Thursday, August 13, 2009

ExIT Shoes

In the time honored tradition of European craftsmanship and all of us seekers continually pining for the perfect shoe, I bring you ExIT Shoes. Portland, Oregon-based shoemaker Jeff Mandel creates unique bespoke shoes that start with the feet as opposed to the factory. Each one-of-a-kind shoe caters specifically to the buyers measurements, needs, wants and desires, incorporating vegetable-tanned leathers (from Italy) and enviro-friendly water-based glues. Models run the gamut from traditional oxfords to bike-specific models with kangaroo leather and polymer fiberglass laminates. Mandel's goal is simple: "to continue the European tradition of making shoes for individuals based on their actual feet with the best available materials." The $800 shoes may require a month's rent, but we can all rest a little easier knowing the romance of traditional craftsmanship isn't going anywhere anytime soon...and, of course, it's just another reason that I love all things Portland.