Walking with the Elite
Shoes are more than a fashion statement. My uncle once told me that you can really gauge a person by the quality of their shoes. It doesn’t matter what the suit or dress they are wearing looks like, or which label is attached to it. The jewelry and fashion accessories are mere accents and will undoubtedly change over time to something trendier.
But shoes - shoes are what people put a little bit of themselves into. Shoes stay timeless. The design fits our personality and the comfort suits our health. These two pieces of personal preference is what makes getting a pair of bespoke shoes made specifically for me the only way I’ll buy shoes ever again.
Taking the First Step
For more than 20 years The Italian Shoe Factory, has been the go-to bespoke shoe manufacturer in Dubai. All of their shoes are made from the finest Italian materials supplied by the finest Italian suppliers and all of it is available to you at any time.
You can find the small unassuming factory in the Al Quoz Industrial Area of Dubai. Making an appointment is the easiest way to ensure that you’ll be able to get the service you need upon arrival.
My first meeting with the team was all about what kind of shoe I was interested in. Every type of shoe imaginable was elegantly perched on a wall display for my perusal. There were Oxfords, Derbies, Monks, you name it and it was available. I choose a simple yet elegant cap-toe oxford.
Next came the material and color selection. There was a lovely dark-wine colored burgundy on the shelf that immediately attracted my eye. The leather sample was brought from the backroom for my approval. It was supple and soft to the touch and I instantly knew this was the color and leather
that would make my oxfords.
The first step was now almost complete, all that was left was to get the proper measurements to make my ‘Last’ or foot mould that my shoes would be made around.
This was accomplished by a short meeting with the Master Last-Maker. Taking all of the appropriate measurements of each of my feet he made sure that my bespoke selection would fit like a glove, would flex to my muscle density of each foot, and be more comfortable than any other pair of shoes I’ve ever worn.
Some Fancy Footwork
Step number two happened about 10 days later. After your foot gets measured and the Last is made, a dedicated artisan prepares a mock-up of your ordered pair of shoes with scrap pieces of leather. This ‘trial shoe’ is placed on the Last and left until the leather hardens up in the same fashion as your specified pair. Once removed, it is ready for the first fitting.
During the first fitting, you are asked to try on the trail pair to check the shape and size of the shoe on your foot. I was asked to walk around a bit to see if it pinched or felt loose anywhere…which it certainly didn’t. The old saying of ‘fits like a glove’ couldn’t have been more accurate.
With everybody in agreement that the Master Last Maker had the shoes a perfect match to my foot, it was now time for final production. All I had to do was wait.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
A short four weeks after the initial consultation and measuring, my cap-toe Oxfords were complete. Even better than I had anticipated, they did in fact fit like a glove if not better. The arch support in the middle of my feet made each step feel as if I were walking in a pair of trainers rather than some fancy dress shoes.
Care instructions were imparted on me before the shoes were handed over in their signature box. The most common problem is the sole and heel being worn out, but I was told that the talented team could easily replace it and have done so from time to time since they opened.
“The shoe itself is better in this way instead of buying off the shelf because it’s stitched instead of glued to the sole. Once we remove the stitches, we can make it as good as new and you’ll never know the difference.”
Al Quoz Industrial Area #4
Near Old Marina Exotic Home Interiors
16D Street, Umm Suqeim Road
Saturday to Thursday 8am - 1:30pm, 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Mobile: +971 50-556-6024
Phone: +971 4-340-4076
Photo Credit: Neil Hernandez | Instagram: @tabaneil
Some Photos were supplied by Italian Shoe Factory