“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe. As the saying goes, your shoes can either make you or break you, so it’s no wonder that the art of personalized shoes still lives on even in the age of technology replacing almost everything that would once require a human’s touch to make it. XALF, Malaysian footwear extraordinaire company took us on a shoe-making journey to give us behind the scenes look on what goes into the art of shoe making.
The Art of Shoe Making by XALF
The faces behind XALF are two men who share the same passion for style and elegance, Alfred Hor and Xavier Mah. When it comes to custom made shoes by XALF, only the finest materials are selected. The average custom made pair of shoes takes about a month and half in order to complete, and customers can be ensured that their pair of heels are of top quality.
In order to give you a better insight on what goes in the shoe-making process, the team at XALF showed us a step-by-step process on what goes into making a pair XALF shoes.
DesignBefore a shoe can be made, the first step is to have a design in place. From there, the shoe-making process begins where the focus will shift onto the construction of shoe.
Pattern Making & DraftingThe pattern is defined using a template, which is hallowed out in order to obtain specific pieces needed for the framework of the shoe structure. Materials of the upper section are usually made of leather, suede, patent leather, or calfskin. The process is also the same for the midsole, outsole, and insole where pieces are connected like a jigsaw during assembly.
FittingFittings are determined once the materials have been selected and are rechecked again in order to assure the suitability of the pre-materials.
CuttingWhat makes custom a shoe so special is the amount of precision and effort it takes in order to create the perfect pair, thus there is no room for error during this step.
SewingWhat gives the shoe its look of elegance is its upper part. It is the interface of aesthetics within the shoe.
Stock FittingThere are two categories in terms of sole construction: flimsy or sturdy. The materials used and how it has been laid, which in turn can determine the ease of entry and comfort of it can determine this.
LastingThe upper is attached to the sole with a last that is moulded to the customized shape of the wearer. The last attaches the upper and sole together with clear parameters to showcase the shape of the shoe, which generally cannot be achieved by machines.
HeelingThis is when the beauty of the shoe begins to flourish. The heel is a combination of physics and ergonomics whereby it lifts one’s posture whilst giving a certain outward sex appeal to the wearer.
FinishingThe final step is to smooth out the edges as well as refine and polish the shoe. Excess materials are trimmed and final touches like accessories are added to the end product.
Overall, after witnessing the step-by-step process in shoemaking, one cannot help but be in awe in the amount of hard work and detail that it takes in order to produce beautiful shoes.
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