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Pick Shoes According To Your Style

Do you struggle daily to find a good style for men’s shoes? Be it formal, casual, athletic, or leisure- there’s an ocean of brands out there for you. But what’s the best could put you in a dilemma. We at Merkmak Shoes provide a crystal clear answer for this! Being a well-known name in the formal and outdoor shoe industry for a decade now, our range and quality of shoes are exquisite! We take exclusive pride in producing and shipping our flagship product- premium leather shoes and lux oxford shoes.

This blog by Merkmak Shoes lists out how we have shoes for every occasion in your life. From business meetings to weddings, Merkmak’s insanely huge collection has got your back! Check out our best-selling pieces below:


Our formal shoes are exclusively handcrafted with intricate details by our hardworking team. Rock these formal shoes out and steal the spotlight! These shoes are perfect for business meetings and other formal engagements as well.

business formal shoes style


Merkmak meticulously crafts them and brushes them by hand to achieve a beautifully nuanced finish. Lace-up a pair of these men’s all-day work and formal shoes. A sophisticated silhouette that will energize your workday wardrobe or underlie your black tie engagements.

Our trendy formal dress shoes are made from sumptuous materials and are excellent for weddings and formal gatherings. Incorporate these formals into your next night out and grab all attention!



Merkmak offers three colors for this piece- Black, Brown, and Wine Red.

Handcrafted to the greatest standards, these elegant Oxford shoes have double stitching and contrasting inserts. They are the ideal blend of innovation and tradition, crafted of soft hand-buffed leather for an unrivaled chromatic richness.

Select designs with broguing on the toe and upper inspire a traditional elegance with a timeless appeal. The building method is known as “Tramezza,” and it is linked with workmanship and brilliance.

Embrace Strength and Resistance with Flexibility and absolute comfort!


Brogues are a must-have style for men’s footwear. They are not only stylish and attractive, but their unusual perforations may also bring intrigue and excitement to any ensemble.



Merkmak offers a variety of 9 colors in our Lace Up Leather Brogues like Army Green, Blue, Black, Ivory,,, etc.

Our size guide would also help you in picking the perfect fit.

These shoes may completely complete your style whether you’re preparing for a sophisticated casual occasion or a semi-formal gathering.



Soft leathers and technological mesh panels in these shoes are used to offer a subtle yet striking touch to any midday casual look in the new casual designs.

Our vintage leather brogues have striking features like:

  • multi-faceted eyelets
  • chunky tubular flexed laces
  • contrasting fabrics.

The finishing touches include a cushioned sole and padded ankles for maximum comfort.



It is no new news that sneakers have always been in trend. Sneaker culture has grown from a local interest to a worldwide obsession, infiltrating the highest levels of fashion, art, and design. It is no new news that sneakers have always been in trend and rather popular. Sneaker culture has grown from local interest to a worldwide obsession, infiltrating the highest levels of fashion, art, and design. Take a look through Merkmak’s top-selling sneakers, and own a pair before it’s too late.



Presenting Merkmak’s breathable running sneakers in a camouflage print. It is time you step up your fashion game with these trendy street style sneakers.


  • Thick rubber sole with bubble curves at heel
  • Made in Ultra Light Rubber
  • Elastic laces

The laces on this pair allow for a variety of styling options, including the tongue, tucked in for a more traditional look or out for a street couture vibe. This allows you to experiment as much as you want.

running sneakers


Own this pair of super sporty urban sneakers by Merkmak which are often described as ‘city chic’! We offer a variety of 4 colors for you to choose from.

The upper section of the shoe is crafted from jacquard/Nappa calfskin with embossed embellishments created using a high-frequency stitching method.



Boots are at the top of the list of must-have footwear for guys. These shoes are not only functional and comfy, but they are also flexible and fashionable. A good pair of boots can easily carry you from work to the weekend.



The boot is classic, with a line that defies shifting fashions. This sophisticated yet easygoing shoe complements both professional and informal ensembles with an urban flair.

Special features:

  • Made of calfskin with a hand-treated finish
  • Triple leather sole
  • Textured pattern on the tread

The specialized craftsmanship and high-quality processing provide a fantastic outcome, which is an incentive for you to get this pair as soon as possible!



Introducing these Sleek Boots with a minimal silhouette and trademark Merkmark details.

This shoe is made using the ‘Original’ construction, which includes a sequence of processes to install the sole nearly entirely by hand.



The Oxford is the most popular kind of men’s dress shoe. For decades, the exquisite footwear design has added a stylish touch to clothes and continues to do so now. Oxfords are as flexible as they are ageless, with designs ranging from the most formal to smart casual.



These trendy shoes are composed of flexible hand-buffed leather, producing an effect of unparalleled color depth.

Special features include:

  • Double Stitching
  • Contrasting handcrafted inserts

Merkmak’s exclusive oxford shoes are available in two colours- Black and Brown. Our oxford shoes are an absolute essential staple for all gents, no matter their style.

Oxford shoes are ideal for formal occasions and parties due to their polished appearance. They look well with suits and add a smart touch to any ensemble. Oxfords are quite formal, hence a relatively casual pair of pants is required to balance their look.

Merkmak touts itself as a tough, outdoor shoe brand favored by adventure lovers, with the slogan ‘TO EMPOWER THE SEEKERS EVERYWHERE.’ At the same time, with our premium leather lines, we firmly establish ourselves among luxury footwear fans and fashion admirers. As quite evident from the above list, we meet all of your shoe requirements in the most satisfying way. All you have to do is visit our website and start shopping!

Versatile Range Of Shoes For Every Occasion

“You can wear anything as long as you put a nice pair of shoes with it.”

Merkmak Shoes has been a household brand in the formal and outdoor shoe industries for almost a decade. Discover our versatile range of shoes, meticulously designed to complement your style for every occasion, ensuring you always step out in comfort and elegance We create superb handcrafted leather brogues, moccasins, Oxford shoes, and all major dress and formal shoe designs. We are the proud proprietors of a multifaceted brand because we have shoes for every occasion. Merkmak can accommodate any event- ranging from a wedding ceremony to a business gathering. We have literally got your back!

To stand out in every situation, we propose investing in Merkmak’s excellent shoes. Our best-sellers are listed below:



 Outdoor Cross-Strap Slippers

 Outdoor Cross-Strap Slippers for occasions like holidays

Merkmak’s lovely suede and fabric slippers are inspired by both Moroccan babouches and your grandfather’s slippers. Slightly formal, but not overly so. Wear with a bathrobe on the sofa or with excellent pants and showy socks while visiting friends. Will also look good in your PJs on the couch or your nice jeans when you have visitors around on a Tuesday.

  • Made with premium nappa leather & lamb sueded from Italy and Spain
  • Built up insole
  • Soft leather outer sole


Anti-Slip Breathable Casual Loafers

Anti-Slip Breathable Casual Loafers

These loafers can be summed up as stylish but with a youthful, informal vibe and individual accents. With sleek lines and an almond-shaped tip, it is our contemporary take on the metropolitan loafer. A leather band runs across the upper, adorned with a coated logo for a chic, urban look.

