High Adventures in the Great Outdoors - Quality Shoes
Sure, there are many things that make an appearance but no matter if you are still in the midst of your adolescence growing up in underground subcultures wearing your Vans or whatever Hypebeast touts as drop you need to camp outside a shoe store for, or trying to give your grown up life a bit of flair and a sophisticated edge, there is hardly something that makes a first impression sink lack the of a decent pair of shoes.
No matter if it is a durable shoe from the UK or one on the leaner side like Italian styles are known for or if it is something in between or outside traditional schools of shoemaking, what I am looking for is essentially something that accommodates my foot shape that is more than a disposable piece of fashion crap that does not withstand the 13-20km I usually walk on a daily basis and still meets my aesthetic preferences.
As Carl Gustav Jung put it ever so eloquently, resistance to the organized mass is at the end of the day only as effective if the man’s individuality is as well organized as the mass itself.
Undandy is essentially a family owned shoe workshop based in what is commonly touted to be the shoe capital of Portugal, whose portfolio plays the claviature of styles even if your budget is a little tight but you’re keen to get around premium footwear.
With a staff that has honed its craftmanship and refined its approach to the traditional art of Portuguese shoemaking, a range of over fifty leather materials that are sourced from Italy and France, which are hand cut, and their idiosyncratic way of creating one-of-a-kind shoes that are customised to your exact specifications.
I have recently allowed myself to order a pair that is a hybrid between a dress shoe and a sneaker and the attention to detail that the work of the seamstress and pattern cutter display is outstanding: I mean it in the best way possible when I say that you can tell after seeing a pair in the third dimension that it can not possibly have been made by a machine.
As a matter of fact, it sparked an interest in learning more about the manufacturing process and the precision that goes into the stitching, cutting, assembly, tailoring and – something that Undandy does particularly well – the art of handcrafting the patina by applying multiple layers to give the shoes a uniquely weathered feel, if that is what you ordered. Savile Row principles applied in its best.
The way it works with Undandy is that via an interactive tool on their website, you can create your very own bespoke shoes – no matter if you prefer sneakers, loafers, boots, classic styles or an outrageous Frankenstein (and yes, the options Undandy provides allow for truly outrageous compositions) according to your own specifications including the opportunity to add a personalised engraving. Choose your classic design and model, the stitching, leather, colour schemes personalise it and hit order.
In an oversaturated and stuffy footwear market, coming across Undandy is a fresh breeze, an experience and a lot of fun without any worries as each pair can easily be sent back if one is not satisfied with the outcome.
An affordable quality customised experience that allows your footwear to become a natural extension of your personality and one that comes with quite a bit of DIY ethos.
image from company website