Home Expert Speaks Manufacturing Sole-mates: A Love Story

Manufacturing Sole-mates: A Love Story

Kanika Bhatia, Egoss

In this issue, renowned fashion entrepreneur Kanika Bhatia shares a vivid picture of how a perfect pair of shoes is made.

Men may not pay attention to a lot of things but, shoes, they notice everything about them. From how it fits, to how it looks and feels, every aspect of the shoe is important. So, how does the perfect pair of leather shoes get made?

To make a premium shoe, good leather is indispensable. The shoe history reveals that this is true blue and our predecessors were well aware of the importance of good leather. That is probably why they made sure they did it all by hand, from procuring the leather to building the shoe from scratch. Most men’s shoes in the market today have resemblance with shoes of the 19th Century as their built has hardly changed.

The process to manufacture sole-mates involves certain processes such as designing the blueprints, making the shoe last (a device which has a shape similar to that of a human foot and which decides the fit, shape and volume of the shoe), stamping & sewing followed by finishing.

Before preparing the designs, a careful analysis of the current shoe trends must be carried out (not that men change their mind every few months unlike…) to ensure the shoes are stylish, chic and match the trends.

The designing is the first and foremost step in manufacturing and plays a pivotal role in the later stages of the shoe manufacturing process. It involves sketching shoe models and shoe lasts. Deciding the colour of the shoes is also an important task, though much easier, as a matter of fact men see far lesser shades of color than women, as the colour says a lot about the purpose the shoe is being worn for.

Laying the groundwork for high-toned men’s shoes, shoe lasts ensure the perfect fit of the shoe. Playing a pivotal role in the shoe construction process, lasts takes into account the balls of the foot, the heels and instep as well as how heel height changes the rolling motion of
the foot. Further on, stamping involves cut outs of leather required for the shoe to avoid confusion when the pieces are stitched together. The final stage is sewing where these pieces are stitched together and the
size is marked which gives birth to a shoe. The shoe is then reunited with its pair, making sure that the sole-mates are always packed together in the box.