  • Made of soft hammered calfskin
  • double layered sole with a rubber island
  • reinforced toe and heel

The special ‘Originali’ construction is used, which involves a series of operations carried out almost entirely by hand to apply the sole. This technique requires highly specialized craftsmen. Get this pair in 3 different colors!



Basic Lace-Up Shoes

Basic Lace-Up Shoes

Lace-up a pair of these all-day work and formal shoes for guys. A sophisticated silhouette is destined to revitalize your workday wardrobe or reinforce your black tie engagements. Because- “The only difference between everybody and nobody is all the shoes”

Extremely classy, wearing this particular pair is a win. Pair them with a white shirt and blue pants to add a touch of sophistication to your business attire!

This pair by Merkmak has been meticulously handcrafted by our skilled workers, and are the perfect pair for special formal events.


When it comes to men’s formal shoes, Oxford is unrivaled. This Elegant footwear has been adding a stylish touch to ensembles for generations and continues to do so now. Oxfords are as flexible as they are ageless, with designs ranging from formal to smart casual.

Formal Leather Oxford Shoes

Formal Leather Oxford Shoes

Broguing on the toe of this shoe evokes a traditional elegance with a timeless appeal. The building method is known as “Tramezza,” and it is linked with workmanship and brilliance.  

As they rightly say- “Good shoes take you to good places”. We recommend you to get this pair of super trendy Oxford shoes.

  • Double stitching
  • Contrasting inserts
  • Made of supple hand buffed leather

Merkmak’s oxford shoes are the ideal blend of innovation and tradition.


The moccasin has been at the top of the list of shoe choices. After all, it is a versatile model that is light and comfortable and can be utilized in a variety of settings. This shoe assures that you will always be properly dressed on a busy day, extending your style options.

Casual Leather Moccasins

Casual Leather Moccasins

This shoe is a classic summer shoe with a sophisticated style that is excellent for everyday elegant appearances. The thick topstitching emphasizes the great craftsmanship. Merkmak’s ultra-elegant and exquisite moccasins have a tapered line and a little flattened tip for a contemporary look.

  • Made of smooth calfskin
  • Made using the ‘tramezza’ construction method
  • combines strength and flexibility

This shoe’s manufacturing necessitates a high level of specialized and processing quality.


Breathable Casual Leather Loafers

Breathable Casual Leather Loafers

You can’t go wrong with loafers, whether you like them or not. They are the perfect combination of comfort and stylish, both at the same time.

Introducing this pair of Trendy loafers with a young, casual feel and personalized details, by Merkmak. With sleek lines and an almond-shaped tip, it is our contemporary take on the metropolitan loafer.

Merkmak’s breathable casual leather loafers are available in a wide variety of colors like black, blue, brown, gray, and many more!

Casual Canvas Sneakers

Casual Canvas Sneakers

Aside from looking great, sneakers are one of the easiest fashion items that may offer you comfort while also giving you a trendy makeover.

With this stylish street-style shoe by Merkmak, you can boost your fashion game. These shoes are sporty with an urban vibe. Elastic laces provide optimal comfort and fit. The laces provide several styling possibilities, such as tongue tucked in for a more conventional look or out for a street couture look.

  • made of jacquard/nappa calfskin
  •  thick rubber sole has bubble curves at the heel
  • made in ultra-light rubber and has a contrasting spoiler

Easily classified as sporty city chic, these shoes are absolute must-haves. Available in different colors like khaki, black and blue, they are selling fast! This is your sign to get these ASAP.


Breathable Running Sneakers

Breathable Running Sneakers

Aside from looking great, sneakers are one of the easiest fashion items that may offer you comfort while also giving you a trendy makeover.

Take a look at these ultra-stylish black sneakers. The color black is so versatile that it can be used with any color ensemble and yet make you seem sophisticated and attractive. You’d look great in them with track pants or a mini skort.

Also available in other colors like gray, red and white. Get this pair from Merkmak as soon as possible since they will be in high demand, and we don’t want our loyal customers to miss out on these!

 Breathable Everyday Casuals

 Breathable Everyday Casuals

Merkmak’s Breathable Everyday Casual Sneakers are now available. Our designer casual shoes will help you update your off-duty outfit. Consists of Comfortable materials and fashionable styles. Soft leathers and technological mesh panels are used to offer a subtle yet striking touch to any midday casual look in the new casual designs.

  • Bold accents
  • Multi-faceted eyelets
  • Chunky tubular flexed laces
  • Contrasting fabrics

Finishing touches include a cushioned sole and padded ankles for maximum comfort. This pair is available in a variety of colours including blue, brown, green, and others.

Merkmak is synonymous with luxury, and feeling our shoes in your hands will convince you of our commitment to excellence. We strongly believe that “Good shoes take you to good places.” Merkmak touts itself as a tough, outdoor shoe brand favored by adventure lovers, with the slogan ‘TO EMPOWER THE SEEKERS EVERYWHERE.’

We create superb handcrafted leather brogues, moccasins, Oxford shoes, and all major dress and formal shoe designs. Our passion for making the ultimate pair of shoes has garnered us enormous support, and we’ve been showered with love and trust from all around the world.

Leather Manufacturing: Good Practices And Things To Avoid

Being one of the determining elements of the quality of a pair of shoes it is normal to look into the Leather manufacturing. Obviously it is not the only one, of course. But without good leather, even with all the goodwill in the world, your shoes will not last very long. As much as recognizing a good assembly or a beautiful seam is relatively simple, as much recognizing a good leather is much more subtle and complex.

There is no miracle test, no clear, and precise answer. I do not pretend to be an expert but as I have spent quite a bit of time in the workshops and tanneries where I have been able to discuss with professionals in the sector I will try to give you some leads.

In this first part, we will focus on the manufacture of leather which conditions its quality. One night, over a drink, I had a discussion with a friend on shoes and leather goods (especially leather belts). He believed that quality leather should be smooth and shiny. All the other leathers are less good. When I saw how this idea was ingrained in his head I said to myself that he should not be the only one. With great reinforcements of marketing campaigns, certain brands had succeeded in making him believe anything.

I know that this article will have very little weight against these behemoths. But it has the merit of being there and allowing those who wish to know more about this material with a thousand faces, mysterious and fascinating, that is leather.

Leather manufacturing: from breeding to tanning

Upstream of the tannery (which will transform the skin into leather) there are several economic sectors that are players in what is called the “leather sector”.

Their influence is great on the quality and availability of the raw material.
Note: all that follows is not necessarily true for so-called exotic skin: alligator, python, stingray, etc.


In the case of common leathers (calf, goat, lamb, cowhide, etc.), the skins, for the most part, come from farm animals.

