John Lobb

John Lobb

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There are two types of people in the world – those who believe in the importance of good shoes and those that do not. When you think about it, you probably spend more time on an average day with your shoes than with your family, which is why it’s important to ensure your choice of footwear is anything but middle-of-the-road.

Treat yourself to some luxurious loafers or awesome Oxfords from brilliant bootmaker par excellence, John Lobb. Located just a stone’s throw from London’s St James’ Palace, the original John Lobb became the official bootmaker to Edward, Prince of Wales, who went on to become King Edward VII. That Royal Warrant exists to this day, with both the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales both endowing John Lobb with their patronage.

It’s not difficult to see why. The craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into a pair of shoes or boots here puts modern methods to the sword.

Shop interior

Firstly, the fitter will take precise measurements before the last-maker works magic in wood – expertly carving an exact and unique facsimilie of the foot (known as a last) that will remain on constant file for future reference. Next in the process comes the pattern cutter, who references the last, before passing to the clicker – custodian and connoisseur of leather.

At last the shoe begins to take shape, with the closer, the maker and the socker perfectly marrying uppers and soles before a tree maker (the wooden inserts that help retain a shoe’s shape) and polisher hand over the finished product. This 190-step process may well have taken months to complete.

LOBB_004_BPH last racks

John Lobb shoes have been worn by artists and aristocrats alike, from Frank Sinatra to Aristotle Onassis. Donning a pair will not empower you with their talent or prowess, but you will be in fine footwear company – and dapper to boot.

John Lobb,
9 St James Street, London.
T: +44 20 7930 3664

© Ben Phillips John Lobb, the bootmakers of St.James's UK, London