Reid Elrod – Part 2
Back in Reid’s shop, he’s working on the “toe puff” or “toe box”, which stiffens the front of the toe for protection and maintains its structure and shape.
And while he’s working, I come across a pair of sidelace oxfords (below) he finished a few weeks ago:
“It’s called a side lace, and it’s not very common but I like it a lot. That pair would technically be considered and oxford if you want to classify them, with a beveled waist. They are the simplest version of a side lace that I’ve done, and I wanted more emphasis on shape rather than pattern. The triangle stitch helps hold the tongue on the lining, and the heel is finished with a puzzle-piece lift. The construction is English welted, which is what the Goodyear machine was created to mimic. One problem about welting machines machine is that the needles cannot change direction, so two threads are used. When the welt is done by hand, there is one thread with two needles, one attached to each end, therefore creating a much stronger welt. Also, machine welts do not use a leather insole but instead use synthetics which is one of their greatest downfalls.”
The decoration on the side of his Prince Albert loafers catches my eye. It was created using a decorative wheel pressed into the dense leather after the heel was constructed.
On the underside of the heel there’s a nail pattern consisting of five carefully placed triangle pairings of nails. It’s a pattern of German descent, he tells me, and it’s those seemingly-superfluous details that make handmade shoes so special; whether your climbing a set of stairs or sitting with your legs crossed on the MAX, when people see a flash of those details it reveals something about your character.
Reid is currently making shoes starting at $700. If you are interested in having a pair of bespoke shoes made for you please send your information to marrowmag at gmail dot com and I will pass it on.
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