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A little over three years ago, Weston Kay cut some Dr. Martens boots in half on YouTube. Today, millions of people watch videos of him hacking all sorts of other shoes in half to break down the materials they use, on Weston's Rose Anvil YouTube channel. And it's no secret he said some very serious words about our beloved Alden Indy boots in one of …
 
We’re not sure there’s ever been a “normal” year in the quality footwear world, but 2022 certainly wasn’t about to start being one. Smart brands reasoned out strategies that allowed them to shift from labor and supply chain scrambles to sustainable long-term solutions. The sudden rise of the Chinese brand dovetailed with the worldwide emergence of …
 
It's been over two years since our own Ticho took on Mr. Style, aka @almostvintagestyle, aka " Jake," in the inaugural Stitchdown Bootbate, an extremely formal and rigid debate...about boots. Since then, both competitors have been cooped up in their lairs, conditioning their boots, shining their heels, wearing clothing from a place known as Japan, …
 
What's clickin'?? That's right Ben and Ticho are back with another SHOOOEBAG episode, in which we answer all of your listener questions, including: What are the best options for non-PNW footwear with arch support? Why do certain deranged people not recognize the extreme artistic beauty of the wedge sole? What are some of the best ways to enjoy the …
 
We've had both Nick Horween (the one from Horween Leather) and Phil Kalas (formerly of Horween, now making some of the best wallets, belts, and more over at Ashland Leather) on the Shoecast before. WELL APPARENTLY THAT WASN'T ENOUGH FOR THEM. Clearly over-emboldened by recently starting their own show, the Full Grain Podcast, Phil and Nick swung in…
 
Unsung House is a wonderfully rare shoe repair shop. After a half decade learning the trade in a more “standard” cobbler setting, brothers Grant and Isaac Gustafson opened Unsung in a literal old house in Nashville, to focus on impeccable higher-end shoe—and especially boot—repair, restoration, and ground-up creation. Ben and Ticho sat down with Gr…
 
For anyone who’s ever thought of quitting their job to make leather and boots, here’s the secret: just first make sure your parents own a goat farm in the British countryside. Six years ago, Jack Millington was the lucky guy in that position, and he up and started what we’re pretty sure is England’s first new tannery over a century. Today, his brai…
 
Greg Cordeiro is our kind of shoe nerd. And the dude has been around. After getting his start as an intern at Puma before shifting over to design work for Timberland, Cole Haan, Teva, and Ralph Lauren, Greg backed away from the mega-brand to co-found one of the seminal underground (now sadly defunct) footwear brands of the aughts: New England Outwe…
 
After being trained in the shoemaking arts by some of the all-time greats—including Italian master Roberto Ugolini and US shoemaking gravitational center Marcell Mrsan—Francis Waplinger found himself making shoes in a barn. Nobody said bespoke shoemaking was supposed to be easy. Juggling multiple jobs on the east end of Long Island while sharing th…
 
Occasionally we discuss boots on this podcast, but that doesn't mean we don't love and appreciate a great dress shoe as well. In the FINAL episode of Season 6, Ben grills Ticho—the actual dress shoe-knowing person on this podcast—about what elements add up into the perfect dress shoe, important styles to understand, and recommendations for brands b…
 
SHOOOOOOOOERADIO! That's right, everyone's favorite drive-time terrestrial radio show about boots and shoes is BACK to tell you exactly how to win over $30k in prizes including a TRIP TO JAPAN in the second annual Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome—just for wearing things on your feet for six months. To get to the answer, our host field questions from t…
 
You know, when you have a history of publicly claiming to not be a black-boot lover and then you have a podcast co-host who can even more publicly prove that you are a black-boot lover…well, you need to make a Shoecast out of it we suppose. On yet another Shoebag episode, Ticho and Ben tear open the digital sack of reader questions to explore the d…
 
