At Bondeno, we carve wooden shoe lasts from scratch either using your foot measurements taken at our NYC showroom, or by reverse engineering the size and shape of your favorite pair of shoes, which you may ship to our showroom with our insured shipping service.
Once the information is obtained, our last maker in Italy will individually carve from scratch from a block of wood the left and right shoe lasts.
“Made-to-Measure” shoemakers will use a stock numbered last and make slight modifications to try and match the measurements and shape of the foot. This is not true custom.
Custom Toe Shapes for Comfort & Style
A properly balanced toe shape combines a comfortable fit as well as a beautiful shape. We offer the classic round, the classic square, the chisel toe, or the perfeta chisel toe. The client may also commission a completely new toe shape.
Fit & Style Recreations
We are able to recreate the sizing of your best fitting pair of shoes. When it comes to designs, the possibilities are unlimited. From any of our house styles to a model that you want to create or recreate, everything is possible.
For our classic collection, we use A-Grade full-grain calfskin produced by Tanneries du Puy owned by the Hermès Group located in the South of France. This grade of calfskin comes standard with our price of $770 for shoes and $870 for boots.
We also offer a range of exotic leathers upon request including cowhide, cordovan, suede, deer, bull, shark, elephant, crocodile, alligator, sting-ray, python, lizard, and ostrich. All of our hides are licensed by Fish and Wildlife offices worldwide for trade and export.
Once the customer’s foot measurements have been taken at our NYC showroom, the information is sent to our shoemakers in Italy. Our generational Italian shoemakers have been crafting the finest dress shoes and boots for men since 1908.
You only need to be measured once by our measurement specialist in NYC to easily reorder shoes using your personal custom carved shoe lasts which are stored at our temperature controlled warehouse in Italy.
Schedule a free consultation to view our custom shoe collection and learn about our measurement, last making and shoemaking process. If you decide to place an order, our bespoke specialist will take your measurements and walk you through the shoe customization process. The measurement and shoe customization process takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
Our bespoke services begin with a conversation at our NYC showroom about your specific needs, followed by obtaining an exact replica of each foot that captures measurements, shape, volume, and elasticity indexes. We continue by performing a number of tests to learn about your exact fitting preferences in terms of how snug you like your shoes to fit each foot. We also measure the thickness of the socks you commonly wear with your dress shoes and ask about any specific areas that require special consideration due to sensitivities, discomfort, or pain.
Shoe Last Sculpting from Scratch
A shoe last is the block of wood in the shape of a shoe on which the leather is stretched to craft the shoe. “Made-to-measure” shoemakers will use a stock shoe last and make slight modifications to try and match the shape and measurements of your feet. This is not true custom. A true custom bespoke last is made from scratch. At Bondeno, we sculpt and carve the left and right lasts from 2 blocks of wood using the left and right foot's individual measurements, shape, and volume because no two feet are the same. We also understand that each foot's center line/axis is unique and it rarely matches the center line/axis of an adjusted or modified stock shoe last. Carving a set of lasts with a beautiful toe shape that also provides the right fit is the standard of excellence our last makers in Italy have delivered for over 3 generations.
When it comes to toe shapes, we offer the classic round, the classic square, the chisel toe, the perfeta chisel toe, or the client may commission a completely new toe shape.
Free Lifetime Shoe Last Adjustment Program
Our feet get wider and our arches begin to slowly fall as we age. We offer free adjustments to your personal lasts every time you place a new order with us so that each new pair of shoes fit you as well as the last.
Replicate or Custom Design a Pattern
During the customization process for the upper of the shoe, the client may choose one of our house styles, have us recreate a design, or commission an entire new design, within the oxford, loafer, derby, monk strap, and boot categories. The final pattern selected by the client will be custom designed using the client's custom carved lasts.
Leathers & Skins
For our custom made shoes crafted in calf leather, we use "Sicalf", a 1.6 mm A-Grade full-grain calfskin produced by Tanneries du Puy, stablished in 1946 in the South of France, and currently owned by the Hermès Group. We chose Sicalf for its suppleness, durability, and overall quality, not to mention that it is also one of the most expensive calf hides available for sale on the open market. Sicalf and suede come standard with our price of $770 for shoes and $870 for boots. We also offer a range of exotic leathers upon request including cowhide, cordovan, suede, deer, bull, shark, elephant, crocodile, alligator, sting-ray, python, lizard, and ostrich. All of our hides are licensed by Fish and Wildlife offices worldwide for trade and export.
Solid Colors & Hand-painted Patinas
Other than black, we offer a range of solid colors in different shades of brown, oxblood, and tan. For hand-painted patinas, other than the colors on display from our house collection, we are able to replicate any color commissioned by the client.
In terms of sole constructions for our custom made shoes, we offer 4 types. A single leather Blake construction known for its thin profile, weightlessness, and flexibility. A double leather Blake Rapid construction known for its thicker profile, durability and waterproofness. A full Vibram rubber Blake Rapid construction known for its flexibility and water resistance, and a Goodyear welted leather sole, known for its cork filled foot-bed that molds to your feet overtime and is also the most waterproof leather sole with a double stitched out-sole.
A standard heel for a pair of classic dress shoes is around 1 inch in height, depending on the size of the shoe, but you are given the option to commission taller or shorter heel according to your personal preferences.
Interior Heel Cushioning
We use a high density memory foam heel piece that never goes flat and provides the most comfortable cushioning of all heel pieces we have come across over the years. This feature comes standard in all of our shoes.
