shoes is four thousand one hundred seventy pounds. Now that does not include shoe trees, and you'd be crazy to buy a pair of bespoke shoes without getting the fully lasted shoe trees. So shoe trees are an extra 800 to 850 pounds. So for a pair of John Lobb st. James shoes made of calf skin you're really looking at five thousand pounds. So five thousand pounds and US dollars at today's conversion about a dollar forty or a dollar thirty-five is almost $7,000. It's an incredible amount of money to pay for shoes. Now if you're buying those shoes and you live in the EU or the United Kingdom and you have to pay VAT add 20% of that price and you're looking at almost $10,000 for a pair of bespoke shoes. So since John Lobb St. James is certainly the oldest and probably the most preeminent bespoke shoe maker in all of the United Kingdom they certainly have no trouble charging those prices. I mean they do hold the Royal warrants for both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. So of course wearing a pair of John Lobb St. James shoes is a lot like pulling up in a Rolls-Royce Phantom. You know actually the last time I was at John Lobb you know a customer pulled up in his beautiful new Bentley and parked it right out front. So those are the type of customers you see a John Lobb St. James. Now behind John Lobb is Gaziano & Girling. Daniel Wiegand who does all the bespoke work for Gaziano & Girling is highly regarded as one of the best shoe makers right now. He placed second in the world championship of shoemaking. You can see some interviews with him on this channel and is very talented. The price of a pair of bespoke Gaziano & Girling shoes is 4,200 pounds. That's about $5,500, but with Gaziano & Girling the second pair is less expensive it's 3,500 pounds which is about $4,700. So Gaziano & Girling is the only of these bespoke shoe makers to offer a second lower price for all your subsequent pairs of shoes. Of course this is taking into account that there's a significant amount of additional work involved in your first pair of shoes because of the creation of your last. Now what's unique about Gaziano & Girling is that most of the shoes are done entirely by Daniel Wiegand. So again you just have one person touching your shoes for the most part. Now behind Gaziano & Girling you then have Foster and Sons. Now Foster and Sons is located on German Street. We also have some great grid videos with Foster and Sons on this channel. Certainly the most discreet of all of the British bespoke shoemaking firms, very dedicated small workshop doing their Bespoke work. Their shoes come in at 4,200 pounds. Of course this is not including VAT if you live in the United Kingdom. Let's see so 4,200 pounds that's including shoe trees comes in right around $5,500 plus some change. I'm currently having a pair of bespoke shoes made at Foster & Sons, and I have several pair of their slippers that are hand monogrammed in London and lastly and certainly not least is George cleverly. So George Cleverly comes in at two thousand nine hundred fifty pounds which includes the shoe trees and that's right about four thousand dollars at today's exchange rate. It's a fantastic value and without question makes George cleverly the most accessible of all the bespoke shoe makers in England. Their work is absolutely fantastic and as you can tell from this channel I've got a great relationship with the Glasgow's and absolutely love my Bespoke Cleverlys. You can certainly spend less money on a pair of shoes, but the bespoke experience and what you get at the end of that process is just something really special and unique. Having a pair of shoes made by hand just for you with someone that you have a relationship you know really is priceless. So all of my bespoke shoes that I own I love them whenever I wear them. They're special, I feel great, I look good, they're incredibly comfortable, and they fit perfectly, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Thanks Brent for your question. We look forward to sending you a pair of our Sovereign Grade shoelaces.