A couple of weeks ago, Justin Fitzpatrick at The Shoe Snob launched his first range of shoes, which are now available at Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row. For Justin, this is the culmination of a long period of working and dreaming.

He trained as a shoemaker with Stefano Bemer in Italy, before returning to the UK and setting up a shoeshine stand at Gieves, in order to earn cash while he worked on his own range of shoes. After two years of work and a lot of polishing, he finally has a shoe range to his name, J Fitzpatrick.

These are (for most people) mid-range shoes, priced between £300 and £350. They are Goodyear-welted, made in Spain and on bespoke lasts that Justin created himself – the most obvious return on his Bemer training and, more recently, work with Tony Gaziano. That bespoke touch gives them a little more shape through the arch and in the heel of the shoe.

Far more important, however, are the design and making aspects of Justin’s shoes. He has tried to include more complicated designs than you usually find for under £400, such as balmoral boots (pictured top), one-piece slip-ons (below) and ankle boots with detachable fringes (above). There are also more unusual touches, such as denim on the balmorals and double-sided monks.

On the construction side, the shoes have closed channels – so you can’t see the stitching on the sole of the shoe. This is one more process (it involves cutting a thin slice in the sole and then sticking it back over the stitching) and therefore adds to the cost.  

I admire anyone launching their own business, and particularly someone working so hard towards it. Justin is now in Gieves all day now, so pop in and see the shoes.

You can see the full range here.