The actual definition of what many deem “handmade” shoes is subjective. For one, even shoes termed as handmade are not entirely so, given the use of machine sanders, sewing machines and skivers, to name a few. If the shoes were painstakingly sewn by hand and completely handcrafted right down to every detail, the end result would likely not be as precise looking.
To put it simply, all handmade shoes are made in a workshop. Factories, on the other hand, produce only machine-made ones and never handmade products. The advantage of handmade shoes starts with the luxury of bespoke craftsmanship, where you control the ultimate design and fit. Machine-made shoes, on the other hand, are already pre-designed and sold as it is.
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The leather quality between the two are also apparent – whilst handcrafted shoes typically use premium Italian calf leather that endure for many years, Machine Made shoes are often made of synthetic or thin leather, falling apart as easily as it would not take well to the shape of your feet.
Quality is often compromised when machines are used – speeding up the production process means that stiffeners are infused in machine-made shoes, which takes away the care and effort that time offers in the shoe-making process. Indeed, handcrafted shoes are out aside between stages, which allows the leather to rest and breathe in the process. The result is evident in the excellent fit and fine quality.
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Another luxury afforded to the beauty of handmade shoes are the behind-the-scenes moments one can witness – indeed, authentic shoemakers will invite you to their workshop to see the detailed process of your bespoke shoe. As with all customized products, handwork takes time and supply can be limited. Along with the great effort taken into making these shoes, the price of handmade leather shoes are, needless to say, much higher.
Indeed, whilst there is arguably no lack of beautifully machine-made leather shoes, there is nothing like the beauty of personalized products. Handmade shoes, whilst far more expensive than machine-made ones, might come with the frustration of long waits and many workshop visits to ensure proper measurements. But nothing beats the elegance of fine craftsmanship and excellent leather, especially in one beautifully hand made.
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