Many of the materials I use are much sought after artisan leathers. Full grain, top shelf quality hides lovingly created, much like the footwear I make with it. Sourced from my two (wonderful) trusted leather merchants who I have been dealing with for the past twenty years. The Charles F. Stead tannery in Leeds, England was established in 1891 and is renowned as one of the best tanneries in the world.
Choosing a colour will be the hardest part of ordering, so do study your wardrobe to see what would best suit your colour schemes. You can then keep an eye open for stock in your size / colour. Excellent all round winners for me, which will go with anything are: Mulberry, Toffee, Brew, Conker or Nettle, but basically... brown in any shade is a winner.
Being a natural product, scuffs, scars and variations will occur across the hide. This is especially evident in the *antiqued leathers which I select specifically for this reason. They offer instant aged beauty getting even better over time. Each collection with it's own particular characteristics is explained below the gallery.
Forest - This leather reminds me of leaf veins and tree roots. It has a wonderful depth of colour with the different hues glowing like jewels. The tanners have flipped the hides concentrating on the back of the leather giving it a truly unique look with no two hides being the same. A layer of wax is trapped between the natural antiquing and the top finish yielding a superb pull up effect. This leather has distinctive markings across the whole surface so expect variations.
Villager - The leathers in this collection are all smooth, full grain with a satin finished. The colours are consistent across the whole hide with no variations. Very much a classic finish. Thick and supple dyed through hides.
Tinner - This range is possibly my favourite. Very limited colours, but goodness, what colours. Perfectly raw and natural. Thick and supple with an oiled pull up finish on antiqued hides making each one unique. They are deep, mellow and rather special. I could have a pair of boots in every colour and wear them on rotation...
Railroad - Another fabulously textured leather with a matte appearance. Almost suede like its an instantly 'old' look on any style. Richly dyed and waxed the colours are deep and earthy. Thick, soft and fairly waterproof too due to the waxes. Makes me think of old steam trains and navvies.
Hawker - Rather specific hides which due to its thickness is only suitable for leather goods and sandals. Another antiqued, pull up treatment results in variations in colour and finish across the hide. It takes polish beautifully and will develop a super patina over time through use and regular care. Made to last.
Gnome colours will of course be Brown and Green with rich red accessories to complete the look.
Always make sure that your shoes are kept well polished to avoid unnecessary wear. Any good polish will do, my preference being old fashioned dubbin (very sticky to apply) which I leave overnight to soak in. Coconut oil is also a favourite. Polishing your shoes will darken the finish on all leathers apart from the satin finish ones. The *antiqued finish leathers will lighten with wear as the waxes and oils in the leather are displaced. It's a useful indicator that a jolly good polish is needed to replenish both the colour and the finish. If there is any fading then you can use a tinted shoe cream available in shoe shops or online.
Do not be shy about using your faerysteps for extreme weather conditions. They are capable of tackling all seasons. Mine have gone boulder hopping at the seaside and the Moors, as well as running and rambling. I clean off the mud, pop them somewhere lukewarm (not on a radiator), and when dry I give them a good coat of dubbin. The ribbons even get a wash in the sink with warm water and hand soap. My shoes are then ready for the next adventure.
BAREFOOT COMFORT SOLING
We believe that your shoes should feel just like slippers, all day, every day, and our shoes do just that. With all leather interiors your new shoes will naturally give with wear, gradually moulding to your feet and offering glove like comfort.
We use a very durable, highly flexible, lightweight, cushioned, non slip soling. There is no heel, just like Mother nature intended, with the soling offering a good level of bounciness and protection. When the time comes your shoes can be resoled by your local cobbler, thus extending the life of your beloveds and avoiding landfill sites.