WHAT DEFINES A HANDMADE SHOE
by S. Charlie Weyman
It’s confusing, but the terms “benchgrade” and “handgrade” don’t actually describe shoes that were made on a bench or by hand. Instead, they’re ways of denoting different levels of quality, like “Gold” and “Platinum” Amex cards. Most quality shoes – including high-end names such as Edward Green and John Lobb – are Goodyear welted, which is a machine method. Real handmade shoes are rare, and typically cost $1,500 or more.
The exception is Vass, a small Hungarian shop beloved by shoe aficionados.