Some of you may remember that about 5 months ago I went in for my first fitting for my upcoming bespoke boots commissioned through Gaziano & Girling. (for those of you that missed this, see post HERE). A few weeks ago, I was contacted by my good friend Daniel Wegan (master shoemaker for G&G) to have my first trial fit for my new boots. As you can imagine I was quite excited. Now some of you may be used to seeing a trial-fit made up on the upper of the actual commissioned design with some sort of faux-foam/cork sole that is glued on, just to give you the idea of the fit of the shoe, but G&G has changed things a bit here. As you can see, they are now creating this new version of their trial fit in which you get a semi-shoe that you are able to keep. Using the neck leather of the cow and a foam-like sole that is stitched/stapled on, you get a mock version of your shoe to keep and thus wear in order to see how the shoe feels/fits in action.
I think that this new way of creating the trial fit is a great idea. Firstly it is intelligent for proper fitting purposes being that you get to use the shoe in action and see how it changes over time and thus be able to give your feedback based on that which thus allows you to get a better fit in the long run. Secondly, I don’t know about all of you, but I find it quite nice that instead of teasing me (and you as well) with a trial fit that they take back with them, I actually get to leave with something. It’s not what I ordered but it is still something that I physically have and get to wear. It becomes memorabilia if nothing more. But the idea is nice nonetheless and I am sure that many people like me, will appreciate the fact that after a few months of waiting they now get to have something before a few more months of waiting!
Needless to say, the boots felt and fit amazingly. The only thing not quite right was the lacing and how far apart that it was. I actually quite like a bit of space to be honest, but not a whole inch. But that being the only issue, it’s safe to say that Dan hit the nail on the head with these. And what I love about Dan (specifically) making the boots is the fact that like me, Dan has messed up feet and knows exactly what I need in order to feel good. You see, I have rough ones: semi-flat with arch support issues, low volume above the toes but with a protruding bone on my instep (from all of that football/soccer growing up) that makes it high & sensitive, a very narrow heel and thin but long feet. I literally have everything wrong but funny enough Dan and I share similar feet so the fact that he has what I do, means that he knows how to cure it! And even better, it’s almost like he creates an orthopaedic shoe but that does not look like one, giving me a built up arch that supports me better than any trainer in the world.
Now that I have the trial fit out of the way, I just need to wait a few more months to get the end product and I really can’t wait!! It’s going to be a very bold, but lovely boot and am quite excited to see how the pattern turns out. I know that it will be good, but of course the anticipation of seeing it makes me very curious!
Happy New Year to all and thanks as always for all of your support in 2013. Next year should have many more exciting things to come for not only The Shoe Snob, but my young footwear brand, J.FitzPatrick.
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”