Before World War II, Warsaw was one of the major shoemaking centers in Europe.
Nowadays, one of the most renowned bespoke shoemakers in town is Tadeusz Januszkiewiczm, an elderly gentleman born in 1927.
He learned his trade working as a cordwainer apprentice during the WW2. His career was almost cut short by the Communist regime, when they tried to hunt him down for working with the resistance during the war. Tadeusz and his master decided the only solution was to become the official bootmaker to the leaders of the communist party.
According to master Januszkiewicz the time behind the Iron curtain was a hard time for artisans, as they were hit with exorbitant taxes and, in his case, leather-shortages (tannery employees would usually smuggle quite a lot of leather out, and sell it to artisans) .
Januszkiewicz is known for his comfortable shoes and has a reputation for providing the best fitting shoes in Warsaw. His knowledge of fit comes from several years studying orthopaedics.
The shoes are hand-lasted and the leathers mostly made from polish calf from local tanneries even thou he also works with English and Italian leathers. The shoes are built on standard lasts wich are altered to meet the measurements of your feet.
As with all Polish bespoke shoemakers, Junuszkiewic don’t use fittings so just one trip to Warsaw will be necessary for the measure of your feet and discussing style. He can make almost any type of shoe you desire, and the very reasonable prices start at a little over 400 euros a pair. The estimated time for a order to be made is about four to eight weeks.
The 89 year old Januszkiewicz only speaks polish and a little german so you might need someone to translate for you if you plan to order a pair of his shoes.