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Over 100 Steps

Over 100 procedures are necessary to make a shoe. The first and most important step is the creation of the shoe form -- a copy of the human foot carved in wood from which a plastic mold is made. This first step determines the curve of the arch and the way in which the wearer’s body weight will be distributed over the sole of the foot, both decisive factors for comfort. From made-to-order to mass-produced, every kind of shoe requires a different shoe form. The construction of the shoe form requires great ability as well as an eye for the changes in fashion.

The Shoe Form

After no fewer than 35 measurements of the foot to demonstrate body weight distribution, the craftsman evaluates foot symmetry, accurately measuring the circumference of the instep and the heel and calculating the height of the big toe and the shape of the instep to establish how the foot will move within the shoe.

Shoe Wearability
The challenge for the craftsman who creates the shoe form lies in taking all these conditions in consideration without compromising the beauty or the architectural balance of the shoe’s design.In the case of high-heeled shoes, the craftsman must determine the heel height from the base of the shoe’s “neckline”. The heel height is thus established according to this relationship: if too high, the shoe will rub against the tendons; if too low, the shoe will not stay on the foot. But the critical aspect of shoe wearability is without doubt the measurement of the external curve of the sole from the heel to the front of the foot, where the wearer’s body weight rests when walking.

Cutting and Edging
Using this last measurement as a guide, the model-maker cuts the upper pieces of the shoe and the shoe lining, finishes the edges to ensure the best wear and fit, then sews the pieces together. The model-maker then forms the toe of the shoe, reinforces the heel and softens the leather to make it conform to the lines of the shoe form.

Mounting the Sole and Attaching the Heel

The craftsman carefully places the upper part of the shoe on the shoe form, stretching it as much as possible before fixing it in position with tiny nails. The upper remains t dry two weeks on the form before the sole is mounted and the heel is attached.

Finishing and Polishing

At this point the refinisher smoothes the welt, levels the heels, polishes the outer sole and attaches the inner sole. The final important step is to dust off and polish the shoe.

(Photos are taken into our master craftsman laboratory)

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