As many of you may know, I have been away for the last 3 days, making a pair of shoes for myself, hence the long time without posting nor replying to emails (for those that have mailed me, I promise that I will reply). Sorry for that delay in writing, but I had forgotten that the B&B that I stay at does not have wireless internet access, go figure… Anyway, not even sure I would have had time to post as I was slaving away trying to crank these bad boys out in that 3 day time period. But alas, they are done and looking better than ever!!

So evidently shown by the pictures, you can see that my new green shoes did not start as they look now. In fact they were a rejected upper from G&G (the Rothschild) that was cream colored, which had a couple of blemishes here and there and a few stains. Not really wanting that as my upper, I had been struggling with what I wanted to do with them. At first I was thinking the purple route, but quickly botched that idea as I decided that I wanted something that I would probably wear a little bit more often. As I have literally captured the entire color spectrum in my shoe collection (with the exception of pink and orange, real orange that is), I have now come to the point where I am doubling up on colors. I have been keen on the idea of green shoes for awhile since I have been without my Sassetti’s for quite some time now, as they are sitting in a storage box just screaming to get out. Therefore, I decided to give it a go as I saw that the local cobbler was selling green leather dye and the rest is history…

Being that this was my first real patina that I was going to create (with dye and all), I wanted it to be fun and unique. I decided that as I had made the sole black, I was going to use black as the background color, to give it somewhat of an antiqued look. I started this by blacking-out the perforations in the upper with a sharpie (permanent marker). This ended up being great and looked so good that I was almost tempted to just shine it, leave it cream-colored and call it a day. But my urge for green got the best of me, and I decided to push on.

So, I took out my dyes (green and black), mixed them and began applying it with a sponge, rubbing it in circular motions to not get any blotching going on. I emphasized the toes and heels by actually applying too much, which left it black looking from the effect of the leather getting too wet. After spreading it around, I began to use the little applicators that they provided with the dyes that I purchased. There were actually two different ones, which ended up being perfect as one was good for spreading around and the other good for getting in small places, like underneath the gimping (piranha tooth like design on the brogue detailing) and in the welt area. After I had applied the dye and it was done, I let it sit awhile before I started to add my navy shoe polish to it, to really bring up the colors and darken it a bit. And boy, did it work. For being my first time ever doing a real patina, I was quite pleased with the way it turned up. Those 3 days work and 30-something hours, now paid off….

13 thoughts on “My 7th Self-Made Bespoke Pair”

  1. Great work on the patina, it is very impressive. Should a similar dye (as opposed to polish) be used when wanting to create a patina? If yes, what types of dye should one be looking for?

  2. Gorgeous shoes. The patine is lovely. When you say bespoke – do you have your own last? I’m studying shoemaking in Sydney and my course leaves a lot to be desired – it’s great to watch your progress! I think I’ll be off to Europe some time in the future.



  3. Hi Justin ! Good work, they are absolutely beautiful !
    I think they are my favourite with the 3rd pair and the 4th pair..
    Paul, Paris.

  4. Vladimir – Thank you sir!

    Pol – To be honest Pol, I am no expert on what dye to use, I just bought whatever was available at the local cobbler. If you email Paulus Bolten, he will be able to give you the best suggestion as he is a true patina artist…

    Lucas Hakewell – Yes, I have two of my own lasts. During my apprenticeship I was given the opportunity to make my own, so I did and I have another one that was made for me recently, which these those were made off of.

    The Extravaganzalist – Thank you sir!

    Paulus – It was crust leather from Zonta, in Italy.

    Benjy – Updated for you sir, but don’t judge the sole, I super rushed them so that I could finish the shoes, hence the not so smooth surface, nor the not so straight ‘F’ on my heel.

    Madame Shoe – Indeed!

    Paul – Thanks Paul!

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

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