Bespoke 'A personal Service'
At Robinson's alongside our fantastic range of Pre-Made footwear we are proud to offer our bespoke shoe making and repair service. Robinson's is one of the last shoemakers in Ireland and we are extremely proud to continue many of the traditions and processes that made the shoemaking trade.
Tony Slinger is currently our specialist shoemaker with expertise in everything from the highest end bespoke Gent's Footwear to the most demanding of Orthopaedic work. Tony started in the shoemaking industry at the age of 14 learning the trade from generations of Shoemakers using ancient traditions. Working for HW Poole and Sons established in 1888, he had the opportunity to exploit 100 years of knowledge and experience. He excelled during his apprenticeship and showed real skill during a further two years on the bench by learning each exacting detail of the processes required, developing a keen eye for the highest quality and a drive for perfection. In 1987, Tony was instrumental in the acquisition of the contract to supply the Queens Household Cavalry. He volunteered to hand make some guardsman boot samples following the original Napoleonic blueprint. These were then inspected to the exacting standards of the MOD on behalf of the Palace. In 1994 Tony was head hunted by an Orthopaedic specialist who sought his key skills and experience and he continued to work there until he started with us in 2009.
The Bespoke Shoemaking Process
A personal unlimited consultation time that gives you the opportunity to explain your needs. You are able to define your requirements in detail and discuss the options available.
Personal Measuring Service
The personal measuring service ensures that each shoe is perfectly fitted to each individual requirement.
We offer a full range of both Women and Mens footwear. This includes dress shoes, sport shoes (e.g. Golf) and boots. We have a full catalogue of designs or please bring along your own design for us to make especially for you.
We use A&A Crack Leather Merchants who would be more than happy to host you in their factory to enable you to choose your own skin, or we are more than happy to recommend and purchase the leather on your behalf.
In the past we have helped customers designed a fantastic variety of footwear including two tone styles and a range of Cordovan leather designs.
Bespoke shoe making consists of two types of construction. Standard cemented construction or for the ultimate in tradition....hand sewn uppers to an insole using a hand feathered method on a welt. We offer both approaches but recommend hand welting as it guarantees a longer lasting life to your shoes.
Tony produces his own threads using a material called hemp. Hemp is fine cotton and the strength of the thread is determined by the shoemaker by adding more hemp which is hand rolled and waxed. This is painstakingly important to the finished product and is not a process commonly used by other craftsman.
We only use English oak bark for our soles. Aged over 12 months it is prepared by soaking and rolling through a hand press before being hand sewn to the prepared welt. All our welted work has hand stitched soles through an open channel.
After the soling process the soles are left for three days, after which the process of boning commences. This process results in the ultimate finish on your soles, through hand burnishing and boning which can take up to 7 days to achieve.
All our bespoke welted work is hand finished. This uses ancient traditions where glass is used to bring edge of the sole and heel to a smooth finish before edging irons complete the process.
Our bespoke service starts at:
£600 for Ladies Shoes with an initial one off lasting charge of £250
£850 for Gent's Shoes with an initial one off lasting charge of £250
If you are interested in finding out more about our Bespoke shoe making service contact our Gent's Store in Carrickfergus on 0044 (0) 28 9335 5464.