Saints Come Marching In

Phillip Carr, the director of Saint Crispin’s, is holding trunk shows at The Wingtip in San Francisco this week. I have a pair of chukkas already on order with him, but have been dreaming about my next commission. So far, the plan is to get a pair of Norwegian split toes (model 633) made from the some of the company’s famous crust calf.

Many shoe companies would have you believe that their shoes are handmade, but Saint Crispin’s are the real deal. Their uppers are hand lasted, bottoms hand beveled, and soles hand attached. Instead of using Goodyear welting or Blake stitching (which are machine-executed operations), Saint Crispin’s are hand welted with a pegged waist. By eliminating the stitching, they can get much more shaping into their waists and arches.

It’s that shaping that accounts for so much of Saint Crispin’s appeal. Check out these studded Dainite soles below, for example. Instead of the chunky versions you’ve seen from almost every other maker, Saint Crispin’s carefully bevels theirs to match the narrow waist of their shoes. This is done by first shaping the sole with a chisel, and then fine-tuning it with a rasp. 

As it goes with most things, these are best seen in person. You can check out Saint Crispin’s schedule of trunk shows on their website. They’re at The Wingtip in San Francisco until the end of Wednesday, March 18th, after which they’ll be leaving for East Asia. In North America, you can also find them at Leffot, The Armoury, LeatherSoul, and LeatherFoot