In 2021, ACME Shoemaker sent me my first pair of shoes. A beautiful suede derby with an apron front. You can see the review on those HERE. They were impressive and easily the best pair I had seen out of China, at the time. I wrote my critiques, indicating what I felt could be improved on and apparently, ACME took those ideas to heart. They stepped up their level of making and wanted to send me a new pair for another look. And here we are. Let me tell you, not only did they sure improve, but did so to the point of making some of the best value-for-money handmade shoes out there. Some will read that sentence and say, how can a $1600 shoe be a ‘value-for-money’ shoe and the reason, just like in any type of product or service, there are huge differences within the handmade shoe realm. A handmade shoe has levels of greatness. And I have yet to see another $1600 shoe that gives this level of greatness for that price and under.
So let’s take a look at the 4 things I typically look at when judging a shoe: 1. Construction; 2. Finishing; 3. Fit; and 4. Flaws
ACME shoes are fully handmade. At least the pairs that I have received. I see that since receiving these pairs, they have added a new line with a lower price point. I imagine those are handwelted with a machine-sewn sole. These puppies were fully handmade and you can see it a million miles away. As I stated previously, there are various levels of handmade shoes. There are rough ones, solid ones, good ones, and great ones. These fall into the latter category. And for $1500 you are getting one heck of a shoe in return, especially when comparing them to other RTW shoes that are just goodyear welted with the same type of price tag.
This is where they stepped it a notch or two. On the first pair, there were some rough around the edges parts to the joining of the heel and waist area. Nothing crazy but it was noticeable if you are looking for perfection. Taking that critique to heart and wanting to improve, they certainly did just that. This show is flawless not only in finishing but every other aspect for that matter. Everything is perfect. Beyond perfection in fact. Reminiscent of top-level Japanese shoemaking. That might sound like school-boy level drooling, but the fact is that the shoes are impressive and in a world where everyone wants to go cheaper to sell to the masses, it is nice to see brands trying to make the nice dress shoes possible in a time where fewer and fewer people are wearing dress shoes. It is commendable. So, for finishing, this pair got a 10 out of 10!
I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad, but they fit my foot really well. I say the first sentence as I have narrow, shallow feet so something that fits me well might not be super representative of the average foot. But again, most truly handgrade shoes have that more narrow, hugging fit. The lasts tend to be more contoured, they are often hand-lasted which will give you that glove-like feel. These were made on the T89 last, which they coin as their ‘chisel last.’ I took my normal size of a UK6.5 and they fit great. They hugged in all the right places and the last was well-proportioned. Sorry I didn’t take a photo of this. Next time.
I can officially say this shoe had no flaws. The pair was in pristine condition as the photos will show you. Nothing to record here!
The pair was amazing. ACME Shoemaker has done a great job at bringing great lasts with beautiful models to the shoe world, made to a level of quality that few replicate in this day and age. And while the price tag is not low, it is justified for what you are getting in return. I look forward to seeing what 2023 brings for them. I am sure that they will be offering some cool new ideas, so make sure to stay tuned by keeping up to date with their IG and website.
Learn more: https://acmeshoemaker.com/
Their IG handle: https://www.instagram.com/acme_shoemaker/?hl=en
Watch the Unboxing Video HERE
Watch the Up Close Details Video HERE