Kirby: Summary

On the distant Planet Popstar, in the country of Dream Land, Kirby the Nintendo character came into the world. “Kirby” the shoe is now born in Björklinge, Sweden. This post is a display of the finished shoes – in Part 1 and Part 2 I describe in detail how they were made.

At first glance, this is a bloated, bulbous penny loafer with a very generous instep and rather blunt look. Yet it has lighter sides, like a slender waist in relation to the last shape, high arch, thin insoles, and thin stiffeners inserted at the toe, heel and on the sides. The leather strip at the face was also given a slim design, attempting to tone down any indiscretions of the relaxed last shape.

The uppers were hand-sewn using 1 mm waxed polyester thread in pink. The same thread was used for the apron as well as attaching the uppers to the lining, sewing the penny strip, and doing the outsole seam.

Only handheld tools were used in production – knife, fork and spoon.

01 Kirby.jpg

The rounded apron stretches dangerously close to the toe, complementing the rounded outsole shape and letting the square toe serve as a contrast in between.

handmade shoes toe.jpg

The edges and heels were meticulously finished with vintage shoemaking wax, using instructions from the pro blog Carreducker.

kirby shoes.jpg

Here’s Kirby on the rugged stone floor of my foyer:

04 Indoors.jpg

And here’s a look at the JR outsole fiddlebacks with closed stitching:

05 outsoles.jpg

Is Kirby a protuberant hunchback, or a gazelle in disguise? You tell me!


Finally, here’s Kirby the shoe worn by Kirby the Nintendo character. (Please note that the image below is a montage, and was not actually taken at the Nintendo premises on Planet Popstar.)

00 Kirby.jpg




Construction: handmade with hand-held tools, English welted
3-4 oz madras printed calf in pink
Lining: 2 oz vegetable tanned crust baby calf
Insoles: 9-10 oz veg tanned butt
Outsoles: J. Rendenbach 9 iron
Toe/heel/side stiffeners: 4 oz vegetable tanned crust calf side
Rand: 5-6 oz veg tan from Tärnsjö Garveri
Welt: welting leather from Leather & Grindery
Shank: Metal
Heel lifts: 9-10 oz veg tanned butt + 5-6 oz veg tanned split
Top lifts: Prime Leather 1/4 Rubber
Sockliner: 4 oz vegetable tanned crust calf side

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