Leather manufacturing : breeding of cows

Of course, these animals are not raised for their skin (unlike some reptiles) but to meet the needs of consumers for meat, milk, or wool.

This stage of leather production is essential because the breeding conditions have a direct impact on the quality of the final product!

You don’t like buying meat/eggs from animals that have been bred, poorly maintained, fed with questionable flours, sometimes poorly treated, etc.

Because, beyond the cases of conscience for some, we all agree that this has an influence on the quality of the product.

Well for the animal’s skin it’s the same thing!

Forgive me the expression but an animal that has only the skin on the bones (as we can see in some countries) will not be able to give a beautiful leather.

While a well-fleshed animal, cared for and pampered will give, at the same time, very good meat and quality skin!

Take the example of parasites: an animal that is not treated/vaccinated risks being injured, being bitten and there will then be scars on its skin which will affect the quality of the leather made from its skin.

The sinews of war are money and profit.

You who read me and who have a pet, you are well placed to know that the price of a consultation – or worse of treatment – at the veterinarian costs the eyes of the head!

You can imagine the costs that this can represent on a herd.

And therefore the potential savings: what good is it to treat animals that go to the slaughterhouse?

The Slaughterhouse

Here, more than the quality of the leather – although considering the practices of certain slaughterhouses which make the animal live enormous stress which inevitably has repercussions – it is a question of the price.

The higher the demand for meat, the more skins are available to make leather, so the lower the prices (and vice versa).

The Slaughterhouse

You could almost consider leather to be a waste recycling industry for the meat industry.

The trader in raw skins intervenes very quickly with slaughterhouses because the skins are wet products (3/4 of the weight of skin consists of water) and extremely putrescible.

If left this way the skins degrade in a few hours.

They must be quickly dehydrated in order to stop the development of bacteria and microbes that degrade the skin.

There are several methods:

  • salting (it is the most used because it is more simple and economical)
  • drying
  • cold storage
  • freezing
  • etc.

The merchant will then weigh and sort the salted skins (called raw skins) in batches as homogeneous as possible in quality and weight.

This operation is very important because it is what allows the tanner to offer the most homogeneous batches of finished leathers possible.

It is then that the tanner buys the lots according to his type of production and the requirements of his clientele in finished leathers.

His experience will allow him to recognize the skins that will allow him to offer quality leather or an ugly split leather if that is what he is trying to do …

It is a very important choice which, again, will condition the final quality of the leather.

If I tell you that buying raw hides represents 40 to 50% of the price of finished leather, you understand even more easily that what happens before tanning is very important for the quality of the leather, right?

Even before the tanner, and his know-how, come into play there are already differences in quality.

This is why, for the leathers used in the manufacture of our shoes, we favor French tanneries like Degermann or that of Puy because the skins used to come from French calves raised in good conditions which allow obtaining the best leathers!

The Tannery

The Tannery

In general, the tanneries are specialized in a type of skin (lamb, calf, horse, etc.). It is this specialization that gives the name of tannery or tannery.

It’s like in a restaurant: are you skeptical when, on the same menu, you are offered a Savoyard fondue and a cassoulet?

Well for the tanneries it’s the same thing!

In addition, the leather industry uses products that can be very toxic to the environment and to humans.

By working with French tanneries, subject to very restrictive legislation on the subject, we ensure that the manufacture of the leather used to make our shoes respects the environment.

It is not without incidence on the costs considering the investments which the tanneries must carry out to respect these standards.

When you see the environmental ravages in India or Morocco, for example, you understand why, in addition to quality, it is advisable to buy shoes made with French leathers.

You treat yourself and in addition, you preserve the planet.

Transformation of the skin into leather

After selection, the tanner, therefore, returns with his lots of salted hides.

Then begins a long process (finally more or less long depending on the tanneries) process of transformation of the skin into leather.

Transformation of the skin into leather

Leather manufacturing begins!

He has at his disposal a wide range of techniques and processes which will allow him to obtain very different finished leathers.

It is an art that relies on long-standing know-how associated with modern techniques.

It is the tanners who will give its characteristics to the leather:

  • flexibility
  • firmness
  • thickness
  • odor
  • color
  • texture

The total average time to transform skin into leather is 4 to 5 weeks.


Some do this much faster, others more slowly … with the results you can imagine depending on the case …

You should know that calf leather is not naturally flexible.

Well yes, it is necessarily more than that of the buffalo I grant you.

But, it is the tanner who gives its characteristics to the leather according to the transformation processes used.

Of course, it relies on the specific structure of the skins chosen – in general, the idea that we have of the animal gives us good indications on the characteristics of its skin – to get the best and thus obtain leathers that meet the requirements of its customers and the use they will have of them.

We have therefore seen that depending on the skin used (an alligator skin and that of a lamb do not necessarily react in the same way) but also of the desired result, the techniques and procedures are not the same.

However, it is possible to split the production of leather into 4 main essential phases:

  • River work: skin cleansing.
  • Tanning: transforming a putrescible material (the skin) into a rot-proof material (leather).
  • Wrought iron: give the desired properties to the leathers (solidity, flexibility, etc.) and a basic color.
  • Finishing: giving the leather its final appearance (color, relief, shine, etc.) and its surface properties (protection, etc.).

With the exception of the mechanical work, sorting and finishing phases – which are carried out dry – all the others take place in tanks filled, among other things, with water!

If in spite of everything you still think that water and leather do not mix well, I invite you to read my article on the 10 mistakes to avoid when caring for your shoes.

Of course, as from the start, the know-how and working conditions of the tannery will condition the quality of the leather.

Let’s dive into the details (in the specific case of bovine hides) to see what the tanner actually does and how it affects the quality of the leather!

River work

River work

The tanner begins to work with salty but above all very dirty hides!

We cut up an animal and then salted its skin.

You imagine the head of what the tanner recovers.

You have to be damn imaginative to visualize the magnificent leather that we are going to obtain, right?

It is, therefore, necessary to start by cleaning them in order to remove all the unnecessary parts:

  • the epidermis
  • hairs
  • soluble proteins
  • subcutaneous tissue.

So we only keep the dermis (flower + flesh) of the skin.

It is also at this stage that the skin is rehydrated to restore its suppleness.

In chronological order, there is first the quenching (or re-greening ).

During this stage, we will restore the skin’s hydration level close to that of fresh condition.

It is also desalted and free of stains and soluble organic parts (beautiful words to speak of blood, pieces of flesh, and fat).

For this step, between 300 and 500% of the weight of the skins are used in water.

An antiseptic is added to prevent the putrefaction of the skin.

A large amount of water also serves to avoid the degradation of the flower and the fibers of the skin in the tank.

Then come the depilation and skinning.

Thanks to chemicals that destroy keratin (a specific protein in the hair), we will facilitate the elimination of the epidermis and hair.

Peeling consists of slightly degrading the fibers in order to make the skin more reactive to the tanning agents which will then be applied to it.

This is where the flexibility of the leather plays, in part: the more the fibers of the skin are degraded, the more the leather will be flexible.

