Reid Elrod splits his time between working at JD’s Shoe Repair and running his own bespoke shoe brand in Portland, Oregon.
After acknowledging his need for a mentor and teacher in order to move forward with his shoe making, Reid attended Marcell Mrsans (Master shoemaker and owner of Koronya shoes) 5-week workshop in Budapest.
The construction he use is English welted, which is what the Goodyear machine was created to mimic. A problem with the welting machines is that the needles cannot change direction, so two threads are used. When the welt is done by hand, there is one thread with two needles, one attached to each end, therefore creating a much stronger welt. Also, machine welts do not use a leather insole but instead use synthetics which is one of their greatest disadvantages.
The lasts Reid use are Mexican made plastic lasts, wich are invidualized for each customer.
Reid generally uses JR Rendenbach soles, which are made in Germany. The Rendenbach leather spends up to 9 months bathing in oak tanning fluid, resulting in a very breathable, very durable sole. The inlaid wool is an English cashmere from B. Black & Sons in Los Angeles. Reid is currently making shoes starting at $700.
After the initial meeting, Reid develops a unique "last" for each client based on their feet and style preferences. He then makes a pair of trial shoes to be worn by the client for several weeks. Finally, only after discussing the trial shoes with the client to ensure the perfect fit, does Reid make the final pair of shoes. Those shoes are hand-welted and even the soles are handsewn; the result is a functional work of art, made to last. The process takes approximately six months, and shoes start at $2,300, boots at $2,800.
Oregon, United States