Posts Tagged ‘Axel Himm

06
Oct
11

World’s Best…Hand-Made Shoes!

John Lobb, London

He is the king of shoemakers and the shoemaker for kings: John Lobb. In 1866 he opened his store in London in St. James Street. He has become the most famous shoemaker with the most famous clients – and the highest prices.

His pumps go for 2363 Euro, while his polo shoes start at 5200 Euro. What you pay for is what you get, though, and what you get is the Rolls-Royce of shoes. The farmer turned shoemaker (thanks to an accident which left him unfit for farm work), who, after distinguishing himself in 1863 as “Royal Warrant”, began working for the English Monarch shortly thereafter. His most famous early client, Prince Edward (later Edward VII), sported Lobb leather riding boots. Today, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh continue the relationship between the English Majesty and Lobb footwear.

Aubercy, Paris

These are shoes that one must have if one is at all interested in the fine art of shoemaking. Aubercy, the shoemaker for the French nobility, provides luxury for the foot that no one can beat – an investment that will last your life long.

Since 1935, Aubercy has been located in the rue 34 and has been combining Italian creativity and English quality. These shoes are extremely fashionable yet extremely precise, a rarity in la mode. Initially, Aubercy shoes were only for males until the 70’s when female models were introduced. Countless models made of countless types of leather are available in more than 50 colors. Class and style are at the bed of each shoe made exclusively of leather. In 1995, the head of the company, Xavier Aubercy, insured the long-time survival of Aubercy by placing an enhanced importance on craftsmanship. An astonishing 390 individual steps go into the production of a single pair of Aubercy shoes which more or less explains the exorbitance of their price: somewhere between 1000 and 2000 Euro.

 Axel Himer, Baden-Baden

Axel Himer is often regarded as the best shoe manufacturer in Germany: customers who completely put their trust (and feet) in Himer are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franz Beckenbauer and racing driver Giancarlo Fisichella. A pair of handcrafted shoes from Himer start from around €2000 but as they are perfectly handcrafted in buffalo, calf or lamb leather to accurate measurements of customer’s feet and have an average life of around 20 years, it’s certainly money well spent.

Markus Scheer, Vienna

Those who travel long journeys should know a good shoemaker. Markus Scheer, currently in its sixth generation, belongs to the best.

In 1816, Johann Scheer began the Scheer dynasty in Vienna. From the start, the Scheer name enjoyed success in the shoe business. The Austrian Monarchy, including Chancellor Franz Joseph and the Archduke of Vienna, all had their shoes made by none other than Scheer. Soon Scheer won himself the title of “Royal Shoemaker” and quickly thereafter he was making shoes for the heads of state in Germany and Greece. Today, the highest of personalities from all realms wear the Scheer name, making these shoes truly timeless. The most radical model in their current line is a pair of loafers made exclusively from zebra fur, quite a jump for an Austrian company. The price for a pair of Scheer shoes is high, normally around 2500 Euro. It’s not uncommon, however, for a pair to last 25 to 30 years, making this quite a sound investment.

E. Vogel, New York

Traditionally, hand-made shoes are at home in Europe, above all Austria and England. E. Vogel strides against this current, however, and truly understands the art of the hand-made shoe.

The Vogel name is in its fourth generation thanks in most part to intense dedication, and of course “the best materials and the most brilliant workers”, as the bosses Dean Vogel and his cousin Jack Lynch have been heard to say. With a going rate of between 700 and 900 Euro, it is even quite affordable to profit from Vogel’s dedication to shoemaking which is now in its 128th year of successful operation. Most attractive are their leather-riding boots which are worn by the American national riding team. Many other teams around the world, not just the Americans, sport the comfort of Vogel, as well.

Berluti, Paris

Since 1895, the Italian-based family-owned male shoemaker has produced unparalleled comfort, elegance, and depth of color in his shoes.

It is the leather that gives Berluti shoes their quality, which are made of Venetian leather with its extraordinarily deep, yet light characteristic. On account of this fine leather, Berluti shoes give off a color and shine that makes them truly unique, making the female shoemaker’s statement believable: “Every shoe is a work of art.” Everyone who wears Baluti shoes becomes a part of the shoe, grows with the shoe. Since the 20’s Berluti has impressed the world with its product, even the Duke of Windsor found them “Nice and Naughty”. Following the duke in prominence are James de Rothschild, Yul Brynner, Robert de Niro and Gerard Depardieu, who all decided for Berluti shoes. The production alone is a testament to the quality of the shoe, as each shoe goes through 250 rigorous steps before seeing its first step on the street. Such passion has its price: a pair of Berluti’s start between 2,500 and 3,000 Euro.

Foster & Son, London

A good shoe needs time: 5 to 6 months to be exact. In the end, the leather has to come into its form. Only then can one be sure of the shoe’s final shape and size.

This is the motto of Foster & Son, one of the world’s most famous shoemakers, dating back to 1840 in London. The beginnings of the Foster household were infamous, seeing the destruction of an entire factory and the tragic death of Charles’ wife, which all resulted from a surprise air raid during WWI. The widowed shoemaker continued his business in St. James producing confectionary shoes and other leather products in addition to standard-soled shoes. In 1999, Foster merged with Henry Maxwell, which proved a total success. Today, customers come from all over the world (80 countries) for the elegance, comfort, and quality of Foster shoes, ranging from billionaires to shoe connoisseurs. In the end, 100 hours go into the production of a Foster pair of shoes. This has its price: 2000 Euro to be exact.

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