It is then the fleshing of the skin. This operation is used to remove the subcutaneous tissues using a machine called… a skinning machine!

So we have a skin of which we have the dermis which will be transformed into the leather.

For chemistry lovers, you can dig out the deliming, jamming, and pickling stages which are used to remove basic agents (the skin is very alkaline) in order to avoid reactions during the tanning which takes place in an acid medium.

I do not detail them here because they have a minimal influence on the final product (but they are nevertheless essential)… and I will end up with a novel more than an article!



Cleared of hair and other residues, our skin is ready to be transformed into the leather.

We then begin tanning.

This involves fixing chemical agents in the skin to transform it into the leather.

We, therefore, transform a skin, very hydrated and putrescible into the leather which is poorly hydrated, rot-proof and resistant.

It is not a discovery for anyone there are several kinds of tanning agents:

  • Chrome
  • Vegetable tannins
  • Synthetic tannins

It is, therefore, depending on the tanning agent used that we will talk about chrome tanning or vegetable tanning.

But concretely what are the differences between the two processes? Are you wondering?

That’s good, that’s what comes next!

1. Chrome tanning

It is the most widely used method in the world.

Over 80% of leathers are tanned in this way.

It has many “advantages”:

  • fast (24h max)
  • simple
  • versatile
  • cheaper than the others

It is with this process that we obtain the famous wet-blue (bluish-gray leather).

In tanneries that comply with French and European standards, this type of tanning has a very limited impact on the environment.

chrome tanning

In other cases, however …

It consists in dissolving chromium sulfate in water and then making it penetrate the skin with stirring in a fuller (a rotating tank).

We then neutralize the acidity of the bath with baking soda which will fix the basic chromium salts on the fibers of the skin by forming stubborn bonds which will make it possible to obtain very resistant leathers.
Note: like you with your washing machine, some tanneries overload the fullers (for more output) with few products which allow them to reduce costs with the consequences you imagine on the quality of the leather.
Your machine -it is perfect when you get out of an overloaded machine?

2. Vegetable tanning

In fact, it is an improved version of the older forms of leather making.

Globally tanned leathers in this way represent around 10% of production.

2. Vegetable tanning

The tanning agents are in the form of concentrated powders (depending on the plant, their leaves, their bark, their roots, etc.) which are chemically improved in order to make them more soluble and reactive.

More complicated to implement than chrome tanning, vegetable tanning is longer and therefore … more expensive (it’s the same story)!

In the particular case of shoes we use a lot of vegetable tanned leathers for the soles (finally some brands use them a lot).

It is a very long process which will consist of passing the leather through 5 to 8 different tanks (containing increasingly concentrated tannin solutions).

It spends at least 14 to 30 days in each tank.

Leather production, therefore, takes at least 3 to 8 months and up to 12/18 months for extra-slow tanning.

These are the two best known and most used types of tanning.
Note: we have devoted a full article to vegetable leather if the subject interests you, I invite you to read it.

But there are others (tanning with aluminum, zirconium or synthetics) which make it possible to obtain very specific leathers or which have been developed in order to improve current processes but which remain less well-controlled, much more expensive and therefore very rare.

The wrought

We have turned our skin into the leather – and you must have finished your steak long ago.

But we do not yet have a product that can be used for making leather objects.

It does not yet have the necessary characteristics for this.

This is the purpose of this step.

In reality, it is not a single manipulation but the succession of several which will allow reaching the desired result by the tanner.

First, there is the spin. Our freshly tanned leather is loaded with water and it will pass through a machine with cylinders covered with felt which, with strong pressure, will make it possible to lower the water content of the leather.

Then comes the yard.

It is a strategic operation.

The tanner will judge each skin according to several criteria (possible apparent defects and their locations, thickness, size, etc.) in order to constitute homogeneous batches.

The consequence of this classification is that when you buy leather you have several choices (from 1 to 10 depending on the tanneries) which represent the quality of the batches of skins.
Note: there is no absolute classification. Depending on its commercial positioning, a tanner may judge a defect as downgrading while another does not. I let you, given the customers they have, guess how the skins are judged in the tanneries of Puy and Degermann where our leathers come from.

Some tanneries must then split the skins.

On one side a leaf containing the flower, on the other the crust.

Twice as much material to sell with the same quantity of skins.

It’s necessarily interesting, isn’t it?

Afterward, in terms of quality, this is not what everyone is looking for.

The skin is then neutralized in a fuller before removing all the residual acidity and facilitating the penetration of chemicals (yes it is very chemical leather… but at the same time you expected what to pass from skin of an animal to a luxury product?) of the following operations.

Before being dyed, the leather is, in certain tanneries, retanned (yes yes), this makes it possible to homogenize its characteristics within the same batch and to prepare it for dyeing.

We, therefore, influence the lending of the skin, the finesse of the flower and the firmness.

I do not repeat my blah on money, time, etc … you must have understood since … time …

This is then the stage called food.

To give suppleness to the leather, we will make it absorb fat (fish oil in general).

For shoe leathers, we will find 4 to 8% of the weight of the flat leather.

This step is carried out just after dyeing, often in the same drum.
Note: by adding more fat (20 to 30% of the weight of the leather) we will be able to waterproof it. We are talking about oily leather perfectly suited for making mountain boots…

The leather is then again wrung out and then stretched to reduce wrinkles and folds.

It’s drying time.

A very important step for the final quality of the leather.

It is a skillful dosage that the tanner must carry out: not too fast not to deteriorate the leather but not too slow either otherwise the tannery would have problems of profitability!

This is how he chooses the most suitable process among those at his disposal: hanging drying, vacuum, frame or on ice.

After drying the leathers may be slightly stiff.

We will, therefore, re-moisten them slightly and stretch them to give them all their flexibility.


We went from a raw skin from an animal to a magnificent (more or less depending on the case) leather skin.

But have you ever noticed that there are leathers with a velvety appearance, others very shiny or others with a grain, right?

This is the subject of the last part!
Note: earlier I told you about your washing machine that you overload to avoid having to do two… it could also happen to you to save on laundry given the price it costs, right?
Well, some tanneries do the same thing.

The products used are very expensive and they do not put enough (savings, profitability, blah blah… always the same refrain) so much so that the leather is only tinted on the surface and not in-depth.
We can then see, on the edge, the middle layer which is always bluish gray.
It is there that the vice is pushed very far: some go as far as painting the edge of the skin or better make a small fold sewn so that it is not seen!


So we end up with leather that has all the properties that the tanner wants: flexibility, thickness, etc.

However, leather is not usable in this state for the simple reason that it is not necessarily beautiful but it is above all very fragile.


The tanner will, therefore, more or less improve the aesthetics of the skin.

More or less depends on the starting quality of the skin.

You understand why, well before the start of the tanner’s work, it is very important to know the origin of the skins and therefore the breeding conditions.

