This is the biggest compromise I see the modern man make. Unfortunately, the profession of a ‘Shoemaker’ is now very close to non-existent in Australia; Thus, resulting in the vast majority of men having a lack of appreciation for well-crafted footwear. With fast/cheap fashion being more accessible than ever, it’s easy to see how we’ve steered away from such an important part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. Having a great pair of shoes in your wardrobe isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. There was a popular theory in the 1950’s – that any man who respects quality footwear is likely to achieve success, because he understands the value of working his way up from the bottom. Here’s our five-point guide to distinguishing quality footwear.

1. Handmade is the only way: It’s very simple. The more time spent on making a pair of shoes, the better. Usually when a brand heavily relies on machines in the shoemaking process, it’s not to make better quality footwear; It’s to cut down the manufacturing/labour costs. Sticking to handmade makes it very unlikely shortcuts were used in the construction stage.

2. The Construction: Ever had a pair of shoes you loved, and within 6 months – 1 year the shoe started to detach from the sole? Well this is why. The construction of a shoe is what an engine is to a car… ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! Opting for a more traditional method of construction such as ‘Goodyear welt’ or ‘Blake/Bologna stitching’ will guarantee a longer lifespan.

3. Full grain is the best grain: The term full-grain refers to leather that hasn’t been sanded or buffed out to remove marks or imperfections, so it includes the entire thickness of the skin. While sanding these out may make the leather more visually appealing to some, keeping the grain allows for additional material strength and durability.

4. The Lining: I’ll make this easy for everyone… The right lining equals comfort! Looking for a soft calfskin will guarantee you wont have any issues standing or walking all day. This leather is also durable and allows air flow, letting moisture evaporate.

5. The Sole: Leather as a sole isn’t the most durable, This is fact. It wears quicker than a rubber and a thunit sole. Leather’s strength lies in how many layers of leather you have on it. A double or triple leather sole will outlast any rubber sole. So the more layers of leather you have the exponentially stronger it gets.

A great pair of Shoes for your wardrobe isn’t a luxury, It’s a necessity.

Signing off,

Kaan Tavli