Made to Last


Made to Last

23 May 2016

Made to Last

A pair of George Cleverley’s bespoke shoes are a work of art, individual to their owner. They are created by the close teamwork of specialized craftsmen, all of whom have served long apprenticeships to acquire their particular skills.

From the moment you enter Cleverleys wood panelled showroom you will be looked after by a highly skilled member of staff who will discuss every aspect of your requirements and desires with you – ensuring you get the exact shoe you want in terms of look, shape, material and style whilst taking into account any other specific needs you may have.

Then while bearing this in mind your feet will be measured with an outline and various girth measurements. These are used to create a three dimensional map used to explore the best balance and lines for your feet.

Following this consultation, a pair of bespoke beech wood lasts will be carved especially for you encompassing every aspect of your foot, its movement and your chosen style.

Making The Shoe

The individual last is used to construct the first pair of shoes which will then be stored in Cleverley’s last room to ensure that sub-sequent pairs can be made to the same high standards of closeness, style and comfort for future orders.

Using these lasts a paper pattern is developed in the style of the specific shoe required: Derby, Oxford, Casual etc and laid on the last to check the styling against your foot shape.

Once the design is ready the chosen hide is prepared and the pieces are cut making sure the direction of the foot’s movement matches the original movement of the animal, this ensures a harmonious relationship between the foot and shoe.

The clicker takes on the task of choosing the perfect hide to cut, which is used in the upper part of the shoe. Each clicker has a vast experience with this part of the shoemaking process and can ensure the style/durability of the shoe.

The closer takes on the task of sewing, lining and shaping the hides around the last to ensure the Cleverley style is maintained. The closer will focus on the upper part of the shoe to guarantee that the strength and durability of the shoe is maintained to last many years.

Finishing The Shoe

At this stage we will ask to see you for a fitting and you will see the shoe for the first time at its mid-way point. While fitting the shoe at this time, our craftsman will check the fit and style to meet with the client’s expectations.

Once you approve the shoes, they will be replaced on the lasts where an oak bark tanned sole is stitched on by hand. The heels are then built up and the edges of these are stained, finished and sealed for waterproofing. Finally, the lasts are removed, the remaining heel-building nails are clipped and socks (lining in the heels) are added. Once the shoe has reached this point, a professional polisher will add the final touches. The polisher will pay particular attention to the hides and apply the correct type of polish which will protect and bring the colour out of your new George Cleverley shoes.

The Last Room

After your first pair of shoes have been made and the correct fit and look of shoes is achieved, the pair of lasts will remain in the store. By keeping the lasts at Cleverley’s you can request your next pair of shoes at any time, from anywhere in the world and be confident that in three months a new pair will be sent which will again be perfect for you.


G.J.Cleverley prides itself on a full aftercare service, which involves any repair work that the shoe requires during its life time. These repairs will be carried out by the same master craftsman who made your shoes. To resole the shoes, the original sole is stripped off before a new one is sewn on, in re-heeling only the top piece of heel is replaced, and in all cases the shoes are polished before being returned to your care.

G.J. Cleverley & Co
13, The Royal Arcade
0207 493 0443

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