We are asked a thousand and one different questions about what we do. Here are a few common ones.
What are your opening times?
Our Melbourne showroom is currently moving. We will open at our new location on Friday 2nd August:
39 Bridge Road in Richmond,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3121
And is open Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.
We have fitting stock for our shoes and boots at our Melbourne store for all the styles so if you’re considering standard sized footwear, the Melbourne shop is currently the best location for this.
If you wish to be measured for bespoke footwear or to discuss having anything custom made it is important to make an appointment. These take place at our Ballarat workshop where Jess the shoemaker is based. Please contact us via phone or email to inquire or make a time. We usually have a bit of a waiting list so it is unlikely that you will get an appointment the same week that you have made your initial inquiry.
Our Ballarat showroom is located at:
20 Elizabeth Street
Delacombe, Victoria, Australia, 3356
And is currently open by appointment only.
At Ballarat we have fitting stock of the Veldtschoen construction shoes (Wilson and Penny) and the Bob & Bobette Desert boots. For standard fits of all our other styles you will need to visit our Melbourne shop.
Note: We are only open in Melbourne a couple of days a week as we are busy making all our customers orders earlier in the week.
Have you moved?
We separated our workshop from the shop in August 2018 and moved our workshop to its new home in Ballarat.
The shop front will continue to run from a Melbourne base but due to property prices we were no longer able to keep the workshop and shop together.
For now, Melbourne customers will continue to come to our Richmond store for all standard-sized footwear and accessory orders and inquiries. For bespoke/custom fit appointments, customers must now visit our Ballarat workshop.
For more information please see our blog post here: http://wootten.com.au/moving-on-up/
Do I need to make an appointment to visit your shop?
If you wish to be measured for bespoke footwear or to discuss having anything custom made, it is important to make an appointment so we can ensure we have time set aside. Initial consultations for bespoke/custom fit footwear take around 45 minutes and are taking place in Ballarat at our workshop where the shoemaker Jess is located.
Please note we only take a handful of initial consultations each month for bespoke goods to moderate our work flow so please call in advance to book in a time.
If you are just wanting to try on our standard footwear range in Melbourne then no appointment is required.
I would like to have a bespoke/custom accessory made.
Note: WE ARE CURRENTLY NOT TAKING CUSTOM ACCESSORY ORDERS AS WE ARE TOO BUSY WITH OUR OWN FOOTWEAR/ACCESSORY PRODUCTION
You will require an appointment to do so. Please contact us via email/phone to arrange a time.
We prefer to give customers a rough idea of how much their project may come to. For this please email us a photo/sketch with as many details as possible and we can give you a rough idea before proceeding to an appointment.
Please also note we only take a handful of custom orders on each year due to the demand of our own work. For this reason it may arise that we need to recommend an alternative business for your needs should we not be able to assist.
Do you do repairs?
We only do repairs to shoes that we have made ourselves. Unfortunately we do not have the time or the room in our workshop to do other repairs. We would recommend the following repairers:
Hamid Zapatero (0467 512 305) at 260 Glenferrie Rd Malvern 3144
Evans Shoe Repair in the Royal Arcade in Melbourne CBD
Manfredds in Errol Street, North Melbourne
Condellos at Barkly Square in Brunswick
Sturt Street Cobbler, 113 Sturt St, Ballarat Central
Do you make all your goods?
Yes. We actually make everything. We make all of the footwear, bags and leather accessories out of our workshop in Ballarat and shop space in Melbourne.
The shop in Melbourne is where our customers come to look at and try on our standard footwear range and leather accessories. Our bespoke appointments and fittings are now taken at our Ballarat workshop.
I saw a pair of shoes on your website, can I have them in another colour?
Absolutely. We have hundreds of colours and finishes available. The best way would be to come into the shop and see the swatches we have available. Otherwise get in touch and we can see what we have available.
Can you personalise my shoes or leather goods?
We certainly can but are limited in the emboss/deboss department if you are after a particular font or size. Our standard deboss tools are small capital letters.
Broadly speaking, we can make your shoes a unique colour, a unique fitting, we can even emboss your name on them. You will need to get in touch with us to arrange this though as this then becomes a more customised pair and not a standard order. We would be happy to discuss your options for personalising your shoes.
What is a Cordwainer and how are you different from a Cobbler?
A Cordwainer is a shoemaker whereas a Cobbler repairs shoes.
I live interstate or overseas, can I still order custom made shoes from you?
You can, however we would still need to see you for an initial appointment to be measured up and to go over the design details. A fitting is also necessary to make sure we have the correct fit before proceeding to the soling and finishing stage. It is too risky for shoes otherwise to do them without seeing the customer first and for the crucial fitting stage.
You will need an appointment to be measured up so please call or email to make a time. We take initial consultations for bespoke footwear at our Ballarat workshop. They last for about 45 minutes. Please note that we only take a handful of appointments each month so there are times when we may not be able to see you in the same week as your initial inquiry – it just depends on how busy we are.
