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Glossary

INSTEP

The instep is the top portion of the foot between the ankle and the toes.


ARCH

The arch of the foot is the inside segment between the heel and ball line.


BALL LINE

The Ball line is the distance between the base of the big toe (the ball of the foot) and the base of the pinky toe.


TOE BOX

The toe box is the front part of the shoe that holds the toes within toe puff.


HEEL BOX

The heel box is the back part of the shoe that holds the heel within the counter-back.


SHANK

A supportive structure that sits between the shoe's insole and outsole and runs underneath the arch of the foot. The shank supports the foot and is what gives a shoe structure. The shank can be made out of wood or steel. Stefano Bemer uses wood.


SOLE (OUTSOLE)

The bottom of part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground.


INSOLE

The inside part of the shoe upon which the foot rests.


WELT

A strip of leather that is sewn outside the shoe together with the insole and the upper. The welt is then sewn to the outsole and this creates greater durability and the possibility to have the outsole replaced when it wears out. The welt can be made to ‘stick out’ from the sole and further ornament the shoe as seen in a storm welt.

Hand Welt: At Stefano Bemer we hand welt using a shoe construction in which the upper and sole of the shoe are stitched together. The resulting seam is invisible and runs around the outside of the shoe, where the upper and outsole meet. The feature that distinguishes this construction from all others is the insole rib to which both the welt and upper are secured by a strong, flexible stitch. This seam consists of heavy needle and bobbin threads which are drawn up tightly into the welt and sole.

Goodyear Welt: The same construction process done by machine. (The Essenziale Collection is stitched with a Goodyear Welt machine. The outsole is then attached by means of a lockstitch sole stitching machine.)


LAST

The wooden block around which the shoe is formed. The last is the shape and size of the intended wearer's foot. Lasts can be standard sizes or bespoke.


PATTERN

The template for all of the shoe’s upper parts and design. The pattern is comprised of several parts and can be made with several cutouts from different materials.


BESPOKE / SU MISURA

The construction of a shoe made especially for your particular feet by a craftsman shoemaker. The feet are measured individually and a unique last for each foot is created. A bespoke shoe customer chooses almost every detail of construction, from major choices like the leather to smaller details like the heel or sole type.

SIXPENCE BESPOKE

Our signature service is the Sixpence Bespoke. It gets the name from the antique sixpence silver coin that we place in the box as a token of luck, according to an ancient Scottish tradition. It allows a full customization of each detail of the last and shoe and it normally comes with our signature fiddle back waist, that we call "the violin".

BLUE BESPOKE

Our Blue Bespoke, instead, does not allow for the customization of the sole (the shoes come bevelled instead of with a fiddle back sole) or height of the heel (you can, however, request to shave it in the Cuban style or to have a full or half rubber sole). We use our traditional 1940 Duer machine to stitch the fore-foot portion of the sole while we hand-stitch the shanks.


READY-TO-WEAR / PRET-A-PORTER

Shoes that have been produced on standard sizes, where the cut and the style has been determined by the brand. These shoes are available for immediate purchase.


CUSTOM SHOES / MADE-TO-ORDER

Shoes that are produced specifically for you from the same basic pattern as an RTW on a standard size with our pre-made lasts. Fully customizable in last choice, leather, lining, and sole.


FIDDLEBACK / VIOLINO

The fiddleback is a type of sole construction that features narrow bevelled waists which are created by hammering the soles into a pointed violin shape. At Stefano Bemer, the fiddleback is achieved by stitching the welt and the sole by hand to create a very narrow and elegant waist.


BEVELLED

The bevelled waist is another type of sole construction that features a blind-welt (the welt is covered by the sole). It is made bevelled with an ironing tool and the sole is hammered to achieve a rounded convex bottom.


OXFORD (BALMORAL)

Typically an ankle-high, front-laced shoe, wherein the bottom of the shoe's lacing is sewn to the front of the shoe throat, creating a closed 'V' shape at the bottom of the lacing. When tied, the Oxfords's tongue is completely concealed, except for its tip.

The Balmoral is an Oxford shoe or Oxford boot which has a straight horizontal line across the middle of the shoe from the bottom of the instep to the heel. For many, the term Balmoral is exchangeable with Oxford. However, in the UK it can be used to describe a formal lace up shoe inclusive of a boot, Derby or Blucher. The name derives from the Scottish Balmoral Castle, but legend has it the name changed due to the style’s popularity with Oxford University students as a departure from less comfortable heeled boots.


DERBY

A style characterized by “open lacing” - meaning that the facings are stitched on top of the vamp and there is no seam between the tongue and front of the shoe. Compared with an Oxford, it is less bound in both appearance (it is more casual) and fit as the looser laces allow for more freedom of movement.


LOAFER

Slip-on shoes noted for their ease of wear. They are constructed completely without fasteners (laces, straps, etc).


SLIPPER

A type of indoor or outdoor footwear that you can easily “slip-on” your feet, typically made with one piece of material (velvet, leather, silk).


CHUKKA

An ankle boot, or a desert boot, with laces or a buckle and strap.


MONK STRAP (SINGLE MONK STRAP)

A style of a dress shoe fastened on the outer edge by a buckle and strap.


DOUBLE MONK STRAP

a style of a dress shoe fastened on the outer edge two straps and buckles.


WINGTIP

A stylistic option characterized by the “W” shape featured on the vamp and toe of a shoe.


BROGUE

A stylistic option typically seen on the seems of the upper characterized by a pattern of perforated circles.


GIMPING

A stylistic option typically seen on the seems of the upper, characterized by saw-teeth-like cut outs.


MEDALLION

An artistic design or motif created by small punctures.


METAL TAP

An optional metal plate accessory affixed to the bottom of the toe where the shoes meet the ground intended to reinforce the durability of the tip of the soles.


WHOLE CUT

A shoe made with one piece of leather, creating a clean and elegant look.


CAP-TOE

A stylistic option characterized by a horizontal seem across the front of the shoe that demarcates the toe box.


ANTIQUING

A finish using paint or cream which provides texture to a shoe.


APRON TOE

An Apron Toe is a design that spans the vamp and toe box characterized by the shape of a “U,” with the bottom of the “U” closer to the toe.


BLAKE STITCH

In a Blake stitch sole construction, the sole is sewn to the upper directly through the insole, without an intermediary welt. It’s a fast and industrial method that compromises the integrity of the insole (there are technically holes cut into the sole and insole) and the shoe is therefore less durable. At Stefano Bemer, we only opt for this construction when we want to use a very thin and sleek sole, so that we minimize the visual impact of the shoe resulting in an almost “floating” look.


DRIVING SHOE

These flexible shoes sport a sole which grips the pedal and also extra protection in the heel for comfort when driving.


GRAIN

The visible pattern of the leather


SPECTATOR

An upper pattern that typically uses two contrasting colors or materials.