Yuki Matsuda is an absolute gem of a man. If there's someone more relentlessly excited to design and make and just talk shoes after more than three decades in the biz than Yuketen's founder, I haven't met them (but would definitely like to; DM me plz). It's no stretch to say that Yuketen is eternally in contention for the Most Interesting Footwear …
 
Just about one year ago, footwear/menswear super-retailer Division Road packed up the Seattle storefront that has served as its home for the better part of a decade, to move its operations to 45 acres in Scottsville, Virginia—a true rural area about 20 disturbingly scenic minutes outside Charlottesville. The promised plans for the relocation have b…
 
Former Dayton bootmaker Tess Gobeil is the co-founder of Awl Together Leather, a custom leatherwork and shoe repair shop in Vancouver, Canada that just so happens to be on our shortlist of Stitchdown-recommended cobblers. She's also just an absolute hoot—we're pretty sure this episode sets the Shoecast "hey look at us, we're just sitting here cackl…
 
Summer shoes! Those are just...boots, right? Apparently not! In a Shoecast episode for which we applied 120 SPF sunscreen (to our shoes), Ticho and Ben first figure out what a summer shoe really means, and then get down into dishing out recommendations on loafers, handsewn moccasins of all kinds, unlined bluchers et al, boot-shoes (obviously), Birk…
 
Rising bootmaker Nathan Florsheim's shoe-famous last name isn't a coincidence—the great great grandson of Florsheim Shoes founder Milton Florsheim decided over a year ago to become the first person in his family to actually make a pair of boots themselves in generations. And man has he gotten good at it quickly. Under the benevolent tutelage our mu…
 
Over a decade ago, Tull Price's job was to travel to the world's coolest cities to expand his massively successful sneaker brand, Royal Elastics. Sounds pretty great, right? Nope! The realities of the forces of globalization—and just how much landfilled-destined plastic waste the athletic footwear industry created—eventually became all too apparent…
 
Along with his brother Matt (the one with the mustache), Andrew Brodrick is half of Freenote Cloth, the near-decade-old denim-'n'-more brand (yes they sell boots!) that's committed to manufacturing its entire widening range of menswear in a small radius in and around Los Angeles. Andrew came on the Shoecast to lay out his philosophy on which cuts o…
 
The bootmaking world is a strange one in 2022. The easy part for top makers: finding customers who can't wait to buy their boots. The hard part? Sometimes it feels like literally everything else. Supply chain breakdowns are slapping delays on leather and other materials. Recruiting and training skilled bootmakers: never simple. So how's Wesco deali…
 
Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown are back with another good ol' fashioned Stitchdown Shoecast Shoebag episode, in which we answer probing listener questions like "are there any more rules with wedding shoes?", "how important is historical context when it comes to a pair of shoes or boots?", and "what's your ritual when you get a new pair?"—and we disc…
 
They call Jim McFarland America's Cobbler for a darned good reason—the third generation in a line of cobblers that has run McFarland's Shoe Repair in Lakeland, Florida since 1918, Jim has repaired more shoes than you've ever seen. But the former president of the Shoe Service Institute of America—and Grand Silver Cup Award winner for excellence in s…
 
The leather tanning process is an ancient one—almost 10,000 years old. And yet, it can also be a massive damn mystery! So Ashland Leather's Phil Kalas—who put in over a decade at Horween Leather—stopped by the Shoecast to take us through the entire leather tanning process, and all its possible routes to creating beautiful leather for footwear (and …
 
2021! 'Twas another extremely weird year! It really was. But man was it a wonderful one in in the world of boots and shoes. This episode, Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown.com review some of the most exciting, surprising, and inspiring quality footwear industry trends we saw emerge in 2021—and also look forward, making bold some predictions on where th…
 
The boot brand Kreosote is but one man—JD Gabbard—some wonderful vintage tools, a 1978 Airstream, and one of the most unique and curious spirits in all of the handmade footwear world. After decades traveling the world as a fine art photographer, Gabbard found himself at a bench in a Texas cobbler shop, compelled to learn the trade of boot repair—th…
 
