Final shoes from Benjamin Klemann in Hamburg. I have to say that I’m happy with the result. I have several pairs of bespoke shoes from the Warsaw shoemakers Kielman and Januszkiewicz. The shoes from Benjamin clearly comes from a more refined category of bespoke shoes. The fit is better, and to my eye the shape and the finish are more elegant (which doesn’t mean that Kielman and Januszkiewicz don’t make fine shoes). I guess the internal make of the Klemann shoes is better as well, however that I cannot know for sure.
The Klemann price is different from the price of bespoke shoes in Warsaw, of course. Four times Januszkiewicz and three times Kielman. You feel it. Compared to the famous London shoemakers you get Benjamin’s shoes at a significantly lower price though.
I went for a brown Adelaide model, which Benjamin calls “a Lingwood”. I’m a heavy user of oxford shoes during weekdays, either brown or black, so adding another pair of oxfords made sense. I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about the better choice, before going to a bespoke maker, that is: I think about, what I really need the most in my wardrobe. I don’t allow myself the decadence of shopping bespoke by inspiration. Next shoe pair will be either split-toes, loafers or welted sneakers. We’ll see.
Read the first parts:
Part 1 – Background
Part 2 – Ordering
Part 3 – Fitting
Photos: The Journal of Style
Congratulations, excellent choice of colour and fine craftsmanship. I’m always surprised about the great results you get with most craftsmen, probably due to what seems like a rather calm and patient approach, which is in stark contrast to many Americans or clothing enthusiasts on the various fora.
I’m not so sure about the balance of the toe cap and the heel counter though, it looks slightly off and the room between the two makes the shoes look very large. This imbalance, also with regard to the height of the heel counter, can be found on various of Kleeman’s shoes. The French and Austrian shoemakers seem to manage this better than their English counterparts or those inspired by them.
Close to Kleeman you can find another excellent shoemaker, H.J. Vauck in Neumuenster. I’m not affiliated with him, but I have seen some of his work and maybe he is worth a try for you aswell.
What a fine, fine pair of shoes! So many beautiful small details, most for the craftsman’s own satisfaction. I love the way they’ve built the heel with a staired rebate section (if you can call it that!). The hand welting is made totally invisible and is SO neat. Beautiful patina, beautiful last shape. Interesting way they’ve mounted the plate at the toe (is that rubber?).
I was also surprised by the heel counter, I like the result.
And 6 eyelets!
The toe cap makes complete sense for a bespoke shoe which takes into account the foot’s natural fold..
Congratulations! I will be visiting again to take another look at your beautiful photos.