The team from shoemaker Foster & Son completed their USA visit this week. Emma Lakin and Jon Spencer spent a few days in San Francisco, arriving without anything for yours truly, who will apparently have to wait until 2012 for his Norwegian slipons.
New this trip was a sample pair of bespoke kiltied golf spikes. In days gone by, kilties (that leather flap over the laces) served two purposes. They kept the top of the shoe dry, which meant that the rain was less likely to leak in, and, since men often had two or more in different colors, could be used to harmonize with different clothing on different days.
I was even more interested in a pair of spectator shoes in buckskin and calf. Every maker I know tells me that their dwindling supply of buckskin is essentially impossible to replenish these days (I immediately invite them to take some of the deer that regularly eat the plantings around my house but they must need a different sort of hide as no-one has taken me up on the invitation yet). Real buckskin has more texture than reversed goatskin and is much softer and more lxurious than Nubuck, making the stuff another one of the justifications, if that word can properly be applied to this indulgence, for bespoke shoes.