The confluence of quality materials and handmade construction make a great shoe. At least, that’s what Tull Price believes. In 1996, he co-founded Royal Elastics, a brand that created lace-free shoes in a hybrid skate-athletic style. As the brand grew through the late ‘90s and was featured in respected magazines like i-D and The Face, Price turned to mass-production to meet increasing consumer demand.
After encountering the shortcomings of large-scale manufacturing, Price eventually sold his majority stake of the brand in 2003 and went to Italy to study traditional shoemaking techniques. Two years later, he co-founded Feit, a footwear brand focused on minimalist styles that showcased top-tier materials and modified hand-sewn Goodyear welt construction.
Feit’s styles have evolved over the last decade to utilize more simple designs and more natural materials. The Hand Sewn Low sneaker — a popular model in recent years — is updated for fall 2018 with new materials that perfectly represent the brand’s ethos.
The hand-cut single-piece upper showcases the underside of a horsehide which has been tanned slowly and shaved for a uniform texture. The raw semi-cordovan upper has a hand-painted white finish that will crack naturally with wear, developing a pattern unique to each wearer. Completely resole-able, the Hand-Sewn Low features a cork footbed, a bamboo shank stabilizer and a leather outsole.
To complement the lightly-textured upper, the foxing — or outsole wrap — utilizes a unique material that exposes the one-piece leather construction. The translucent natural wrap is made from the waste generated when tanning yak skins. While this substance is traditionally discarded, it can be treated to produce a collagen material that has a rubber-like consistency. The resulting product, while environmentally friendly, is also functional and beautiful.
The Hand Sewn Low Raw White Semi Cordovan sneakers retail for $650. While that’s a lot of money for a shoe, you’re getting a product that is well-made and utilizes incredible materials — and a product that is designed to be rebuilt again and again over passing years.