Insoles & Orthotics
If you happen to wear insoles or orthotics, we are able to take your measurements with your insole or orthotic underneath your feet so that the extra volume will be reflected when carving your custom lasts and hence making a shoe that will provide the extra room for your orthotics.
A-Grade Full-grain French Calf Tanned by Hermès
Our bespoke shoes and boots are priced at $770 and $870 respectively, crafted using A-Grade calfskin tanned by Hermès, and built with a single leather Blake, double leather Blake-Rapid, or a Vibram rubber sole. The Goodyear welted sole construction with its corked filled foot-bed can be ordered for an additional $100. The carving of a set of bespoke lasts is complimentary with your dress shoe or boot order and they will be stored at our temperature controlled warehouse in Italy for easy reordering.
Pricing for exotic leathers will be provided upon request. We offer a range of exotic leathers upon request including cowhide, cordovan, suede, deer, bull, shark, elephant, crocodile, alligator, sting-ray, python, lizard, and ostrich. All of our hides are licensed by Fish and Wildlife offices worldwide for trade and export.
Our delivery time is 6 to 8 weeks from the day the order is placed. Delivery times may vary due to local Italian holidays.
Home/Office Delivery or NYC Showroom Pickup
Once your custom made shoes are crafted, we offer delivery services within the U.S. through Fedex or UPS. For international clients, we deliver to any country where DHL offers their services.
If your first pair of dress shoes or boots don't feet you the way you want, we’ll remake them—free of charge.
Our exhaustive, detailed, and innovative measurement techniques allow us to avoid the making of a pair of trial shoes, letting us to go straight into the crafting of the final pair of dress shoes.
The most important aspect of any custom shoe is its fit. Two steps are critical to ensure a perfect fit. The first step is the ability to take proper measurements. The measuring process may seem easy and straight forward, but it is actually a skilled craft which takes many years to perfect. The second step is the ability to sculpt shoe lasts that are biomechanically accurate as well as comfortable from those measurements. This can only be done by a skilled and seasoned last maker. To ensure a perfect fit, Bondeno utilizes the following 2 techniques.
1. Measuring & Fit
Bondeno's master measurement specialist in New York has been trained directly by our master shoemaker in Italy. If an incorrect measurement is taken, an incorrect fit will result. If your measurements are not taken correctly, the best last maker will not be able to make your shoes fit. Our measurement specialist is so skilled that the majority of new clients require no changes to the dimensions of their shoe lasts unless the client undergoes a considerable change in the volume of his feet during a very short period of time.
2. Last Sculpting
Bondeno is a pioneer in last making tecniques. Once measurements are taken, they need to be translated into a shoe last. Each client receives their own unique set of lasts. No two lasts are the same. “Made-to-Measure” shoemakers will use a stock numbered last and make slight modifications to try and match the measurements and shape of the foot. This is not true custom. A true bespoke custom last is sculpted from scratch, from a block of wood, and this is how Bondeno has approached last making from the beginning.
Bondeno is a family owned company founded in Florence, Italy, and since 1908, our small team of generational Italian shoemakers have been crafting the finest shoes and boots for men.
Our bespoke shoe services are offered by appointment at our New York City showroom Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 8 PM.
The ''Handmade'' Standard
Our handmade custom shoes crafted in our small family workshop in Italy carry traits that are not found in shoes made in factory assembly lines. When Picasso draws a perfect circle by hand we know it could never be as perfect as one drawn using a compass, but just like some people will still prefer the one by Picasso, to this day many prefer handmade shoes because they provide the quality and elegance that machines cannot replicate. Our shoes are hand-welted, hand-lasted and hand-soled.
Painted Like a Work of Art
When it comes to colors, we offer a choice between our solid colors, or our traditional hand-painted patinas. Our patina colors are applied by hand, so the colors on each pair of shoes will vary slightly each time. Hand-painted colors gradually change over time and develop into beautiful patinas, whereas solid colors on calf leathers dyed at the tannery will keep the same color overtime.
Carving of the Last
Our master custom last makers in Italy will study the client's foot measurements, contours and any special areas of consideration before carving the client's personalized lasts from scratch. Carving a set of lasts is 50% art & 50% science because getting the client's measurements just right is only the beginning. A beautiful pair of custom made shoes is determined by the shape of the lasts, complimenting the client's unique foot shape, body height and weight.
The design of our bespoke shoes are sometimes born of the wishes and specific needs of the client. The design is enhanced with personalization, which starts with the planning and shaping phases.
The cutting of the leather that creates the vamp is done exclusively by hand, to ensure that only the best leather is chosen for a specific model.
Each pair of our vamps is crafted from beginning to end by a single artisan. This guarantees a precise and accurate semi-finished product, perfect in the smallest details, whether it is visible or not.
The shoe takes shape in this stage. This is done mostly by hand, with pliers, hammer and nails, just like the handmade tradition demands. The machinery helps the artisans somewhat. It can’t however be a substitute for the taste and the expertise of artisans with decades of experience.
Preparation, Stitching & Flattening of the Sole
Before and after the stitching of the sole, many tasks are necessary to bring to completion the creation of a reliable and comfortable shoe. They are very specific tasks, crucial in making the product unmistakably unique.
All our shoes are polished on the lasts by using only the best creams: no sprays or polishes cover the beauty of the leather used. The final result is a clean shoe that shines naturally. It does not matter how long it takes to achieve this goal.