Feb 24 , 2020
Obviously we might seem biased. No doubt. We love handmade products, especially handmade shoes. In fact We avoid mass produced shoes unless we need them to perform a particular function, like keep toes out of the hot beach sand, or to get traction on the football field.
But why should you choose them over mass produced shoes? Below are the biggest reasons, for us.
1. Quality of materials
Mass produced shoes are all about the bottom line. There is no thought of creating a superior product. It’s about selling as many shoes as possible at the lowest cost to the company. This means sourcing the cheapest leathers and synthetics, as well as using the less desirable parts of those materials.
With leather in particular, the same hide will have variations in thickness and stretch and imperfections. If you’re starting with a low grade leather typically there is already a lot of stretch throughout the hide as well as big differences in thickness.
2. Personal service from the maker
Shopping small businesses allows for more personal care and service. The line of communication is much shorter, and all of the departments talk to each other so that the “right hand knows what the left is doing.” In fact, you might speak to the very people who make your shoes, as is the case for us.
In a corporation however, you might pay for an item only to receive several emails or calls reminding you to pay for the item. And if you call them with a simple question, you’ll likely be on hold for 15 minutes or more, just to get transferred a few times, and wait on hold some more. When you finally get to speak with someone, you might find that person is not in the country you are.
Mass produced shoes don’t take comfort into account. Unless we’re talking athletic shoes or work boots, but even those – the comfort of the sole is the only concern. And even then, the manufacturer suggests you replace the shoes every six months to a year.
Handmade shoe companies are looking at the comfort of the sole, as well as the heel, the toe, the waist, and everything in between. Your whole, individual foot, is taken into account at the time of construction. And many, comfort friendly leathers are used in conjunction with the leather on the outside of the shoes to aid in this. In fact, we use 7 different types of leather in each pair of Standard Handmade boots or shoes.
4. Long lasting
Handmade shoes are built to last. Whenever I tell someone that a handmade shoe takes as much leather to construct as a large tote and about four times the labor, they are astounded.
Our society truly doesn’t know what it takes to construct a shoe. I think much of the reason that shoe manufacturing is so automated now is because of the difficulty and long process of making them.
5. Interesting design
While I think much of the design of mass produced sneakers is very progressive and interesting, the design of boots and dress shoes is much the same as it’s been for the last 100+ years. Even with sneakers, the design has to be mass produced, so many design risks are avoided in order to appeal to the masses.
We, and most of the companies I have been fortunate to meet and chat with, typically have a different business/life philosophy than that of a corporation. In fact, much of why companies such as us choose to make our shoes by hand is because we want to bring back a sense of integrity to business, while adding more value than is normal.
7. Extended service
Handmade shoe companies don’t stop their service with the sell. They are with you throughout the life of your shoes and will offer repair and polishing services. Often at a price less than that of a shoe repair shop since you are already a customer.
At Standard Handmade you can contact us anytime with your comments or concerns. We will help you with caring for your shoes for as long as you have them. We even like to invite local clients to the shop for complimentary shoe polishing, and even a chat over a beer, or wine.
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