Any self-respecting artisan shoemaker knows that a good shoe is the careful combination of quality, elegance and comfort: three guidelines diligently adhered to by Foster & Son, one of the most renowned footwear manufacturers in the world and whose origins date back to London, 1840. Its flagship store is located in the St. James district, near St. James Royal Palace, at 83 Jermyn Street.
Foster & Son claims to be the oldest shoe manufacturer in the world, because it was founded 16 and 17 years, respectively, before other companies as long-lived as John Lob and Taylor & Son. An impressive artistic heritage of 175 years, which is reflected in the excellent quality of their boots and shoes, representative of the authentic and elegant English style.
Practically since its beginning, footwear fashioned by the company have been worn by members of major world monarchies, statesmen, artists, movie stars and those who demand the best and appreciate the quality and finish of shoes whose prices start at 2,000 euros (approximately US$2,293.00).
In the workshop, located on top of the store, an expert team of craftsmen bring shape to the designs created exclusively for its clientele, producing — thanks to techniques that have not changed in the last two centuries— the finest and most exclusive English shoes. The result never falters: individual pieces that achieve near perfection because they are made following the strict instructions and requirements of the customer, adhering to their particular tastes, using only the best leather and the finest materials. They could be shoes specially made to suit the client, or may well be a new creation or a recreation of an old design.
If you are interested in ordering shoes from Foster & Son, you should know that before scheduling your trip to London to visit the store, it is advisable to take some time to review the Foster archive, where models manufactured by the company have been lovingly preserved throughout its history, and contains a comprehensive compendium that has inspired shoe designers worldwide.
Having decided the type of shoe you want, you will need at least one hour for your first appointment. An expert will take your measurements, evaluate your feet, observe their height and the shape of the toes and the heels. There will be a discussion on the particulars of the model chosen, the thickness of the sole, the shape of the instep, the best suitable materials for manufacturing and the most appropriate decorative elements.
Moreover, to facilitate a better communication between the company and its clientele, a Foster delegation visits the United States and Japan twice a year to serve better and more comfortably the demands of the customers.
The artistic work of Foster & Son translates into exclusive shoes that you can wear with pride, and if you take good care of them, they will last you a lifetime. ■