G&G: Principles of Shoemaking
True masters of the craft, Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling have been making high-end shoes in England for over 20 years. Our objective has been to create the finest men’s shoes in the world, mixing Italian lines and comfort with British craft and tradition. Achieving this goal takes immense dedication and a zero-compromise approach to shoemaking.
Outlined below are Gaziano & Girling’s key principles for crafting men’s shoes. But only through wearing our shoes can one truly appreciate the impact of these principles on the quality of the product.
Gaziano & Girling designs are unique. We strive to find the right balance between contemporary and classic design, re-inventing the classics for men who demand something new but not over- stylized. We also pay constant attention to finding the perfect equilibrium between the last and the type of shoe.
At Gaziano & Girling, we do not believe you should have to “break-in” your shoes over many weeks after purchase. Our goal is to make shoes that are incredibly comfortable to wear as quickly as possible, providing our customers the ideal blend of Italian comfort with British quality and sturdiness.
We are able to achieve this unparalleled result through a number of critical steps in the manufacturing process, the most important of which is using perfectly matching lasts and
cutting patterns. We also offer five widths and half-measures on all our shoes, approaching the fit of made-to-measure.
III. Made in England
Our shoes are entirely made in our own factory in Kettering, Northamptonshire. This is where our team of nearly 20 people dedicates time and energy to producing what we consider to be the finest shoes in the world. Our operatives are highly trained and work under the direct supervision of Dean Girling and Tony Gaziano.
IV. Upper Materials
Using the best leather is not enough. Of course the quality of raw materials is essential and we accept no compromise on our sourcing, but the selection of the hide areas that should be used for the shoes is also paramount. At Gaziano & Girling we select the very best French or Swiss calf leather and have it finished by the finest Italian leather finishing houses in order to attain perfection. Some skins are procured half-finished and we antique the leathers in our factory to order.
We regularly fly our craftsmen to visit the tanneries where our leather is made. From birth, this is what distinguishes a Gaziano & Girling shoe from other brands.
V. Oak Bark Soles
We only use English oak bark for our soles. We do not use soles made using “oak bark techniques”, but only true oak-bark leather soles. Oak bark tanning is done over a 12 months period and Gaziano & Girling is the only shoe factory outside of bespoke shoemakers to use this material on all their shoes. Our oak bark soles are made in Devon, England, in tanning pits built by the Romans over 2000 years ago.
Oak bark tanned soles are traditionally used only for bespoke shoes, as they are hard to work with and very costly. However Gaziano & Girling uses them for its full product range, as they are unquestionably the most comfortable and resistant leather soles in the trade.
VI. Goodyear Welt
Perhaps an obvious point to demanding shoe customers, but all Gaziano & Girling shoes are goodyear-welted. We aim at providing the most desirable goodyear welting by ensuring maximum stitches per cm and achieving a very slim profile. We use Barbour threads in all our shoes.
Gaziano & Girling customers can choose their soles and of course have their shoes resoled at our factory.
VII. Other Materials
All our materials are hand selected and quality controlled. Rejected materials are eventually used for our training programs.
VIII. Craft and Tradition
Our team, led by both Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling, is second to none. They combine over 100 years of shoemaking experience. Over half of the team are bespoke craftsmen and have a holistic knowledge of shoes. We believe this is unique in our industry. They are all multi-skilled and the craftsmen working on our ready-made line of shoes are better trained than most bespoke craftsmen.
IX. The Finished Products – The Shoes
One such feature is our beveled fiddle-back waist, with a stained V-style design and contrasting dark brown with chestnut colour foresole and heel, patterned on traditional bespoke aesthetics. Combined with proportioned patterns that work in perfect harmony with our bespoke-designed lasts, the result is a shoe that fits and looks better than any other shoe made today. Our shoes have many features that are not seen elsewhere in ready-to-wear, some of which have been inspired by bespoke shoe making and others that come down to innovative design.
X. Shoe Care & Presentation
Before being shipped to our customers, our shoes are hand-finished and are subjected to rigourous quality control in the finishing room.
The shoe trees we provide are made in England and are hand-lasted to scrupulously match your pair of shoes. The shoe bags, also made in England, are embroidered and particularly robust, as we know that many of our customers are frequent travellers.