Why would I want custom – made shoes?

very different shoesIf you can go into a store and buy shoes off the shelf that you’re completely happy with, I encourage you to do that. If you can’t, then get in touch with me. Some people come to us because they have a podiatry problem, or a function or durability problem that requires shoes tailored to each foot. Many people, especially runners, often don’t realize that their aches and pains may be caused by shoes that are worn out or that weren’t right for them to begin with. Of course, another reason to buy shoes made just for you is that while the giant manufacturers change and discontinue models constantly, we will never run out of your very own Hersey Customs.

Do I have to pay another last & pattern fee?

No. Once we’ve made your last, we can use it to make any shoe you want. You can add a racing flat to go with your trainers, or order a hiker for that next trip to the wilds, whatever you desire. We can even make minor adjustments to the last at no charge. Unless your foot totally changes shape somehow, your first last will be your last.

Can you really get a good measurement of my foot by mail?

Yes, as long as your foot does not have a deformity. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or some other abnormality that affects your feet, you’ll need to either send us a cast of your foot or come to the shop so that I can measure you myself. See instructions for measuring and tracing your feet.

How long will it take to get my shoes after I order?

Our typical turn-around time is 24 weeks. When we have your order in hand, we’ll send you an acknowledgment and let you know when you can expect delivery.

How long will my Hersey Customs last?

It depends on how much you sweat, the terrain you run on, how many teething puppies in your house, how often you rotate your shoes, and most important of all, how you take care of them. On average, you should expect to get between 1,000 and 2,000 miles on your Herseys with regular resoling and a little maintenance.

Why do you use pigskin and not cowhide?

Pigskin is lighter and much stronger than cowhide. Also, because it has larger hair follicles, pigskin is very breathable while cowhide is not.

Are there any options to leather?

Yes. We can make a totally non-leather shoe by substituting 1.5 mm Clarino® synthetic suede for pigskin. Clarino® is lighter yet still quite durable, and it dries out very quickly after getting wet. Only in cases where extra support and toughness are required, like in a mountain hiker or special orthotic shoe, would we insist on using pigskin over Clarino®.

How many times can a pair of Herseys be resoled?

It depends a lot on how you use them. Two or three times over the life of the shoe is typical, though some customers have many more resolings than that.

What is a “last,” and what is “lasting”?

A last is a model we make for each of your feet, and it serves as the stand-in when we start building your shoe so you can be off doing something else. You could call it a foot mannequin. What sometimes causes confusion is the last itself, which is a thing, and the process of lasting, which is…well, a process. A shoe that is “fully board lasted” is a shoe that is constructed by wrapping all of the materials in the upper around the last, and a heavy paper-like stabilizer is placed between the upper and the sole and runs the length of the shoe. Thus, board lasting is the stiffest, strongest construction. In a “slip-lasted” shoe, the upper is loosely assembled first, and then the last is slipped into it. There is no extra stabilizer inserted, and so slip-lasting is used when the shoe needs to be very flexible. Finally, there is “combination lasting,” the process in which the back part of the shoe is board lasted, and a partial stabilizer inserted for stiffness, while the front of the shoe is slip-lasted without a stabilizer so that flexibility in front is preserved. The type of shoe you order, as well as your bio-mechanical needs, will determine the type of lasting I will use to make your shoes. It is not unusual to use different lasting for the right and left shoe of the same pair.

What happens if there’s a problem with my shoes?

In those rare instances where the shoes do not come out exactly right the first time, we will knock ourselves out to correct the problem to your satisfaction. However, we cannot promise a refund if for some reason we just can’t get it right.

What if I have trouble figuring out your order form or taking the measurements?

Please pick up the phone and call us right away. If we’re busy making shoes at the time, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.