About Us


OUR STORY

Bondeno is a family owned company from Florence, Italy, and our generational shoemakers have been making the finest shoes and boots for men since 1908. Since its origin, we set out to combine the highest form of traditional last carving artisanship with the most skilled Italian shoemaking craftsmanship, using exclusively the best leathers and raw materials for each part of the shoemaking process to arrive at a pair of premium made-to-measure or bespoke Italian shoes. Our heritage is distinguished by timeless qualities of craftsmanship and service, attributes that are now available to our American audience through our NYC location. The company continues to maintain its bespoke shoe-making tradition, while also retaining core bespoke principles in the crafting of its made-to-measure line.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

We believe in "repair" over "replace". We handcraft quality shoes that are fully resoleable to ensure our clients can walk the distance in them. For our made-to-measure line, we exclusively use A-grade full-grain calf leather from Hermes for our uppers as they are the strongest, tightest, and most waterproof grade of leather available on the market.

THE BENEFITS OF CUSTOM SHOES

The widespread use of elastic materials in footwear manufacturing has lowered people’s ability to tolerate uncomfortable shoes. This makes dress shoes the most difficult category to shop for because they don’t use synthetic materials, don’t usually leave any wiggle room for the feet and generally lack wrap-ability due to the nature of leather. Nonetheless, due to their elegance and classic style, dress shoes are still needed in many occasions. Bondeno’s goal is to deliver that much-needed comfort in these particular social situations.

THE ''HANDMADE'' STANDARD

Handmade shoes crafted with hand tools in small family workshops carry traits that are never found in factory-produced shoes. When Picasso draws a perfect circle by hand we know it could never be as perfect as a one drawn using a compass, but just like many people will still prefer the one by Picasso, to this day many prefer handmade shoes because they provide the kind of quality and elegance that machines simply cannot replicate. Our shoes are hand-welted, hand-lasted and hand-soled, making them truly handmade.

WHAT GOES INTO EACH PAIR OF OUR SHOES

Bondeno uses A grade French full-grain calf leather from tanneries du Puy owned by the Hermès Group for the shoe's uppers. Each pair is created in a process involving over 190 steps. For the soles we provide Goodyear welting, Blake sticking, and Blake rapid construction, all three made with leather. We also provide Vibram rubber outsoles:

  • Double leather sole/Goodyear welting: yields superior fit through its cork filled foot-bed, waterproof, very durable, easily resolable.

  • Double leather sole/Blake-Rapid construction: less waterproof but a bit more flexible than the Goodyear welt. 
  • Single leather sole/Blake construction: is even softer than the Blake-Rapid method but less waterproof.

  • Hand-stiched Vibram rubber outsoles: more durable than Goodyear welting and completely waterproof, perfect for winter weather, but does not mould to your foot like a leather sole with cork filling would and lacks the traditional feel and classic sound that a leather sole bestows when making contact with the pavement.

PAINTED LIKE A WORK OF ART 

For our classic models, you will have a choice between our business formal 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 in tone and shade. 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 through time. While hand-painted patinas will better showcase the characteristics of a handmade pair of shoes, we leave all choices open to your own personal taste.

Learn More About Our Shoemaking Process