The Uptown Dandy’s unreal vintage Edward Green collection. In honor of my own first pair, recently eBayed.

The Uptown Dandy’s unreal vintage Edward Green collection. In honor of my own first pair, recently eBayed.

Jesse made a comment yesterday about how we shouldn’t conflate heritage and quality, and I completely agree. Too many consumers, I think, use a company’s heritage as a proxy for quality, and then become enchanted with buzz-phrases such as “will last you a lifetime,” even as they go about buying shoes that are essentially glue jobs. In the end, to learn about quality, you really just have to begin developing an understanding of the manufacturing process. 

As such, I thought I’d post this video of Edward Green’s factory - a company that both has incredible heritage and produces amazing quality shoes. Here you can see the incredible craftsmanship that goes into a pair of Edward Greens. These shoes feature more handwork than almost any ready-to-wear shoes on the market. For example, the closing stitches are done by hand, with pig bristles since they’re finer than needles, and polishes are hand applied in order to create a strong sense of depth in the leather. Any machine work done on the shoe is also still guided by hand. This all helps maintain a level of attention to detail, at each stage of the manufacturing process, that machines alone can’t achieve. 

The materials on a pair of Edward Greens are also some of the best in the world. For example, the soles of the shoes are made from oak bark tanned leather, a type of hide that has been tanned exclusively from vegetable agents made from barks and fruits. The process takes place inside of an oak-lined pit that is ten feet deep. The hide sits in the solution for about a year. There are no mechanical movements, no chemical catalysts, and the solution isn’t heated; the hide just sits for a year. It’s a slow process, but the leather that comes out is very lightweight, very hardwearing, and very flexible. It is also highly water-repellent, but very breathable. This makes it perfect for soles.

If this level of quality isn’t enough for you, Edward Green also has their Top Drawer program. In their normal made-to-measure program, the company allows clients to choose the last, leather, and sole for the shoes they want. Top Drawer better than that, however. Here, models feature hand-carved fiddleback waists that have an added piece of leather for additional support. The heel is slightly tapered, the sole’s edge is hand shaped into a spade, and the bottom of the shoe features the client’s initials in the form of a nailhead design. Top Drawer shoes also get more attention at every stage of the manufacturing process. 

Of course, there are still things to quibble about. The welt, for example, is attached to a canvas ribbing (a process called gemming), which is the white thing at you see in the video at around three minutes and twenty seconds in. Canvas, of course, isn’t as sturdy as leather, and can become brittle over time. As well, many say that a cork filled insole isn’t as good as a full leather insole. However, outside of a few manufacturers such as Stefano Bemer and DW Fromer, very few manufacturers offer fully hand welted shoes made in the most traditional manufacturing techniques. That kind of process is very laborious, and thus incredibly expensive. For ready-to-wear shoes, Edward Greens still represent one of the best shoes you can buy on the market.

The key here is to not assume things about quality just from the heritage of a brand, or even the price, but rather understand how things are made, and be serious about appreciating craftsmanship. 

(As an aside, you should thank GW this post. He posted this video over this weekend, and after I laughed about how I was planning to use it this week, he took his down so that I could include it here. The guy is seriously a gentleman - and an owner of Edward Green’s best model, the Dover, I might add. There is a man who knows about quality.)

dieworkwear:

Forumites know the dilly. You’re looking at all Lobbs, all Greens. Stored in a Burmese teak cabinet. Peep the madness here. 

I believe I posted this when it first showed up on StyleForum, but it’s worth reposting. This is madness. MADNESS.
I let my wife know ten years ago or so that if I ever become rich, this is the one crazy rich guy thing I’m going to do.

dieworkwear:

Forumites know the dilly. You’re looking at all Lobbs, all Greens. Stored in a Burmese teak cabinet. Peep the madness here

I believe I posted this when it first showed up on StyleForum, but it’s worth reposting. This is madness. MADNESS.

I let my wife know ten years ago or so that if I ever become rich, this is the one crazy rich guy thing I’m going to do.

(Source: dieworkwear)

It’s On eBay
Edward Green “Galway” Boots
Anybody got a thousand bucks they wanna give me? Also, some sort of foot shortener?
Start at $1,026, end Sunday

It’s On eBay

Edward Green “Galway” Boots

Anybody got a thousand bucks they wanna give me? Also, some sort of foot shortener?

Start at $1,026, end Sunday

From the Edward Green factory sale…

srsaint:

Thanks to the ever gracious Putthison and Jesse’s kind cross Atlantic notice about the Edward Green factory sale, we made the trip to Northampton and I am now the proud owner of a stunning pair of English hand crafted chestnut chelseas.

In order to maintain these delightful shoes the proper accessories are needed including shoe trees based on the last that these shoes were made on. They also generously included a pair of shoes bags & the appropriate wax.

I’m looking forward to getting a lifetime’s wear out of these beautiful examples of craftsmanship, safe in the knowledge that should they need any attention they can be sent back to their maker to be fully disassembled, repaired & rejuvenated.

Wonderful.

Englanders: I never want to hear you say I ain’t did nothing for you.
FACTORY SALE Edward Green invite you to our Factory Sale on Saturday 27 November 2010 from 9.00am - 17.00pm Personal Shoppers only Cliftonville Road, Northampton NN1 5BU

Englanders: I never want to hear you say I ain’t did nothing for you.

FACTORY SALE

Edward Green invite you to our Factory Sale on Saturday 27 November 2010

from 9.00am - 17.00pm

Personal Shoppers only

Cliftonville Road, Northampton NN1 5BU