Before protecting it, the tanner will more or less correct the skin.

Depending on the appearance of the surface (no flaws or presence of flaws) it will sand (or not) the leather.

The most beautiful skins are not corrected and we speak then of full grain leather.
A full grain leather without finish will make beautiful patinas on your shoes .

It is the rolls of leathers, the thickness of the skin is not changed and we will then have very high quality leather…

This is the one we use on all of our shoes.

Then the more there are defects the more we will sand the leather to obtain a presentable surface.

We therefore reduce the thickness of the skin and make it more fragile.

On skin with few defects the sanding will be light and we will obtain a leather called flower-corrected.

If the skin is really of very poor quality we will then sand it deeply and get what is called split leather (which is technically no longer leather and it is even forbidden by law to call it leather).

In this case, the finishing will aim to “garnish” the skin and imitate the flower in order to… take for consumers the consumers that we are!

However, there is only one case where sanding is not used to camouflage poor quality skin: the velvety leathers that are velvet and nubuck.

What is commonly called suede or suede leathers are actually skins that have been sanded to give them this appearance.

In the case of nubuck, the sanding, flower side, is very light and will not hide any skin defects.

So if you are in the presence of real nubuck it is because you have before you a very good quality leather.

We obtain a leather with a peach skin appearance and very fine and short “hairs”.

For velvet, sanding is done on the flesh side (this is what makes the difference between these two types of leather).

To make velvet we generally use skins with a coarse flower but which we do not want to correct (as explained above) to keep a leather with good mechanical properties.

As we work on the flesh side, the appearance of the velvet will depend on the type of skin used (goat, veal, pork, etc.). But it is generally less thin and flush than nubuck.

For these two kinds of leather, there is no protective layer.

You don’t notice anything in particular?

We sand the skin to improve its surface appearance (corrected flower or even crust of leather) but we also sand it to obtain a velvet or nubuck which are made on beautiful skins just to obtain a velvety appearance.

How to make the difference?

With manufacturers who are inconspicuous, it is even more complicated because they go so far as to carry out a fine sanding of the crust in order to obtain a velvety appearance close to nubuck or velvet.

Be careful!

You can generally recognize a velvet crust because the appearance is less fine and flush than nubuck…

In short, back to our skin.

It is now ready to receive finishing.

If we are in the presence of full-grain leather with very little defect then the tanner will apply a finish called pure aniline (this is an abuse of language because the chemical aniline is no longer used because of its toxicity ).

It is, therefore, a “very very” thin transparent layer that will make it possible to enhance the natural appearance and the incomparable feel of a full-grain leather of very good quality.

If we are in the presence of full-grain leather with defects – but that the tanner did not want to correct to keep the designation full grain – of a corrected grain or a crust, we will achieve a pigmented finish.

We will apply a more or less thick and covering layer depending on the importance of the defects to hide. The touch is not at all the same as a full aniline full-grain leather.

We can also achieve an intermediate finish which we will then call semi-aniline (or sometimes just aniline to sow doubt in people’s heads).

It is also possible (often with very good quality skins) not to apply a finish at all.

We then speak of natural leather.

The touch is totally inimitable, very silky but the leather is very fragile and very sensitive to external aggressions (light, friction, stains, etc.)

Our leather is therefore almost finished …

Unless you want to give it a particular look or insist on a specific characteristic.

In this case, we will have, in addition, a mechanical finishing.

This is how we give a more marked grain to leather… and thus make grained leather

Without going into too much detail here is what we can do:

  • Satin finish/graining: the leather is passed through a heated press with smooth or engraved plates in order to reproduce a pattern (reproduction of the crocodile, stingray appearance, etc.) or to smooth it out.
  • Dry coarsening: allows to accentuate the natural grain but also to soften the leather.
  • Smoothing: provides a very smooth and shiny surface (for example box type leathers)
  • Binding: the leather is folded flower against flower in order to create fine wrinkles on the surface
    This is how, after 4 to 5 weeks in general, we get leather.

Reading this article it is clear that the possibilities are almost endless in the manufacture of leather.

The only limit, here too, is the imagination of the tanner and his customers.

We also note that it is possible with poor quality skin to make a leather whose appearance – purely visual – will not have much to envy to a full-grain pure aniline or natural leather.

leather manufacturing

A house that works with beautiful leathers will be transparent about the origin and the type of skins used because they enhance the product.

We are very proud, for example, to work with the tanneries of Puy and Degermann whose calfskin is among the most renowned in the world.

Be careful all the same, in order to make a figure, reputable tanneries can sometimes offer batches of lower quality.

If the source and the type of leather are not clearly displayed then you have to start having doubts because it can hide something.

If a brand has nothing to reproach itself for, why hide the origin of its leathers?

Probably because they are not of very good quality or manufactured in conditions that are not respectful of people and the environment (which generally goes hand in hand).

This is when things get complicated for you.

But I talk about all this in more detail in the second part of this file where I give you some tips on how to recognize good leather.

I will end this article with a summary of the different names and characteristics of leathers that you may come across.

Leather manufacturing: the 4 main families

  • Full-grain leather with aniline finish: It is a leather made on the skin with very few defects of which we have kept all the thickness. We applied a transparent and thin finish to keep the leather looking natural. They are very beautiful leathers, appreciated by connoisseurs and with an inimitable appearance.
  • Full-grain leather with pigmented finish: We have kept the entire thickness of the skin but to hide the flaws we have applied a more or less thick opaque finish. We have a well-protected leather, easier to maintain but with a less natural appearance.
  • Corrected grain leather with pigmented finish: The grain of the leather has been sanded to improve its appearance and then a thicker opaque layer is applied than the previous leather. We still lose a little more the aspect and the natural touch.
  • Pigmented crust finish: Pn, therefore, sanded very deep (or split the leather) and a very thick, opaque layer was applied to it to garnish the leather. We have an aspect close to the previous leather but it is actually not very resistant and will deteriorate quickly even if it is well maintained. It is a low-end product.

If you only have to remember one thing, it is that a quality shoe must be made with full-grain leather with aniline or natural finish. You cannot cheat with this type of leather: the skin has very few defects, it has not been sanded or covered with a thick opaque layer.

How To Choose Your Wedding Shoes

We agree you have not planned to wear flip-flops for “the happiest day of your life”, No? So much the better! Whether you have already chosen your wedding suit or not, there is always time to select a beautiful pair of waxed wedding shoes, in quality leather, with a magnificent shape. You will tell me that it is easy to say. But there is still a detail to refine … which model to buy and how to choose it. Let’s go back to the beginning, to make you the best shoe man of your marriage.


This is a relatively personal matter as it relates to your finances. If you are able to put € 1000 in a pair, then all the better. But that does not make you a man necessarily better dressed than your neighbor who will only have a 300 € budget. Let’s say that the question is rather that of the crush, the style, and the maximum budget that you can put.

wedding shoes

In any case, a pair of quality shoes, with solid and elegant leather, an assembly carried out in the rules of the art and noble materials, will cost you a minimum of 200 €, and I think that a budget of 250 to 600 € is perfect for having a nice pair of shoes. However, if you do not have this budget some brands offer very attractive prices. You will find them in this article, category “cheap shoes”.


