Our unique combination of experience and innovation is invaluable to those whose medical or mobility problems mean they cannot be catered for by standard, mass produced footwear. Or perhaps you just want to experience the delight of your own bespoke shoes - made as an investment in style and comfort.
Form & Function
Over the years, we have discovered that designing a shoe to accommodate the individuals wishes is almost as vital as designing one which will accommodate their disability or injury. After all, while experience and ability can solve even the most complicated technical problems, it is often the end result which will dictate whether the client is pleased and therefore whether they will actually wear the footwear.
In one case, a reverse club foot, we discovered that the clients' previous manufacturer had supplied a bland pair of shoes with one foot pointing forwards and one backwards. The client came to us asking if we could improve on this, we came up with a pair of trainer boots with an artificial front and a cradle to support the foot. When our client tried them she was absolutely overjoyed. We have been making her footwear and other similar cases ever since.
No matter how profound the disability, the key to mobilising any client is precision in casting and measurement. Like all of our highly trained staff, the lastmaker is expected to have an excellent knowledge of anatomy, gait and disabilities affecting mobility. The Hand-Made Process
- Once the lastmaker has interpreted the measures into a positive model of the foot (either in the form of a cast or last) the manufacture of the footwear can then begin.
- The pattern cutter combines an artists eye, with an engineers spatial sense and problem-solving abilities to work out how the shoe design chosen by the client can be adapted to accommodate the last and mobilise the patient as envisaged by the orthotist.
- Once the pattern is prepared and cut the 'clicker' will use it as a template to cut the leather. A thorough Knowledge of materials and a feel for grain, texture, thickness and elastic qualities is essential, also a knowledge of the clients lifestyle eg. weight, jobs, and hobbies etc. all play a part in ensuring that the finished product is both comfortable and durable.
- The closer then sews the individual leather pieces together to form the upper.
- The complete upper is then stretched over it's own last which can still involve the art of hand-lasting.
- Insoles can then be added, either standard or custom made. Again an understanding of the anatomy and movement of the foot and up-to-date knowledge of materials is vital. The right insoles will redistribute pressure on the walking surface, preventing or relieving callouese or ulcers.
- A temporary heel is added and the shoes are ready for a fitting.
- Once back from fitting, if there are any alterations to be made, then the last is altered again and the upper stretched over once more before the sole is added and any other adaptations eg. rocker bars, wedges, calipers etc.
- The shoes are then polished and packaged ready for transit.
Bolton Brothers subscribes to the philosophy of total quality management. As well as thorough testing prior to delivery, checks are incorporated into every stage of manufacture. Each employee taking responsibility for checking his colleagues' work, so that imperfections are picked out at the earliest opportunity.