OUR JOURNEY

At Gilbert & Bailey we want to innovate the way you buy your shoes.  

Through our website we offer the opportunity for you to design the shoes you want from anywhere you choose.

Tom Gilbert has long been a lover of beautiful footwear - it’s the best way to judge a man afterall - yet yearned for something a little different, something he could design himself. Whilst there are some beautiful options in the world of bespoke English footwear, he recognised that actually, he didn’t want to have his feet measured and a have to wait the excessive leadtimes for a new last (model) every time he wanted a new style - yet didn’t want to compromise on the quality or design features of these beautiful handmade shoes. 

As such he founded Gilbert & Bailey. 

We’ve tried to make our shoe designer as simple as possible, and as transparent. If there’s anything you can’t find here, please feel free to call or write to our friendly in-house stylists. 

 

If you'd rather choose from a selection of our pre-desgined shoes, you can take inspiration from our shoe gallery


  HOW TO DESIGN

When using our shoe designer, the best place to start is to have a think about the ultimate ‘look’ you want from your shoes. We love the idea of dressing from the feet up, we understand that sometimes it’s just not that practical.  

Take a moment to think about what’s in your wardrobe, what events you have coming up and your lifestyle; a suede loafer requires a lot more care that a country grain calf oxford.  

We’ve written a few guides about building a shoe wardrobe here, although of course, these are not prescriptive and should you like tailored advise, please contact our in-house stylists who are more than happy to walk you through the design process. From time-to-time, we’ll also be holding events in major world cities should you prefer to design in person. 

Once you have a feel for your the look you want, it’s time to discuss styles:

Double Monk, Oxford, Derby or Loafer. This is largely down to personal taste. We’ve written an article on discussing the old fashioned rules around the subject but for the most part, the leather you choose will determine the formailty of the shoe.  

Once you’ve chosen the style of shoe, it’s time to look at which last you’d like it made upon. A last is the model around which your shoe is built. The way we have designed ours, ensure that the back measurements are all equal and therefore this conversation revolves around toe shapes;

 A chisel toe (square) is sharp and works brilliantly with tailoring, it adds a touch of interest to the shoe and has been long loved by our more adventurous customers. An almond is slighly elongated and as such incredibly elegant, this is more reminiscent of classical Italian lines. Whilst a round toe may be quintessentially English; being slightly more rounded than the others it is understated and about as a classic as they come. 

 Visit our shoe gallery to have a look at our toe shapes in action. 

 Once you’ve chosen the style of shoe and your last, it’s time too look at leathers. Each leather has it’s own characteristics and will wear differently over time. We’ve written some advice, and will be showcasing a feature leather each month. Have a special request? Do let us know! 

From here it’s on to the choice of colours and and buckle types, hallmarked gold buckles perhaps? 

We want to make each speacial purchase that touch more special. Have your initials embossed on the sole of your new design as a litle thank you from us. 

 

Design your own

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