Truth be told, I don’t know much about shoes. So long as they look good, feel durable, and match my outfit, that’s enough for me to buy them.
Upon stumbling across R.E. Craftsman, however, I learned that there are different kinds of shoes with different functions. This is important for me because I go to events from time to time. Shoes aren’t just accessories; they are essentials – and knowing the right ones to wear for the occasion is a must.
R.E. Craftsman, owned by Raf Ebarle, is a shoe line of the bespoke tailor for gents, JE&Co. Haberdashery and Fine Gentlemen Shop. They support local products and get their shoes made by true Marikeños. With that, you can be assured that each and every shoe they produce are always of top quality. A pair can cost around Php4,000 to Php4,500 (depending on your order). You might think that’s quite expensive, but let me show you why you’ll get total value for money out of them.
It’s a fact that there are many local shoemakers patronizing Marikina-made shoes nowadays, but what makes R.E. Craftsman different is that theirs are customized for you all the way. They wanted their customers to get the perfect fit for maximum comfort and satisfaction in terms of their look. I got mine done and the whole process only took around 15 minutes or so.
To give you a better idea, here’s a look at the R.E. Craftsman experience:
Step 1: Choose the design.
This is the first step (and probably the most important one of all). I mentioned that I just learned the different functions of shoes; well, it was thanks to this phase. Raf showed me a selection of shoes and asked me what I wanted to get done. I told him I didn’t know exactly what type (since the choices are unknown to me e.g. Double Monk Strap, Brogue Oxford, Wholecut Oxford, Cap Toe Derby, etc.), but I knew I wanted shoes that I could wear to both formal and casual events. That led me to choose the Brogue Oxford.
If you don’t know the differences between these shoe types, either, just state the kind of pair you need and you’ll get a decision done in no time.
Step 2: Measure your feet.
From the length and width of your feet to their circumference, R.E. Craftsman will make sure they get the exact measurements done. They’ll do it for both feet because they understand that our feet aren’t always the same size.
Their scrutiny for detail amazed me and by that point, I already felt like the prices of their shoes are definitely worth it.
Step 3: Choose the sole.
Choosing the sole was the easiest part for me. I immediately knew that I wanted a leather sole because it’s what most formal shoes use. Leather gives of that sophisticated “click-clack” sound when you walk and I wanted to have that in my customized shoes.
I did ask to put an additional rubber sole on the heels, though, because I usually walk a lot and rubber helps increase the shoes’ durability. Even with that extra protection, though, I’ll make sure I don’t overuse them the way I do my everyday sneakers.
Step 4: Choose the leather.
Now comes another phase that you need to think about carefully: the texture and the color. These two comprise the accents of the shoes and give personality to the wearer. I based mine on the color that I wanted (maroon) and picked the leather with that color.
Raf explained that you really need to know what you’re going to wear prior to shoe-tailoring to ensure that your shoes don’t go to waste – kind of like the final touch to your look. I have one red and two black suits, so I believe that brown goes well with them (color scheme is really important!).
Step 5: Choose the laces.
For the final phase, you have to pick the laces that you want for your shoes. You can choose either cotton or waxed laces and the thickness will also be up to you.
Again, I love how detailed they are about this because some brands don’t let you choose the laces that you want. I picked the small, waxed ones because they look slicker and are easier to tie.
With that, you’re basically done! You just have to wait for R.E. Craftsman to create your specifications, which will take around 3 weeks or so (depending on the number of orders because many gents get their shoes made here). I got mine right on time and here’s what it looks like:
I love it and a lot of people say it looks really nice, as well. At first, I actually thought the shoes were too small, but it fitt perfectly and I was able to walk without any blisters (I have bought ready-made shoes worth Php5,000 before and it wasn’t until the fourth time I wore them that I stopped getting blisters on my feet).
If you need new shoes for an upcoming event, I can vouch that R.E. Craftsman is worth it. Yes, you can buy shoes at the mall at the same price; but here, you get to customize your shoes inside and out—all to your liking. Drop by and feel like a true gent at R.E. Craftsman!
R.E. Craftsman (JE&Co. Haberdashery and Fine Gentlemen Shop)
49 Malingap, Diliman, Lungsod Quezon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/recraftsman / https://www.facebook.com/jeandco
Instagram: @recraftsman / @jeandco