This is where the question becomes interesting. To know which pair of shoes to wear at your wedding, you must first ask yourself what is your attachment to the rules, to the “etiquette” and what is the degree of formality of your marriage. Is it very formal, classic or relaxed? I went to see Victor at Malfroid to try several pairs in several styles, compare them, juxtapose them, and help you get an idea. Let’s see what I recommend for each case.

wedding shoes


The most standard shoe style for a formal wedding is the black Richelieu One Cut. It is THE formal shoe par excellence. It has no reported tip or other devices. It is entirely in smooth leather, and its beauty lies in its shape and the quality of the leather that composes it. This is the model to wear during a very formal wedding in a jacket or a 3-piece navy blue or anthracite gray suit.

There is no other alternative, no other shoe is as elegant and formal as this pair. You can find it in Goodyear or Blake sewn. Note that the first type of mounting is thicker and more rigid than the second which is thinner and more flexible.

If you are afraid of never wearing this pair again, fear not. It is a pair that you can easily wear with a suit to go to the office, but also a little more rock-n-roll with jeans, a blazer and a shirt without a tie. In the “formal shoe” category, only the color black is allowed. Sorry for the others. But we are very lucky because it is certainly the most comfortable pair of leather shoes to wear!


I mean by “classic” a marriage where it is not necessary to be too formal, but where there is also no question of showing up in Dockside Sebago. Because yes, don’t forget that you are the ideal son-in-law! It will, therefore, be appropriate to wear a classic pair, but with a touch of fantasy. Opt for a bi-material model in smooth leather and suede leather, or a model with a slightly perforated but not floral toe cap, and always in smooth leather. This kind of model can very well brighten up a navy blue or gray suit, to give a little more “pep” to your groom look.

As far as colors are concerned, you can dodge traditional black to explore the magical world of brown or blue. You can also try the patina experience to give depth to the color of your leather. Be careful not to fall into the clownish fantasy, and avoid trying to do too much with a really pronounced apple green patina or colored laces for example.

I have seen many people wear double buckle shoes at their wedding but I do not find this model very “classic” and suitable for a “classic” ceremony. I find the simple loop much more suitable in this case.



Welcome to the kingdom of freedom! Here you have the choice to do what you want. However, there are “original” and “original”… If you are looking for relatively contained originality, orient yourself towards a model in smooth leather but with pointed toe decorated in brogue or even why not in full brogue derby. But beware from this moment you will not be classic at all!

If you want to go even further, you can play with colors, patinas, and variations of leathers (smooth/suede/grained/oily). You can also choose a single loop pair, which I find much more elegant than a double loop.

If you opt for ankle boots, however, avoid getting married in Chelsea boots, jodhpur or desert boots, which are the latest models of leather shoes that I recommend you wear for this occasion. Choose a pair of lace-up boots, which have the advantage of looking like a classic pair of shoes if your pants cover your ankle.

Common Repairs For Your Shoes

Have you just bought your beautiful shoes and are you already thinking about the best way to protect and repair them?This is completely normal and even recommended. Indeed, all professionals will tell you: prevention is better than cure. Thus, regular maintenance is essential to lengthen the life of your shoes. However, wear and tear awaits and your beautiful object inevitably degrades over time and walking. This is why we decided to see together the most common repairs.

How To Repair Your Shoes?

The fitting of skates:

The fitting of skates: how to repair

Properly installed, the pad for leather soles is effective protection.

Variable in thickness depending on the sole (1.8mm for men and 1.5mm for women), this rubber object will save your most beautiful pairs.

However, be careful not to choose a shoe that is too thick: this can harm the shoe.

For more fantasy, there are now colored skates.

For your information, in the case of sewn assembly, we really advise you to bring it to an expert shoemaker.

A true professional takes care not to damage the thread of the seam.

It just has to card the leather and make it porous in order to obtain a perfect bonding.

Because a simple mistake can completely destroy your shoe, get help.

Installation of candies on heel block:

First thing you notice on a pair of shoes: the wear of the heel due to walking. As such, we recommend that you never reach the heel block. This can cause irreversible damage.

There are two options for repairing your heel:

  • leather/rubber
  • all eraser.

To help you make your choice, know that a leather recalibration is more aesthetic while a rubber heel is considered more “sport” and less slippery.

The gold of the pose, the cobbler can repair a worn heel block. To do this, he must respect the camber of the shoe by doing what is necessary so that the heel is aligned with the sole. This is to improve the comfort of walking and avoid too rapid wear.

Iron installation:

You have three options:

  • half moon irons,
  • built-in irons
  • or half-moon plastics.

Half-moon protections are placed either on the sole or the heel.

They can also be installed on the tip of your skate.

The built-in iron, much stronger and more aesthetic, must be installed with a certain technique.

Your professional craftsman can either nail or screw them.

iron installation

For your information: the combination of skates / built-in irons gives good results because the iron and the shoe have the same thickness.

Leather resole:

Only a good shoemaker who likes a job well done can re-stitch leather.

This very technical repair requires, in fact, certain know-how: perfect knowledge of the assemblies, choice of leather, knowledge of sewing.

Two possibilities :

  • leather half-soles
  • or full leather.

The half-sole is made with a fitting at the shank (see our shoe glossary ).

The whole leather, meanwhile, is seamless because the heel block is removed.

Obviously, the whole is much more aesthetic, but also more expensive. It’s up to you depending on your budget.



By friction or by not using a shoe-horn, the rear part of the shoe is damaged or even torn.

If you observe this kind of phenomenon, ask your shoemaker for advice without delay.

Indeed, a good professional, by choosing a quality leather (calf for example) will repair this slide.

The work consists of dismantling the worn part in order to put back a new slide and re-stitching, taking care to transplant in the same holes.

Finally, the finished finish will make this adjustment invisible.

The 5 Sneakers You Will Wear In 2024

While 2024 is now well established, we have not yet wondered which sneakers we will wear this year. No need for a crystal ball to become, you just have to be attentive to what is happening on the podiums and in the shop windows of the signs.

I had the idea for this article by reviewing the trendy sneakers at La Redoute, which already gives a good overview of what is being done at the moment.

The beginning of the 2010s was more focused on clean and minimalist forms. Today, the trend has completely reversed and contrasts with a strong revival of the 1990s and 2000s, which is available throughout the male wardrobe and in particular the sneakers.

High Fashion Sneakers

If you had proposed a pair of Air Jordan x Christian Dior ten years ago, you would probably have been made fun of by style aficionados between two puffs of menthol cigarettes. But not anymore.

