To put one’s best foot forward is to make a favourable impression. Whether you’re cosying up to senior management or sealing the deal on a first date, putting your best foot forward means preparation, plenty of confidence and – most importantly – ensuring that foot’s well-shod.
It’s often said that a man’s shoes are a strong indicator of his character, so if what’s on your feet says a lot about you, shouldn’t you get to write the script?
Enter Undandy, the Portuguese company applying the Savile Row bespoke model to your feet. As much as we wax lyrical about the benefits of a glove-like fit and bespoke tailoring, your feet can benefit from a custom approach too; after all, they range in size, width, depth and shape, and each contains over 26 bones. Just as an off-the-peg blazer won’t sit perfectly on every set of shoulders, neither will a bog-standard pair of kicks on every man’s plates of meat.
But what exactly does Undandy mean by ‘bespoke’? A word bandied about willy-nilly in an age of increasingly obfuscating marketing spiel, ‘bespoke’ these days doesn’t always translate to product that’s actually tailor-made. Undandy, however, takes the concept back to its roots – and we’re not just talking coloured laces.
You start the process by selecting one of seven classic design blueprints: sneakers, brogues and Oxfords to name but three. Then you choose the stitching. Then there’s leather selection – with over 20 types that can be mixed and matched to different areas of the shoe – stitching thread colour and optional stamp engraving. There’s also a range of outsoles to choose from (all thoroughly tested on different feet and terrains) and, above all else, the ability to choose a size right down to the very inch, including that tricky ‘and a half’ territory.
Variety isn’t the only string to Undandy’s bow either. The brand is a Portuguese import through-and-through, which means – for those of you who know your footwear – that it knows its way around shoemaking.
For centuries, the cities of Oporto and Alcanena equalled Milan and Paris in terms of leathermaking – they just couldn’t match on prestige. But as manufacturing in European fashion capitals becomes costlier, nations like Portugal have grown to reap the benefits: same level of expertise, just more affordable. And since Undandy’s shoes are handcrafted by a family-run company in São João da Madeira – a northern Portuguese city known for its quality cobblers – you can be sure of well-made treads to rival any Pitti peacock (they even use the same Blake method favoured by the Italians, in which the outer sole is directly stitched to the insole for maximum flexibility).
It’s in the São João da Madeira factory that the magic happens: a 3D designer takes all your preferences and creates your ultimate shoe. The whole process takes around two weeks including delivery to your doorstep, with your custom shoes coming packaged in a protective box complete with Undandy engraving.
The experience doesn’t end there though. Undandy, proud of its work (as any brand worth its salt should be), displays your creations on its site for the world to see – a bit like a Pinterest board, just more fine footwear, less fairy lights in jam jars.
In addition to this footwear inspiration, you’ll find resources that help inform your decision: features that guide you through the world of footwear, from the Lexicon (a comprehensive glossary of shoe terms) to a detailed week-by-week walkthrough on how to properly break-in your shoes. Because who hasn’t had the glory of new shoes blighted by blisters?
Like ‘bespoke’, ‘disruptor’ is another term that’s flung here and there nowadays, with little to no regard for just how innovative a brand actually is. But Undandy is the very definition of the word, a fledgling company unafraid to step on the toes of established labels – offering men the opportunity to personalise their shoes rather than make do with off-the-shelf product.
Thanks to Undandy, you can head out to date night or broach that pay review… always with your best foot forward.
Create your perfect pair of shoes now at undandy.com.