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Heinrich Dinkelacker “Buda” – a Mitteleuropäische gentleman.

January 16, 2020

They say that all good things come to an end. If my apathy made you believe that the blog was being put out of business, this is not true. The scarcity of my posts is due to a soul project I completely dedicated myself to. Its name is Petru&Claymoor. But more details about the saga of this new project will soon be available.

Today is about a shoe model with which I had no chemistry with whatsoever. I saw the model more then ten years ago during a visit in Budapest, Hungary. The model was quite a frequently worn at that time, but back then I didn’t appreciate the real value of the handmade and the rough lines of such a shoe. I deemed them heavy and I was particularly inhibited by the sole. The truth is that when I went inside the shops I discovered that they were indeed heavy.

Growing old, I discovered that flannel and tweed better fit my personality than fine textiles. So I started turning towards country style shoes.

To make a parenthesis, I confess that, although I don’t wear anymore RTW shoes simply because nowadays I produce bespoke footwear, Crockett&Jones Pembroke is the shoe that I’m still wearing with pleasure and that I appreciate very much.

Going back to Budapester, I saw the model by accident at Heinrich Dinkelacker. I had a derby made on Luzern last from them which behave very well. I recently refurbished it in my workshop and it looks excellent. The leather is of good quality, and the construction excellent. Luzern last is, in my opinion, the most wearable Dinkeracker last – it’s a classic shape but without being dull. I will upload soon some before and after photos.

Buda model is updated relative of the classic Budapester model without the aggressive toebox. But you feel the Austro-Hungarian spirit in it. This model attracted me because of its leather. It’s a gray scotchgrain, the kind of leather which you wouldn’t expect to find in a RTW model. It looks very well on this model and somehow it gives it a slimmer air. Its rather rough lines are sweetened by the skin’s granulation. Although it seems like a heavy shoe, the structure is quite a light one. When I say light I’m not referring to the one of a tassel loafer. It is a shoe for those who prefer tweed and flannel. Some sort of a Land Rover Discovery instead of an Evoque.

The first impression, when you hold the shoe in your hand, is that you hold in your hands a handmade shoe. It looks and it feels like a handmade shoe. You really feel the person who made it. It is an extraordinary thing, this feeling being hard to obtain nowadays with a RTW shoe. Most lost their soul. Dinkelacker preserved its own quite well. And the fact that it is a carefully made shoe can be felt but also seen. The big stitches of the braided welt make the most of its personality. 

The final question is whether I advise anyone to buy this model. I don’t advise anyone. Shoes and clothes should be bought in direct connection with the personality. . It is a model for the passionate ones. You must appreciate the big stitching, you mustn’t have an Italian style and especially you have to live in an area with a climate that is at least temperate-continental. If you live, for instance, in Germany or Eastern Europe, it is a very interesting model, that may very well give you the feeling of a well made shoe, meant to last for years. 

It has character and personality. Like a old style Central European gentleman.

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