Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling have been making high-end shoes in England for over 20 years. Today they are indubitably one if the most appreciated British shoemakers, their goal being to create “the finest men’s shoes in the world, mixing Italian lines and comfort with British craft and tradition“.
Outlined below are Gaziano&Girling key principles for crafting men’s shoes that could stand of an excellent example of how shoemakeing should be done.
Gaziano & Girling designs are unique. We strive to find the right balance between contemporary and classic design, re-inventing the classics for men who demand something new but not over- stylized. We also pay constant attention to finding the perfect equilibrium between the last and the type of shoe.
At Gaziano & Girling, we do not believe you should have to “break-in” your shoes over many weeks after purchase. Our goal is to make shoes that are incredibly comfortable to wear as quickly as possible, providing our customers the ideal blend of Italian comfort with British quality and sturdiness.
We are able to achieve this unparalleled result through a number of critical steps in the manufacturing process, the most important of which is using perfectly matching lasts and cutting patterns. We also offer five widths and half-measures on all our shoes, approaching the fit of made-to-measure.
III. Made in England
Our shoes are entirely made in our own factory in Kettering, Northamptonshire. This is where our team of nearly 20 people dedicates time and energy to producing what we consider to be the finest shoes in the world. Our operatives are highly trained and work under the direct supervision of Dean Girling and Tony Gaziano.
IV. Upper Materials
Using the best leather is not enough. Of course the quality of raw materials is essential and we accept no compromise on our sourcing, but the selection of the hide areas that should be used for the shoes is also paramount. At Gaziano& Girling we select the very best French or Swiss calf leather and have it finished by the finest Italian leather finishing houses in order to attain perfection. Some skins are procured half-finished and we antique the leathers in our factory to order.
We regularly fly our craftsmen to visit the tanneries where our leather is made. From birth, this is what distinguishes a Gaziano & Girling shoe from other brands.
V. Oak Bark Soles
We only use English oak bark for our soles. We do not use soles made using “oak bark techniques”, but only true oak-bark leather soles. Oak bark tanning is done over a 12 months period and Gaziano& Girling is the only shoe factory outside of bespoke shoemakers to use this material on all their shoes. Our oak bark soles are made in Devon, England, in tanning pits built by the Romans over 2000 years ago.
Oak bark tanned soles are traditionally used only for bespoke shoes, as they are hard to work with and very costly. However Gaziano & Girling uses them for its full product range, as they are unquestionably the most comfortable and resistant leather soles in the trade.
VI. Goodyear Welt
Perhaps an obvious point to demanding shoe customers, but all Gaziano & Girling shoes are goodyear-welted. We aim at providing the most desirable goodyear welting by ensuring maximum stitches per cm and achieving a very slim profile. We use Barbour threads in all our shoes.
Gaziano & Girling customers can choose their soles and of course have their shoes resoled at our factory.