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Does Bondeno offer bespoke, custom made, or made-to-measure shoes?

Bondeno offers bespoke and custom made shoes, which is the creation of a set of shoe lasts carved from scratch from a block of wood. Both terms mean the same thing. The only difference is that the term "bespoke" is used more commonly in Europe and the term "custom made" is used more often in the US. We do not offer made-to-measure shoes, which is taking a numbered stock last and making adjustments to the last either by adding extra material such as leather or cork, or carving material away from the last to arrive at a custom fitted shoe. The reason we do not adjust stock lasts is because sometimes the made-to-measure process is able to provide a good fit and sometimes it doesn't, depending on how similar the client's foot shape is to the numbered stock last. There are only so many leather of leather you can add on top of each other before the shape of the last starts to be compromised.

What is a custom made shoe last?

A custom made shoe last is a block of wood or other material shaped in the form of a shoe that contains the foot dimensions of the client. Thanks to this mold, the leather upper is able to keep its shape once the mold is taken out after the shoes have been completed.

Can I design my own shoes?

Certainly. Because every pair of shoes are built from the ground up, you are able to design the pattern of the shoe, pick a type of leather, select a color of your liking, and pick a sole construction that is best suited to the weather conditions of the city you will be wearing your shoes. 

What if my feet are two different sizes?

Actually, we expect your left and right foot to be different sizes and shapes. After all, we have yet to see two feet that are exactly the same. When we begin crafting your shoe lasts, we first take foot information from the longest foot to craft that shoe last, and then we take foot information from the shorter foot to craft that shoe last. We follow this order because the most feet are similar in length so clients generally choose to have both shoes the same length even if one foot is longer than the other. In the event a client has one foot that is disproportionally longer than the other, and making both shoes the same length create a tripping hazard for the foot that was shortest, we would recommend for the shoe made for the shortest foot to be shorter than the other shoe so that ease of walking and safety are set as the number one priority, instead of aesthetics. This is rare, but it happens.

What is the cost of making a pair of custom shoe lasts?

Traditionally, shoemakers have charged for the making of custom shoe lasts as it is time consuming and requires a consequential amount of expertice. Bondeno does not charge for the carving of custom shoe lasts when a client orders a pair of custom shoes because the lasts are stored at our warehouse in Italy to be reused for future orders. We only charge for this service when the client wants to purchase his own shoe lasts along with his shoes. In this event, we sell the custom lasts for $300 a pair.

Will my prescription orthotic fit into my custom made shoes?

Yes, as long as your feet are measured along with your orthotics by having your orthotics underneath your feet during the measurement process. In this event, the measurement of each foot without the orthotics would have to be taken first, and then a second set of measurements would have to be taken with the orthotics underneath your feet. This allows us to have a clear picture of the shape of your feet and the position of your toes. This way, when we make your custom lasts, your orthotics would have become part of the volume of your feet. Also, when making your shoes, we will not add an insole so that your orthotic becomes the insole for your custom shoes. If we were to add insoles to your shoes, the addition of your orthotics would add too much height to the heel area of the shoe and you would have trouble walking in them. 

How long does it take to get my custom made shoes?

Our shoes take on average 10 to 12 weeks from beginning to end. A very important part of the process is allowing the leather to be stretched on top of your custom shoe lasts for long enough so that the leather is able to keep the shape of the last once the last has been removed from the shoe. 

I do not live in New York, how do I go about placing an order with you?

If you do not live in New York, we recommend you to first email or call us for a consultation so we may learn about any specific fitting needs you have. Then we will conduct a guided measurement session via Zoom or Google Meet so our measurement specialist may guide the person who will be taking your measurements step-by-step through the entire measurement process. You may also request for us to send you a detailed video with the entire measurement process so you may perform the measurement taking at your convenience.

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