Last year, the Sacai x Nike collaboration leading to the LDWaffle model was probably the biggest news in terms of sneakers. Add to this the Air Dior collab mentioned above as well as another one between Adidas and Prada which is coming and doubt is no longer allowed: 2024 will be the year of the meeting between haute couture and sneakers.

This trend is the symptom of a wider trend, which is the advent of streetwear and which has started for a few years now.

High Fashion Sneakers

20 Years Back

In line with the 1990s revival, the style of the 2000s is also making a comeback. 20 years later, we realize that the cyclical nature of fashion is a reality. While the past years have been marked by a nostalgia for the ’90s, the beginning of 2020 shows us that attention is gradually shifting to what was done at the start of the millennium.

We should, therefore, expect the return of baggy jeans, and shoes like the TN Shark or the Nike Shox.

20 Years Back

The Golden Age Of Gore

Technical and functional clothing made a significant impact on 2019, with materials usually found in the field of sportswear. The hiker look has thus become trendy.

Among the materials that we find a lot, Gore-Tex particularly stands out.

We have thus seen the arrival of Gore-Tex sneakers, surprisingly stylish and easy to wear. This is, for example, the case of the Stan Smith which has become waterproof, just like the Air Force One. 2024 will see the continuation of this trend.

The Golden Age Of Gore

The Sneaker Race

In continuation of the technical sneakers, the running and trail models have also been elevated to the rank of must-have by the style police.

Brands have appropriated them, such as Hoka One One, Nike and Undercover’s Gyakusou with colorful models, cut for performance that bite as hard as they bark. Well, let’s be honest: you’re probably not going to run an ultra-marathon with it, but the fact that they could handle it adds a little extra flavor.

The Sneaker Race

A Little Transparency

Fortunately, stylistic trends are not just a resurgence of the past. Sometimes new trends emerge without us having seen them coming. This is particularly the case of semi-transparent basketball, which appeared in 2018 on the Converse All-Star as well as on the Nike React Element 87 under the impulse of the American designer Virgil Abloh’s,

You might think it was just a designer fad, yet 2 years later the trend was confirmed. We find it for example in the collaboration between Adidas and Blondey McCoy’s on the Superstar model, or on the Fila Disruptor and Nike Air Force One models.

A Little Transparency

This trend remains controversial; if you are a fan, do not forget to wear socks.

To Which End Of Shoe To Go: Golf, Straight, Plain Or Flowery

As we recently commented, there are 6 forms of men’s shoes (brogue, derby, moccasin, buckle, sneaker, and ankle boots). To these forms of shoes, the toes can also be differentiated. Indeed, 4 specific tips are present on the Finsbury ranges: one-cut, straight, golf as well as floral.


The plain toe or “one-cut” means a single piece of the shoe on which there is no seam, the slap is therefore simple. This sleek toe gives the ultimate elegance to your pair of shoes.



The stretch is a piece on which a piece of leather has been added. It can be formed from a simple seam or perforations. In this case, it is called “perforated stretch”. It is the classic tip par excellence.

THE STRETCH plain tip


Like the stretch, a piece of leather is also added to the toe. Here, however, the piece is more complex and extends to the back of the shoe.



The toe of a shoe can also be flowered. In this case, it has several decorative perforations (generally of different sizes) on the slap. A flowered shoe can very well have a plain, straight or golf toe.

Maintenance Of Glazed Or Polido Leather

Glossy or Polido leather (also called “rectified skin”), is a waterproof leather, covered with varnish giving a shiny side to the leather. This type of leather requires very little maintenance. Indeed, this leather no longer having the pores (grain) of standard leather, shoe polish, or any other cleaning product, cannot penetrate the leather. A simple slightly damp soft cloth will be enough to properly maintain your ice shoes.

Maintenance Of Glazed Or Polido Leather

In order to maintain your glazed leather shoes in the best possible way, we invite you to follow the advice below:


First, remove the laces from your shoes. You will be able to access every corner of your pair and this will also avoid getting your laces dirty.

Place your shoes under shoe trees. Installation under shoe trees at this stage allows you to continue cleaning your shoes in the best conditions. Indeed, your pair will thus regain its original shape and it will be easier to take care of it.

START CLEANING Glazed Or Polido Leather!

As we mentioned earlier, glazed leather requires very light maintenance and is very different from unglazed leather. Carefully wrap your soft cloth around your index and middle fingers. Make sure the soft cloth on the inside of your fingers is not wrinkled.

Add a few drops of water to your cloth, then apply it to your shoe.

Warning: it is strongly advised not to apply a polish or cream on your glazed or polido leather. Indeed, it will reduce the shiny effect of the polido and will give a pasty, greasy and non-elegant appearance to your shoe.


The last step in caring for your glazed leather shoes is to polish them. With an energetic gesture, brush your pair with a polishing glove. In real lambskin, the buffing glove is much softer than a buffing brush. It will allow in particular not to leave traces, or scratches on your pair of shoes, in order to keep them in the best of conditions.

Glazed Or Polido Leather

It is recommended to maintain a glazed leather at least once a month, that is to say, every 4 to 5 ports. This notably takes into account the alternation of your shoes. Indeed, just like a more classic leather shoe, it is strongly recommended to alternate your glazed or patent leather shoes so that the leather can rest, breathe and tighten.

Although it requires very little maintenance, glazed leather is a fragile but robust leather. For example, it will be difficult to minimize the signs of wear (scratches, marks, crackles). However, since leather is stiffer than full-grain calfskin, the pleats will tend to be reduced.

As this type of leather is already shiny, it cannot be glazed on glazed or Polido leathers.

The Care Of A Suede Calf Leather

Velvet calf or more commonly known as suede is the part of the leather on the flesh side. This type of skin is very simple to maintain and robust. Obviously, suede calf leather does not require waxing or creaming.

calf leather

For optimal maintenance of a suede pair, you will need a brass brush and an aerosol waterproofer. In order to maintain your suede calfskin shoes in the best possible way, we invite you to follow the advice below:


First, remove the laces from your shoes. You will be able to access every corner of your pair and this will also avoid getting your laces dirty.

Place your shoes under shoe trees. The installation under shoe trees, at this stage, allows you to continue cleaning your shoes in the best conditions. Indeed, your pair will thus regain its original shape and it will be easier to take care of it.


As we mentioned earlier, suede calfskin requires occasional maintenance.

Remove the accumulated dirt. Rub your calfskin suede shoes vigorously, using a medium brush, in order to extract any dust, dirt or impurity collected during your various wear.

Brush the suede calfskin. It is not uncommon that as you wear them, the suede calfskin will smooth, the hairs tightening between them. Using a brass brush, delicately brush the suede calfskin of your shoes to restore volume.

brass brush to clean calf leather

Waterproof and feed the suede. To do this, use a velvet calf aerosol waterproofer. Spray your shoes evenly while standing about six inches from your pair. In addition to protecting your shoes from stains and rain, the waterproofing will nourish the leather and revive the colors of the suede. Be sure to use a waterproofing product the color of your velvet calf. If necessary, use a colorless waterproofing agent. Also, remember to protect your surfaces with newspaper, but also your soles (if they are lighter), the waterproofing can, in some cases, significantly stain them.