Do you stock other brands of shoes?
No. We hand-make all of our shoes to order in our workshop and the examples and fitting stock are the only ones we carry.
Can you copy my favourite pair of shoes?
Yes. Anything is possible. We can even make them in another colour if you like. This is termed ‘Bespoke footwear’ (see below for clarification on differences in pricing and timeframes).
What is the difference between made-to-order, custom-made and bespoke footwear?
Made-to-order: This footwear is our standard fittings and designs which means less tailoring to your personal foot measurements, but you will still experience the same quality hand made product.
Custom-made: This footwear is using our designs and making minor adjustments to tailor the fit
Bespoke: Is creating footwear that is to your exact specifications for design and fit.
What price do you estimate custom shoes to start at?
For clarification of our categorisation, please refer to the above definition of made-to-order, custom-made and bespoke.
Custom-made: This is for shoes/boots based on our designs off the website but customized to fit your foot. Customised footwear can be between $900-$1400 on average. Typically the extra cost is between $150-$500 from our standard pricing. Please note this price guide will vary from customer to customer, the leather chosen and the soling details which can push this price higher in certain cases.
Bespoke: Bespoke shoes typically fall between $1000-$1500 for your first pair. Certain styles such as loafers in the moccasin style can be in the higher bracket or more due to the construction method and dependent on your fit. Above the ankle and knee high boots are typically between $1600-$2200+ depending on leather chosen, construction method and fit, which can push this higher. Boots above the ankle generally require a mock up to be made to make sure the shoe will fit around your leg and foot, which adds time and cost to the process.
Please note that orthopaedic footwear can be higher than this in the range of $1500-$2000+ for more complex fits, if we are making the orthotic, as well as using casts for measurements and construction.
All the pricing factors depend greatly on the measurements of the customer, the leather/s chosen, the method of construction and the finishing details. We will try to give you as rough a guide as possible over the phone or on email based on your design but a final quote can only be given with an appointment after measurements and all the design details have been defined.
One point we like to make with our initial customers is that a first pair of shoes is an investment as there is the set up cost of a last, pattern, fitting etc. These costs are then not applicable to a repeat pair of shoes using the same last (same toe shape and heel height) and pattern.
Why is there such wide variation in prices for shoes?
All our footwear is handmade in our workshop in Ballarat however there is wide variation in the amount of work required for each unique pair as well as variations in cost of leather type, sole requirements and fitting requirements.
Basically the more time, individual tailoring and use of high end products will mean that the shoes will increase in price.
I was told not to buy shoes online.
There are a few key factors to consider when buying shoes online. The fitting of the shoes are the most important thing. We would always recommend coming into our store so that we can help you through the fitting of your new shoes, deciding on the last and style that best fits your needs is important. If you can’t make it in and would like a pair then read through our fitting information closely.
Every style and last fits slightly differently so it is important to take this into consideration. Also if you wear your shoes slightly lose or with a thick sock then you may want to go up half a size from the standard fitting.
If after reading through the fitting info or if this is the first time you have purchased from us and you’re still not sure what size would be best for you then feel free to call email or drop in to discuss what you might need and we will be able to help walk you through the process.
How long do your custom shoes take to make?
Normally our custom/bespoke shoes take around 6-12 months from when we receive the deposit to when they are ready to take home. All the time factors greatly depend on how many customers are in the queue already, whether you need a custom last, a mock up to be made or several fittings. Timeframes can be pushed out further towards Christmas when we get busy with accessory orders.
What is the difference between the leathers you mention on your website?
Bovine leather is the standard leather we use for our accessories and boots. It doesn’t have as smooth a grain as our other leathers nor come to as high a shine. It is however a robust choice as long as it is maintained regularly with creamy-based conditioners and waxes to keep the leather nourished as vegetable-tanned leathers should not be left to dry out or they can crack.
Yearling is a younger version of bovine leather and has a smoother finish overall while still maintaining good body/weight to the leather. Our Italian yearling leather is chrome-tanned so will be more resilient with wear. It still needs to be maintained with creamy-based polishes and can come to a nice shine with some elbow grease. It also dyes more readily depending on the desired effect. This is our preferred choice for an everyday sort of shoe. Yearling typically adds $45 to a shoe, or $60 to our ankle boots.
Kangaroo leather has more texture and character and has a very strong fibre structure for its weight. Colours can be limited however (please see billfold wallets or cardholders as examples of colour). Kangaroo can come to a light shine and will be resilient with good maintenance and care to nourish the leather. Kangaroo typically adds $45 to a shoe, or $60 to our ankle boots.
Baby calf leather is like the cashmere of leather. It is the most beautiful, is very fine and delicate and is an ideal choice for high gloss potential and formal occasions. It does however require the highest maintenance (regular care of the upper leather) and should not be worn as an everyday shoe. Baby calf typically adds $80 to a shoe, or $120 to our ankle boots.