This is a pair of custom hand made shoes specially ordered by yours truly. I basically told the chap making it that I wanted a pair of wholecut shoes with a medallion pattern up front. And this was what I got. It also has a bevelled waist as requested (even though it is still a little wide) and it basically a type of pegged shoe - using steel nails instead of wooden pegs like those you see in bespoke shoes from Eastern Europe. But the great thing is that these are Made In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to be exact. It is pegged at the waist as well as the front of the sole. The welt you see on top is purely decorative.
The actual colour of the shoes are below, as the shoemaker (an Indonesian chap based at a leather goods shop located on the 1st floor of the Campbell Complex, Jalan Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur) used some cheap polish on it. I basically used nail polish remover to get its original colour back which is a lighter chestnut? colour like the photo below.
The shoes are actually quite good, even though it only took 10 days for the shoemaker to construct and has been worn more than six times since I got them last June. The leather isn't high grade calf and is probably corrected grain as he had limited choice of leather (but a choice of exotics - ostrich, crocodile and snake is abound and wold cost you over RM1,200 for snake and to over RM5,000 for croco/alligator) for normal dress shoes. I did not complain or ask for something that the chap does not have since I was curious and just wanted to experience a made to order/measure custom shoe.
The type of construction is limited to either this pegged type or stuck on construction. This is because after doing some research there is no where in the whole of Malaysia where you can order a full bespoke shoe using Goodyear welting, blake welting or hand welting aside from nail pegged shoes. There is a shoemaker in Taman Midah, Cheras but I believe they only make stuck on or glued shoes. There are those in Penang too, but from what I read, they stopped welting shoes when glue construction was introduced some 60 to 70 years ago. Ergo, if you want something purely hand made in Malaysia, this is the only way to go.
One other detail that is worth mentioning is that the shoemaker does not cut individual lasts for one's feet. They would get a plastic last and stick on pieces of leather on the last simulating the different sizes in the feet after taking the measurements (shape of one's feet and the width & height at two places at the very least). This is similar to an article I read about handmade shoes being made in Bosnia (if I am not mistaken). I just can't seem to find it right now.
It isn't too shabby actually. And for RM600.00 or thereabouts, it is quite reasonable for going semi-bespoke if you do not want to travel abroad.