Once the waterproofing spray on your pair in suede calfskin, let it sit for between 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, brush your shoes again with the brass brush.

It is recommended to maintain a suede calf leather at least once every two months, that is to say, every 10 to 15 ports. This notably takes into account the alternation of your shoes. Indeed, just like a more classic leather shoe, it is strongly recommended to alternate your shoes in suede calf leather so that the leather can rest, breathe and tighten.

Rough Out Suede – 7 New References

Let’s finish discovering what’s new this winter with the arrival of a brand new suede leather at J&D.

No new forms or new sponsorships today.

These are 7 models that you have already seen:

  • Blake Rapid stitched chukka
  • Blake Rapid stitched Brogue V2 derby
  • Norwegian-stitched long-wing
  • Norwegian Sewn Hunting Derby
  • City Boots V2 sewn, Goodyear
  • Norwegian sewn work boots
  • Norwegian stitched mountain boots

But they are all made with a brand new leather (for us): a rough out suede from the Stead tannery.

I tell you about this famous English house further.

But, let’s start with a reminder on the different assemblies used on these models.

Presentation Of Assemblies: Goodyear, Norwegian, And Blake Rapid Sewn Suede

Presentation Of Assemblies: Goodyear, Norwegian, And Blake Rapid Sewn Suede

Sewn Goodyear And Norwegian

These assemblies are very appreciated by shoe lovers for their robustness and technicality.

They both rely on the realization of two seams:

  • A side which will link the rod, the mounting wall of the first and the welt (Goodyear or Norwegian sewing)
  • A vertical which will link the outsole to the welt (stitch stitching)

To be precise:

  • the side seam is a “chain” type seam
  • the stitch stitching is two threads and of the “shuttle stitch” type (the stitches are independent: if one of them jumps the others are not weakened).

The difference is that the side seam is visible on a Norwegian sewn while it is invisible on a Goodyear.

The consequence?

A Norwegian is more waterproof than a Goodyear.

But more massive also visually.

In addition, all our Goodyear and Norwegian sewn models benefit from a mounting wall engraved directly in the first mounting (double leather lip).

Why are these montages acclaimed by amateurs?

because the presence of two seams ensures greater solidity and better sealing of the shoe (compared to a Blake)
because they can be reseeded as many times as you want

The Blake Rapid Sewn:

The Blake Rapid Sewn:


You will tell me that, in a winter spirit, we could have offered these models in Goodyear or Norwegian.

But, for several reasons, we decided to keep this arrangement:

  • The technique: Our shape 63 is too pinched in camber and it does not pass on the machine used by the workshop to make the Goodyear seam. So, to offer this type of shape, we have to sew it in Blake.
  • Comfort: A Blake sewn is much more flexible. The comfort of the shoes will be much faster.
  • The price: Our desire is to offer quality shoes in a price range that suits the greatest number. The cost of making a Goodyear has absolutely nothing to do with Blake. It is therefore for us a means of containing the price and of proposing several ranges adapted to the desires, uses, and budget of each.

What is a Blake Rapid?

Compared to the classic Blake, we add a midsole (ie: wedged between the first insole and the outsole.

The Blake seam will come to link the upper, the first sock and this midsole together.

We add a small stitching visible all around the shoe that links together the outsoles and the midsole.

“So, if I take a pair of Brogue V2 Derby or Chukka in Blake I buy disposable shoes?”

Far from it .

This bad reputation of Blake comes from the fact that certain brands have understood that sewing their soles makes it possible to return a quality image.

An obvious argument for selling their more expensive shoes.

And, in your opinion, what did they choose as a montage?

Bingo: the Blake sewn which is (more) simple to make quickly.

The consequence is a tidal wave of Blake sewn:

  • awful,
  • done anyhow
  • which do not last.

At Jacques & Déméter, we don’t see it that way. This is why we make the Blake sewn:

  • with two pitched threads (for water tightness and solidity when most brands are satisfied with a single unpicked thread);
  • in shuttle points therefore independent and not with a simple chain stitch as on the mid-range models.
    This provides greater strength and durability during assembly.

Theoretically, with these solid assemblies, you get a shoe that will accompany you for (very) many years

Why Theoretically?

suede leather shoes

Quite simply because if the leather of the upper (ie upper and lining of the shoe) does not hold water it is not of much use, right?

I’m talking about the rough-out suede we used on these models right after, but this photo should make your mouth water:

Charles F Stead & CO Ltd: a century-old English tannery specializing in suede leathers

  • In our eternal search for quality leathers, it was only natural that we turned to the English tannery Stead.
  • Based in Leeds, for over a hundred years (founded in 1904), it is especially renowned for its suede leathers!
  • It specializes in offering original/unique leathers by playing with the natural imperfections of the skins used.
  • Just take a look at the different references on their site to realize it.

We contacted them a little before last summer in order to receive some samples to better judge the hand and the appearance of different references.

The choice was very complicated.

After discussions and reflections with the workshop we retained the leather they call Waxy Commander
Note: I have kept a few other ideas under the elbow for future launches 🙂

We are here on the skins of English cattle, about 20 months old.

Once the skins have been carefully selected, Stead’s know-how does the rest.

They carry out tanning with Chrome, house (unfortunately, they keep precious details of this process so I can not tell you more about the different steps).

However, during the tanning process, the various products used to cause the fibers of the skin to tighten very strongly.

So much so that its surface can lose up to 25% of its value.

The result is particularly dense and therefore very (very) resistant leather.

But they don’t stop there.

As its name suggests, a mixture (also kept secret) of waxes and other very rich and thick oils comes to nourish this leather in depth to make it fatty.

Better yet, it is completely waterproof (and tested according to the international standards of this label ).

The end result is a very resistant leather that offers an original texture / color combination that will age over time!

Brogue V2 Derby and Blake Rapid stitched Chukka

Brogue V2 Derby and Blake Rapid stitched Chukka

Technical sheet

As with all our shoes, these are made in France, in Cholet , by a renowned and recognized workshop.

For these models, we use a rubber sole from Vibram.

You do not see them and yet they have a great importance in the life of your shoes.

So much so that I devoted an article to them: the invisible parts of our shoes .

If you want to have fun dismantling, this model is what you will come across:

– a wooden shank
– a cork plate filling
– synthetic toe and buttress
– a first assembly in vegetable tanned collar leather (from the Masure tannery)

How to get these shoes?

As you read these lines, these models are available on our e-shop:

  • Blake Rapid stitched chukka
  • Blake Rapid stitched Brogue V2 derby
  • Norwegian-stitched long wing
  • Norwegian Sewn Hunting Derby
  • City Boots V2 sewn Goodyear
  • Norwegian sewn work boots
  • Norwegian stitched mountain boots
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