How we use your cookies
We use strictly necessary cookies. You can’t disable these. They allow features like accessing secure areas, e-billing and creating basketsTargeting cookies
These collect info about your browsing habits and help us deliver the best content for you. They track if you’ve visited via one of our affiliate sites so we can manage our affiliate networks. Some cookies have been placed on our side from third parties (with our permission of course) and track pages you’ve visited. This info may be used for analytics and to deliver adverts on third party websites. De-selecting may result in less relevant ads or difficulty linking with Facebook, Twitter, or Google!
FREE Worldwide Shipping On Orders Above USD 99
Order Through Our WhatsApp Button & Pay Cash On Delivery
So, you’re always hearing about custom, MTO and bespoke handmade shoes services, but don’t know what makes each unique? Not to worry! Here’s a quick overview.
Custom and MTO (made-to-order) shoes are one in the same. They are the definition of having a pair of shoes made on order for you, and these shoes may be personalized and customized to a certain degree. This can include color, material and even adding engravings – all that are considered cosmetic changes. Some made to order shoes also allow for slight variations in fit for your preference, to add width or extra insole padding for example. These are all elements that will not change the general aesthetic or structure of the shoe.
Every brand uses different lasts that may be more comfortable to some than others. Some brands even offer different widths to their sizes (37A, 37B, 37C for example), and usually make the sizes depending on the country of sale (wider and shorter fits are usually characteristic of Asian countries for example). Because of the high production numbers required to make all sizes in all widths, brands may choose to produce these special sizes only on order making it custom or MTO.
With this option, the shoe will be made with a pre-made last, one that has dimensions similar (but not exact) to the anatomical foot. The shoe maker will not measure your feet to make the shoes specifically to your size, it is a general fit with the opportunity to select unique elements and avoid technicalities and cost. Most of the time is sufficient enough and works quite well.
However, if you experience problems with foot structure or have foot, leg or back problems and need special arch support, the bespoke route may be the way for you to go. Venturing into the bespoke world is a special and truly technical experience, and understandably so considering that shoes are the most difficult worn item to fit. It’s not only that every person has different feet, but also that each person has a different left and right foot (and possibly different bone structures or problems for each). Here is where a bespoke service will be the solution to more comfortable shoes.
Bespoke shoes that are completely handmade using traditional shoe-making techniques is a very difficult service to come by and the truly skilled shoemakers are scarce to find. It is a sophisticated and refined process. These shoemakers go through many details and steps that begin by creating the last according to your feet in specific. This means that each foot is studied and measured before a custom last is made for each side using these measurements. Hand-carving lasts from wood blocks based on paper measurements is the most traditional last-making process and can take months of work, however some modern companies use 3-D scanning to create plastic lasts as well.
Once the last is made, a series of testing and re-testing of sample shoes is made to ensure that the fit is as near to perfect as possible. Because the fit cannot be adjusted much after the shoe is made (unlike in tailoring), it is clear to see that creating the last is the most critical step in shoe making and needs to be perfected before the design, pattern or production even starts.
The last created remains uniquely for you as an individual customer, and available for more shoes to be ordered and made without the need for other measurements and fittings. In having said that, if you had a last for a round-toe oxford shoe made and are looking to now make a pair of shoes with a different shape or style (a boot for example), then a new last will have to be made with the required adjustments.
Because of the lengthy, technical and difficult process in creating a pair of bespoke handmade shoes, the price range to expect will be much higher than you’re your simply custom shoe and commonly starts from three or four thousand dollars. This is expected as bespoke shoes are the highest level of customization and require the time and highly skilled craftsmanship.
For that reason, if your requirements are quite standard and you have to real problems or issues with your feet, the custom process is enough for you to get a great pair of shoes without the huge price tag that comes with a pair of bespoke handmade shoes.
If you’re interested to find out about customizing at Rana Cheikha just drop us a message here. Or if you’re looking to work on a completely tailor-made experience from start to finish, have a look at some of our projects under the Souls by Rana Cheikha Label!
Signing-off: The Shoe Advisor
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Well, in a nutshell, shoes are an incredible product. They have history and function, they are a product of design with a need of technical know-how in construction and form. They art an art and a nod to objects of artisanal creation. Stereotypes may place women as being obsessive over shoes, but in reality, this obsession is just as present in men as it is in women. It has become quite obvious that men too can be just as passionate and enthusiastic about them.
You don’t need to have a plethora of clothes in your closet to feel like you have enough to create a wide range of outfits. A good selection of staple pieces can give you enough styling versatility and remain relevant over time. Shoes are a great accessory that you can use alongside a few classic clothing options to take you through the seasons in a stylish breeze. Although I would usually advocate to wear what you want to and feel good in at all times, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that are quite helpful to consider while picking out shoes for your outfits. These can help make decisions faster and, to some extent, less painful too!