How long do bespoke shoes take to make?
You should allow about 8 months for delivery of your first pair. We do have a long order book but also some of our processes cannot be hurried.
How many times do I have to come to Jermyn Street?
Once you have your own last, there is no need to come to Jermyn Street at all, unless the last is old and the feet have changed. If this is your first pair of shoes, then we shall need to meet you to measure your feet, and a second time to ensure that the fit is absolutely perfect. If you have ordered the shoes during one of our trips to your country, we try to return within about 6 months for you to try on the shoes. Riding boots sometimes require one extra visit to ensure a perfect fit, and so generally take longer tho deliver.
Do I have to select from standard models of shoe?
No! Many "Bespoke" shoe makers adapt a ready-to-wear machine-made shoe to fit the customer or to give them a diferent combination of leathers. Your Fosters bespoke shoes will be entirely handmade to your personal specifications and are unique to you. The examples we show you are therefore to help you generate ideas, and not a set design.
We do also customise many shoes and other leather goods based on our "off the shelf" designs, and we call those "Semi-Bespoke" or "Special Orders".
Do I have to pay to have my own last made for the first pair of shoes?
No: we pay this cost for all customers. The last is uniquely yours but remains our property. In practice we often make more than one last for you if you want a different toe shape, or order a casual shoe. Having made that investment, we hope that you will like your shoes enough to come back for more and we will keep your last (or lasts) for many years in case of need.
Could the last be made on a machine?
In our opinion, attempts to mechanise last-making have rarely produced a stylish result. There are some laser and photo measuring machines, but that is only part of the job. For instance if we made a shoe based on a cast, or an electronic image of your foot, the shoe would look like a foot, which would not be very appealing. The last is not a copy of your foot