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For those that follow my blog regularly and have been anxiously waiting the completion of my 6th pair of bespoke shoes (that I have made for myself), here you are! (For those new, you can read HERE to see the post prior to this, showing pics during the making process) This shoe has taken me forever to make, and I am so glad that they are finally done. Starting in the beginning of October, last year, and just now getting them finished, was making me incredibly anxious, in the bad way. They unfortunately sat in my flat for many months, waiting to be finished. They collected a lot of dust, adding to the already super dirty top part of the tongue. But now that is all behind me and I am already thinking about my 7th pair, which will either be a full brogue from G&G’s range, or a completely new style, designed by myself. I am hoping to start on that new style of mine, which I will be excited to show everyone to get some feedback on. They only thing is that I have to create a new last, learn how to make the pattern for my design, and then actually make the shoe, doing all of this in my spare time, which is far and few between these days.

Being suede, this shoe had it’s up’s and down’s during the making process. The first problem, was the bag that covered the shoe (for the making process) did not cover the entire tongue, so when I pulled the bag off, it was literally brown, from all of the dirt and dust. I had to use sandpaper to clean it, but was not able to get it back to it’s original color, but considering that my pants will cover it, it’s not really a problem for me. The second issue was not be able to dye the soles, because it is extremely hard to get it perfect and not have the dye seep through the bag. So I had to leave a natural sole, which let me tell you, is hard getting right. As you can see, my left and right heels turned out different colors in respect to each other and I suspect that was because the heat of the heel iron, being hotter while I was applying it to the darker sole (burning the wax) and cooler on the left heel.The upside to the shoe being suede, was that it was damn easy to last (pulling the leather around the last), which always makes for a pleasant experience.

When I first got the upper, it was a monk but without a buckle or anything else to hold it down, so instead of just doing what everyone else might, I thought that I would be unique and add a fastened button. Not just wanting to using any type of jacket button, I went for that metal, emblem encrusted button. It was not easy finding someone to actually sew it on either. Creating a button hole on leather is not easily done by hand, and I could not find anyone who could do it by machine. But thankfully my good friend, who is an Italian master tailor, braved the tough task and it came out beautifully. So there you are: my 6th pair completed and now on to my seventh, hopefully being from my own design!

16 thoughts on “My 6th Pair – Completed”

  1. These are lovely shoes. Great for the summer. I have been looking for a pair of monks to make and now I think I’ve found them. The height of the tongue is really elegant, but it’s a pity about the dirt. Hopefully, with trousers over the top, nobody will notice. Great job!

  2. Hi Justin

    I should start with a full disclosure which is that while i dont know you personally you dont come across as someone I would like

    Yes it is a strange way to start a comment but bare with me

    My opinion comes from both what transpires from your blog and posts you have made in other fora

    I dont even share your preferences in terms of shoes- although there are of course some entries in which I am in agreement

    I do however like shoes very much and so we have something in common

    My question to you is of a somewhat personal nature and from what i stated above i understand if u ignore this, but i will ask it anyway

    Clearly you have a passion for shoes but it doesnt seem to be taking you anywhere- I mean you make the effort of having the blog, participate in other spaces and still you are stuck doing shoes for yourself. So what is the plan? how much longer will you keep trying before giving up or getting some job where u can do your thing in a real factory?

  3. Well, first of all congratulations! I like the idea with the fastening button very much, and I also think the colors are well chosen. However, the tongue is a little bit too much for my taste.
    I look forward to your seventh pair!

  4. Truly Amazing design and fresh look!!! Love what you did with the length of the tongue, gives the shoe an edgy look and yet because of everything else blending in so effortlessly, this makes the shoe keep its rank among the classy bespoke rules of creation. It’s a pair that speaks out ” I’m simple, classy, and rock!”

    Would you consider sale?!

  5. Anonymous #1 – Thanks, glad to have inspired. Yea, it cleaned off pretty well and when I wore them, my pants completely covered the tongue anyway, which is unfortunate as I would love to rock the tongue out!

    Loveandalchemy – Thank you sir!

    Anonymous #2 – No matter how hard you try, you will never get under my skin. You know why? Because you are nobody, just a hater is all. It unfortunately comes with the territory.

    To answer your silly question: patience is a virtue my son, learn about it. Give up? HA, Never!

    Oh, and if you don’t like me, or my blog or my taste in shoes, then don’t read my blog. It’s that simple. Please don’t waste my time again. Thank you.

    Gentleman’s Gazette – Thank you GG. The tongue is a love it or hate it type, so I understand. I am very much looking forward to my seventh pair too, I will get started in it at the end of April.

    Julio B. – Thank you Julio. While I cannot take credit for the tongue, I can for the button. The upper was from J.M. Weston, which was given to me by a friend. I am glad that you enjoy the shoe, but unfortunately I would not sell them, as they hold sentimental value, I trust that you will understand.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  6. My thoughts on Anonymous#2

    Sir or Madam,

    There’s no reason to leave a comment of the tone written. Maybe you were trying to push Justin in a good way?? Either way it should of been said differently. I in my thoughts have to speak out in the contrary of all that you said. As one of his viewers I’m extremely great full for this blog. I’m a true shoe aficionado and truly know this blog has beaten any standard as it’s above many blogs out there. This is because Justin creates these great informative friendly posts and on top of all that he’s extremely friendly with all his bloggers. I hardly see anyone respond with such content and happiness to his readers remarks as Justin does. All that said, I have great respect for Justin in his work, eye for art in shoe, and well entirely as a person.