Way back in some far-off distant boot past, Lars Jensen was the first-ever Shoecast guest. He came on to tell us his story, one of making truly incredible Østmo boots, 100% by himself, one pair at a time. Now, Lars is back to tell us about Østmo's future—and it's a very exciting one. For the final episode of Season 4, Lars and some strange person I…
 
There are few things more wonderful than a great customer service experience—especially on an expensive purchase. Unfortunately, they're also a bit too rare. But there IS A WAY to get fantastic, loving, oh-so-sublime customer service! Oh yes, there is a way. It just takes a small bit of work and thoughtfulness on your part. Which is why we brought …
 
All-time Shoecast champion guest Ron Rider—Rider Boot founder, person who may just know more about shoe sizing than literally anyone else in the world, and just all around unfathomably charming man—is back on the Shoecast. This time, Ron lays out his Seven Damning Shoe Sizing Mistakes—from not focusing on heel-to-ball fit nearly enough, to assuming…
 
The Shoebag is back! All hail the Shoebag. This time, @tichoblancoshoes and Ben from @stitchdown answer all sorts of reader questions, including: Unstructured vs structured toes? Half soles vs. full soles? What makes a perfect engineer boot? What are the metaphysical differences between oxfords and derbies? (There are plenty.) How do you figure out…
 
Meet Adele Williamson: Tricker's youngest bespoke shoemaker ever, and also Tricker's first female bespoke shoemaker—in the brand's 192-year history. Adele's story is fantastic: unsure of what to do with her life, she enrolled in a shoe design class (not really the good kind), then applied for an internship at Northampton stalwart Tricker's shortly …
 
Grant Stone's Wyatt Gilmore is one of the people we most love talking to in the entire footwear industry—so it was high time we had him on the Shoecast. While we spend plenty of time discussing how GS develops new models, and chooses leathers, and how wearing EEE in their Leo last has changed my life, and what Wyatt will be looking for as a judge o…
 
Very special episode! The entire shoe world has been on the edge of its heels waiting for 2030th Shoelympics to kick off from Northampton, England, and the Shoecast has secured exclusive coverage of the opening ceremonies! Esteemed bootcasters Tichblucho and Boot Robinshoe are all set up in Longwing Stadium to give you a first-hand view of the page…
 
Nick Horween is a fifth-generation tanner at the eponymous Horween Leather Co., the Chicago powerhouse that creates Chromexcel, shell cordovan, and an endless array of some of the best boot leathers in the world. So he, uh, knows a lot about leather. Nick stopped by the Shoecast to talk about Horween's fascinating history, how the tannery approache…
 
It's completely possible that Jesper Ingevaldsson knows more about shoes than anyone alive. Jesper IS Shoegazing, the seminal and just monumentally good blog covering quality footwear, mostly in the classic dress category. Over the past decade he's taken a keen journalistic eye and an endless sense of curiosity, and educated millions on shoe constr…
 
The very first episode of the Shoecast—and the most-listened-to episode of all time—was about Indonesian Bootmakers. To close out season 3, Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown knew it was high time to revisit that wonderful world of hand-welted boots and shoes. Even in the year since that first episode, so much has changed in Indonesian bootmaking. New b…
 
Brett Viberg is back once more on the Shoecast, to give us a detailed breakdown of Viberg's coming releases in the second half of 2021—there are a LOT, and we've got a full preview on Stitchdown.com. Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown also get into how Brett is shepherding manufacturing and finishing quality forward, how Viberg's marketing and storytell…
 
Five years ago, Jason Pecarich took his extensive experience in the menswear industry and opened Division Road Inc. in Seattle: a collaboration-driven menswear shop headlined by boot and shoe makeups from Tricker's, White's, Wesco, and what would quickly become hands-down the deepest Viberg lineup anywhere in the world. So how'd he he do it? We get…
 
