Disclaimer: This post contains a very old attempt at shoemaking, during the very beginning of my journey. I really didn’t know what I was doing at this time, and the post is left online for archive purposes only. Please do not “learn” anything from it, as the post is certainly riddled with mistakes. It’s just a documentation on some of my thoughts as a beginner in this venture. For a more updated view of my shoemaking, please see my latest posts instead.
In a record time of two weeks, working full time in my secret workshop during vacation from my day job, Wik has taken form. These shoes are for myself. The fit, thanks to the impeccable lasts, is splendid.
Wik is made with pure vegetable tanned leather in all leather components. Only hand-held tools were used in the production; even the uppers are sewn with needle and thread. This post is a display of the finished shoes – in Part 1 and Part 2 I show in detail how they were made.
Construction: handmade with hand-held tools, English welted
Last: Springline, Ref 977, wood, scoop and screw, size UK 10F
Uppers: 4 oz vegetable tanned crust calf side
Lining: 2 oz vegetable tanned crust baby calf
Insoles: 12-13 oz vegetable tanned crust calf butt
Sockliner: 2 oz vegetable tanned crust baby calf
Outsoles: 9 Iron J. Rendenbach
Toe/heel stiffeners: 5 oz vegetable tanned crust shoulder
Rand/welt combo piece: 5 oz vegetable tanned crust shoulder
Heel lifts: 12-13 oz vegetable tanned crust calf butt + 5 oz vegetable tanned crust shoulder
Top lifts: vegetable tanned (1/4 rubber) J. Rendenbach
All leather used is 1st grade. Here’s a close-up of the toe:
The uppers are dyed with Fiebing’s pro dye in chocolate, and the shoes are only polished with pigment-free shoe polish. (Saphir Médaille d’Or Renovateur, and Saphir Pate de lux in neutral). I find that this really elevates the color of the dye, without darkening the color of the slightly lighter thread. Here’s an image of how the color can behave in a regular indoor lighting:
And here are the fiddleback outsoles:
A close-up of the fiddleback, and the closed channel outsole stitching:
Shoes tend to look the most beautiful outdoors, so here’s Wik resting in my driveway: