A made-to-measure shoe is created (1) Everything starts with the personal measurement appointment

When a customer decides on an exclusive, custom-made pair of shoes, the starting point of the entire process is a personal consultation and measurement appointment at the manufactory or shoemaker of choice. During the first appointment, we first discuss which shoe model is involved and for what purpose the customer intends to use his new pair of custom shoes.

Especially in the classic shoe sector, there are many different types of models that are used depending on personal taste, invidual purpose, but also with regard to their fit. We will go into more detail about the different classic shoe types in later blog posts. The best known, however, are the classic Derby with its sub-type the Budapester with the characteristic Lyra perforation or also the Oxford, which can be provided with the classic broguing (perforation) if desired – then as Semi Brogue or Full Brogue Oxford. And of course not to forget the classic without lacing but with buckle – the Monk. Of course, the choice of the model also affects the subsequent choice of materials. For example, you don’t make an elegant business shoe out of a rough, strong waterproof leather or, conversely, a heavy mountain boot out of a fine chevreau (goat leather).

In the second step, the customer’s foot is analyzed in detail and examined for possible impairments, which can be compensated for with a custom-made shoe. This anamnesis includes, among other things, the creation of a footprint under load to show a realistic pressure distribution on the sole of the foot and to identify possible malpositions of the feet. This is done either by a classic blueprint (two-dimensional footprint) or digital foot scan. A three-dimensional impression (e.g. foam impression) can also be taken.

Subsequently, the actual measurements are taken. With the help of a measuring tape, the shoemaker takes measurements at defined points on the left and right foot. In the process, he tensions the measuring tape with more or less tensile force to optimize the subsequent fit. For example, when measuring the ball of the foot, the tape measure is placed around the foot with rather less tension, because the shoe should also provide the necessary width in this area. In contrast, a little further up in the direction of the bend of the foot, the so-called instep dimension is measured with “stronger tension” – you go into the so-called undersize. The reason for this is that the foot is rather soft and flexible in this area and you want to enclose the foot firmly with the shoe here to ensure a good fit. If the measurement is taken too far in this area, there is a risk that the foot could slip around in the shoe. As you can see, a lot of experience and tact are required here to ensure the best possible fit.

In my opinion, the classic, i.e. analog measuring method is still clearly superior to new, digital methods in the field of measuring. Certainly, there are high-precision 3-D scanning devices that can map the surface of the foot in the most accurate way. However, the machine is not able to judge how much undersize or oversize is necessary at which point of the foot in order to create an individual, optimal fit for the customer.

If you are interested in a personal consultation regarding made-to-measure shoes, please


to make an appointment with us.

In our

following blog post

on the subject of made-to-measure shoes is about the next step in the manufacturing process, the straightening of the lasts.