If Ron Rider isn't the most interesting person in the shoe game, we certainly want to meet whoever is. Ron's lived his whole career in shoes, creating the cult favorite Rider Boot Co. and now acting as one of the behind-the-scenes straws that stir the private label drink for a crazy range of brands. This week, Ticho and Ben talk to Ron about how pr…
 
While there are a handful of "name" leathers and tanneries out there, it's almost shocking how many of both go completely under the radar, even for hardcore boot & shoe lovers. So this week, Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown.com get DEEP into tanneries around the world that really need to be more in the conversation, as well as specific leather article…
 
That's right, Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown.com are back to answer listener questions on another absolutely thrilling Shoebag episode. What's the best way to break in engineer boots so you can get then on and off nice and easy? How many pairs should you have if you want to really get each wear in a rotation? What's the deal with Tyrolean shoes? And…
 
Two and a half years into its existence, Artisan Boot & Shoe—which sprung forth following the Batavia, New York P.W. Minor factory's unfortunate demise—is showing signs that while American footwear manufacturing might not be what it was decades ago, it's definitely got a fighting chance to show new growth alongside the Pacific Northwest and and Mai…
 
With an incredible range of outsoles available to choose from, how does a footwear lover narrow things down to just one? There are huge questions to tackle. How do you weigh looks vs functionality? Durability vs traction? Comfort vs capability? WILL TICHO FINALLY ADMIT THAT WEDGE SOLES ABSOLUTELY RULE??? This week, we talk about our favorite (and a…
 
Matt Gray came out of nowhere to become an instant Alden legend, and one of the Instagram kings of rare shell cordovan. Now Matt and partner Jim Pietryka—who has almost a decade of experience in the shoe biz and an insane vintage shoe collection—are about to celebrate the second anniversary of their Raleigh, NC shop Ealdwine. In the first episode o…
 
The Pacific Northwest is home to the last remaining epicenter of quality bootmaking in the US (and Canada)—and the stories of how the makers White's Boots, Wesco, Nicks Handmade Boots, and Viberg came to be, and how they persisted, are quite honestly nothing short of phenomenal. And you may know plenty about them! But Ticho and Ben from Stitchdown …
 
Carl Murawski is a man of many facets—and many boots. Sure, he's the world's largest YouTube star (and definitely go check out his excellent channel right here), and a man with a genuinely impressive perspective on so much of the fashion world. But he's also a licensed electrician who puts his footwear through more than 99% of people—and has some f…
 
2020: Interesting year! I feel like a few things happened. PLENTY also happened in the shoe world. Far more certainly than one could’ve anticipated given the circumstances. This episode, Ben from Stitchdown.com and @tichoblancoshoes run them all down and give a bit of perspective on where 2021 might take us (like, possibly wearing a ton of engineer…
 
It's Brett Viberg time! Few people have exerted as much influence over the quality footwear industry over the past decade as Brett has while he's reshaped Viberg Boot from an industrial boot manufacturer to arguably the most important lifestyle boot brand in the entire scene. This episode Ben and Brett talk about Viberg's future—what is it advancin…
 
Alden's Brett Klein is one of the true mensches of the footwear world. A huge part of his job is to help retailers—and humble shoe podcasters who devise Stitchup boots—dream up and refine the incredible makeups that define Peak Alden for so many of us. He's also one of the shell cordovan-fading kings of this world, having put in the time (in the su…
 
Ahhhh, the Shoe Journey. The voyage from understanding essentially nothing about great shoes and boots to...GETTING IT. It's a path that winds in all directions, and no journey is the same for any two people. But there are almost always similarities! Flashpoints and big mistakes and everything else that shapes a shoe lover into what they are today—…
 
WHAT ARE THE BEST VALUE SHOES I CAN BUY? It's the thing everyone wants to know. And while there are some sure-thing answers when it comes to pure bang-for-the-buck, finding the best value footwear, for you, and perhaps more importantly, extracting the maximum value from your shoes and boots, is a little more complicated. This episode, Ben from @Sti…
 
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