Thursday, December 14, 2017

If You Could Design Your Own Shoes...

Although most of us are always going to buy what's "on the rack," I think that it's important that we let ourselves dream of what our "perfect" item would be... This is something that I learn from hanging out with people who sew - they can come closer than most people to making their sartorial dreams come true, and thus they have to be pretty focused about what they want, or they're quickly overwhelmed with options!

You might remember that Hanig's Footwear gave me the opportunity to have a pair of shoes made to my specifications - well, I had to use an existing Thierry Rabotin design, but I could then combine leathers (from a range of hundreds of colors and textures!) any way that I wanted!

I was, frankly, a little bit nervous when I went up to their shop (although I've known some of their staff for literally decades!), because I thought that I might really struggle to make a decision. But as soon as I saw a pair of oxfords with a "plug" in the top (that piece of leather that's on top of the front of your foot...) I had an idea:

my 1 of a kind black and silver Thierry Rabotin oxfords
custom oxfords - Thierry Rabotin, courtesy of Hanig's Footwear

It's difficult to tell in the photographs, but the back of the shoes, and the area holding the laces, is black suede. The lower front part is black leather, and the plug is SILVER LEATHER. Yep, my wardrobe is pretty simple, but my shoes are NOT!

Even if you're never going to have the opportunity to have a pair of shoes made for you, I think it's a worthy exercise to dream about what you would get, if it ever happens. Would you choose an amazing pair of sky-high dress heels, or something that you would wear everyday? Is your dream going to be a solid neutral color in a style you've never seen before, or are you going to opt for a statement, maybe even eccentric accent color? Would you mix colors? Add an applique? Stars? (hmmm... stars....)

I have to admit that I'm so delighted with my new shoes that I would consider doing this again. I have a very special wedding coming up in the autumn - maybe something dressy and amazing is in my future?

These are styles that tempt and my current thoughts about what I could do to customize them:

4 shoe styles and ideas about leather and trim combinations
Top shoes - Thierry Rabotin, strappy flats - Thierry Rabotin; wedges - Thierry Rabotin; Mary Janes - Thierry Rabotin

Are you comfortable with "statement" shoes? And do you daydream about things that don't exist, but that would be exactly, perfectly right for you?


If You Could Design Your Own Shoes...
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!


  1. There are places online that offer custom shoes. Converse, Adidas, Nike, Vans all do customized shoes. There's a site - Shoes of Prey - that offers lots of options for quite a reasonable price. And there are other places, if you look for them.

    I've never done it because I have to be really careful about fit, and I don't know how these brands would work. But if I could do Thierry Rabotins, I'd be pretty tempted.

  2. My dream if I ever "win the lottery" is to have all my shoes custom made. I have a very difficult foot to fit and can rarely find really nice shoes.
    My fantasy pair would be red satin heels - completely ridiculous as I walk with a cane but they would just be for making an entrance and then I'd have to sit for the entire evening! :-)
    Love your choice - I think a pair of black patent leather oxfords would be a good second choice for me.

  3. I read about a shoemaking class and would LOVE to do one.

  4. These are my statement shoes. I get quite a few compliments on them. They aren't custom but they remind a bit of the shoes that you designed.

    1. Those are amazing! They do have the same "feel" that my shoes have...

    2. Those are gorgeous, and not too much more than my Dr. Martens :-)

  5. Your shoes are so "you". I have often thought about having shoes made for me but haven't made the leap.

  6. Those oxfords are stunning! Do they have good arch support? I am tempted!

  7. Lovely shoes - love your design. For the "fancier" shoes - number 1 looks too 'witchy' to me. Numbers 2 and 3 are better choices, I think! I like number 4 and block heels will age more than the other 2 styles, IMHO!

    Can't wait to see what you decide.