    To conclude, Anonymous#2 what you’ve said is truly irrelevant and has no ground. C’mon coming from an individual with no identity you’re literally a no one or anything at all.

    OH and I would like to quote on this if I may ”I should start with a full disclosure which is that while i dont know you personally you dont come across as someone I would like anonymous#2”

    So Sir or Madam, who knows..??
    you don’t exist.

    As a gentleman would say ..”Good day” Sir or Madam who cares..

  7. Julio – Thank you very much for all of your kind words and for writing against this mystery person who seems to have no other interest than to take others down.

    I am truly happy that you hold my blog to such high regards and that you continue to be a dedicated reader. That truly makes me happy and is what keeps me going.

    Have a wonderful week.

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  8. Dear Justin, again I’m late to your post. “Bloody” work keeps me from lounging about 😉

    Congratulations on your seventh pair. I do like it a lot, particularly the idea with the button. I shall commission a buttoned monk from you one day! On the pro-/con-long-tongue-matter: well, I’m not a big fan. However, it might to some extent be due to the darkened colour as well as the perspective of the camera. Maybe it is the greatest invention since tongues in shoes when there’s a foot in it…

    All the best for your next pair. Getting to work on the last and pattern is surely a big challenge but when you get it, what a feeling that will be!

    Talk to you again soon, hopefully! 🙂


  9. Justin,

    All I can say is WOW!!! Monk Strap in suede with an elegant shape! Fantastic!
    I really like the idea of the fasten button and it goes well with the color of the suede. And just to echo what others have said, I really like the length of the tongue. It really gives it a modern look and feel to it. For me, all the elements work just right.

    Interesting about the heel and the different shades. I guess this process can be abit tempermental while using the iron. Can this be corrected by painting over the heel?

    Congrats on finishing and thanks for sharing. Now we look forward to your seventh pair!

  10. Wow, those are excellent! To be honest I’m not usually a fan of suede, I think on the most part it can look messy and dirty. But you’ve managed to manipulate it into an elegant and clean look! The craftsmanship and build quality is exquisite! Are you aspiring to open your own shoe shop? I mean this pair is a hundred levels above the average home creation!

    I look forward to your next pair!

  11. Hi Justin and congrats for your sixth pair.
    I am following your blog from the last two months or so and personally love you tastes ( you cannot have thousands peoples liking this blog without having a few haters, so don’t worry this is just mathematic I guess).

    I am too making shoes for myself as a hobby, I am in the leather bag/wallet trade and started to learn the craft traditionally ten years ago, but you know that these are two very different jobs, even tools to do the same work are different.
    I have a pair almost finished waiting in a drawer for about one month (your story reminded me a bit yours) the reason: I would like to get a finish similar to the one you did on the outer sole but I simply don’t know how to do it, of course I preferred to wait rather than ruining hours of work in a second could you please just give me a tip or two to do this semi glossy wooden look? I know thats might not be that easy.

    Cheers and keep the great updates of your blog coming up, btw congrats for the interviews.


  12. Reto – I would say that you are fortunate to be busy at work! That must mean that business is going well. Yes, the tongue is quite unique, either you love it or you hate it. As I am up for trying new things, I quite enjoy it, but probably only because it’s suede, calfskin would’ve probably dug into my leg. I am quite excited for my next pair, especially if it is of my very own design, that will be something!

    T.Stepat – Glad that you enjoy the shoe and all of it’s elements!

    I think the heel could only be corrected if I burnt the other side to match the darker heel. I did not use any dye, for fear of staining the suede, and still would not take the risk. Over time, they will become the same color anyway.

    Thanks as always for commenting and reading!

    Anonymous #3 – Thank you so much for your compliments, I truly appreciate it. I am indeed planning to start my own shoe line, but will most likely start off in the RTW arena and maybe add bespoke later on. Right now, I just make for myself as a way to better understand the manufacturing behind shoes, so that when I start my line, I can be a businessman that truly understands his product.

    Alex – Thanks for sharing and for reading. Glad to see another individual out there aspiring to create things from scratch! As far as the haters go, I know very well that it is inevitable, I am actually quite surprised that I don’t get more hate mail, especially with how vocal I am with my opinions.

    To get the heel and edges of the sole that color, I added some sort of clear wax before I burned it in with the irons. This was my first time doing it, and was just doing what I was told. But the look is literally just the leather with some added wax for the shine.

    Hope that this helps, thanks again or reading and commenting!

    Meganne – Yes, they are men’s shoes, but I am happy that you would rock them nonetheless! Blue and red would be amazing, I may just have to keep that in mind! Thanks for commenting!

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

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