Ever wondered what goes into the shoes on your feet? In our current menswear collection we have three shoe styles; the wing tip brogue, classic derby and city boot, which is our modern take on the business shoe. All three are made in a beautiful Portuguese seaside town that’s famous for men’s footwear. Here, accessories design manager Chris Haroun discusses the process and creativity behind each design.
Our three men’s career shoe styles are made in a factory in the historic seaside town of Porto, Portugal. The country has been a historic men’s footwear centre since the 17th century and the factory we have worked with continue to use traditional techniques that have a meticulous attention to detail which we think is so important.
Made from leather sourced from Italy and Portugal, what’s amazing about these shoes is that they have a Blake welt stitch construction. You can see the stitch running along the outsole, connecting the sole to the upper. You only find this in very high luxury footwear, as it’s so important for the flexibility and longevity of the shoe to not be glued. From a design perspective, the stitching also looks much more beautiful and authentic, and this construction allows our shoes to have a more elegant, slim appearance than other construction methods.
A key point to note is that we have designed our own outsoles with a rubber forepart injection with our signature Country Road grid design. This is inserted into the leather sole to extend the life of the shoe so that where the foot hits the ground you won’t get abrasion. It also helps with both grip and wearability, and is more impact resistant, therefore more comfortable. The rubber insert has a much longer life than a full leather sole, which is what the modern man needs.
THE ART OF BURNISH
The team at our factory in Porto really are incredibly skilled craftsmen, they know how to burnish a shoe perfectly so you get a seamless, smooth blend and polish on the leather. There is definitely an art to it – it’s all about applying the right amount of pressure, which cannot be done properly by machine, it needs to be done by hand.
We’ve focused on producing three business styles that when cared for correctly can live in a man’s wardrobe for life. They are a perfect collection of footwear that will work for any formal dress purpose and can be worn with nearly every suit in our collection as well. To extend the life of the shoes make sure you clean with a dry cloth regularly, and condition the leather to keep it moist and supple so it doesn’t dry out and crack.