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What Are the Pros and Cons of Bespoke Shoes?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Getting the best fit and matching an outfit with a custom design are some benefits of choosing bespoke shoes over mass-produced ones. Shoe fit is important, especially for the millions of people who do not have feet that fall into the shoe industry’s standard sizes. In addition, designing one’s own shoes ensures that the design is unique. Of course, bespoke shoes also have disadvantages, like being expensive and the quality not being guaranteed. When choosing a shoemaker to craft tailored shoes, it is generally recommended to find someone reputable and well reviewed.

The perfect fit is a functional and comfortable pro of bespoke shoes. It is easy to forget that mass-produced shoes are designed to fit a certain foot length and width. Many people do not have feet in the standard sizes, however, and therefore find regular shoes uncomfortable. Other people might not even realize how uncomfortable they are in manufactured shoes without first trying bespoke shoes. A shoemaker measures the customer’s foot in order to create the ideal shoe size.

Bespoke shoes are often completely custom made and can be designed to match the customer’s favorite outfits. Most shoemakers allow their customers to view pre-made designs to get a better idea of what they would like. A customer designing bespoke shoes can also bring in pictures of a desired design, and a shoemaker can usually work from there.

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The significant expense is a major disadvantage of bespoke shoes. A skilled shoemaker does not come cheap, nor do the materials required to craft a high-quality shoe. Most well-known shoe brands mass produce their products, which greatly brings down production costs. When a shoe is produced in mass, there is no shoemaker cutting, stitching, and testing the shoe by hand. Instead, there is a machine performing this job for the thousandth time, and it will continue to produce shoes that look and fit exactly the same until the shoe is no longer in style.

While bespoke shoes in general tend to be high quality, not all shoemakers are especially good at their trade. For whatever reason, a shoemaker might not be capable of creating a shoe with the requested design or solid stitching. Like with tailoring, the final results will differ based on skill, effort exerted, and materials used. In fact, even the very best shoemakers can produce shoes that do not last as long or look as good as mass-produced shoewear if they cut material costs by using the most inexpensive components.

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