As ever, this was partly my fault, but the Cleverley bespoke imitation brogues arrived a couple of weeks ago after a long wait. They are imitation, of course, because there is no separate section of leather at the toe cap – the wingtip is simply lines of perforation. They are also, to my mind, the perfect compliment to a business wardrobe: shoes that whisper of sophistication and elegance. An interesting contrast to the Decos from Gaziano & Girling, for example.

As mentioned, we didn’t tighten the shoe across the toes on this pair of Cleverleys, and this has led to a great improvement in comfort compared to the first pair. These shoes truly feel like the bespoke experience now: perfectly tight around the ankle and heel, so ruling out any slippage, and just roomy enough around the joint and toes to ensure complete freedom of movement. We also stretched the first pair a tiny bit at the point they were rubbing, but I have yet to test out what difference this has made.

Elsewhere the look of the shoe is everything you would expect: a beautifully chiselled and tightly lasted waist; an elegantly pitched and narrowing heel. Together they produce the impression on the viewer of walking on minimal surface area, making the foot appear a little dainty. It’s a look that will be familiar to anyone that spends time perusing old photos of Cary Grant, Fred Astaire or their ilk. The gap, the exposed light under the bridge of the foot creates a beautifully harmonious line.

A lot of money, but certainly worth it. And as I seem to have acquired shoes far faster over the past few years than suits, it may have to nothing but bespoke – or bespoke-level make – from now on.

Those interested in Cleverley might like to know that the dates for travelling to Asia from next month are:


International Gallery
3rd & 4th February


1st & 2nd March

Hong Kong

3rd, 4th & 5th March, 2012