You won’t find swooshes, stripes or other embellishments on Feit’s pared down designs. Indeed you’re unlikely to find anyone else in the world wearing an identical pair of its exquisitely hand-made shoes as they’re made to order in ultra small quantities – typically up to 60 pairs of each colour – and sold direct to customers.
Tull and Josh Price founded the Australian brand in 2005 as an antidote to the mainstream trainer industry that they felt had become “disconnected from the traditional art of shoe-making”. Feit’s team is trained in traditional shoe-making methods and the company has links with some of the finest tanneries in the world.
Carefully sourced uppers – often in exotic but sustainably sourced soft leathers from Kangaroo to Kudu – are hand-stitched to a welt, and then the sole is stitched to the welt, a traditional process common to shoemaking across the world.
The resulting leather-lined or raw leather inners are comfortable and breathable enough to wear without socks. Exterior materials range from natural crepe, similar to the type you’ll find on Clark’s Originals, and you can even choose hardwearing Vibram soles for a hardwearing and elegant shoe.
In 2010, Feit became an online-only store which now emails its database every time a new style is created and garners interest to ‘Make me a pair’ up to a maximum capacity using current stock levels.
Once this capacity is reach production begins. If the response is good but some capacity remains, the capacity left is made available to the general public for ‘Pre-order’ and the website keeps a flip-clock style counter of how many pairs are available to keep potential customers informed and no doubt – if only a few pairs remain – to spur them into purchasing sooner to avoid missing out.
At around £200-plus for a pair of trainers and £300-plus for a pair of hiking boots they’re far from cheap, but in many ways they’re more like upmarket shoes than trainers or simple boots. Not only are they guaranteed to be as rare as hen’s teeth, but they are also amazingly comfortable and long lasting.
More recently Feit has gone the logical next step and started to offer a made to measure service for a truly custom shoe. After consultation with its master craftsmen a one-off last can be created and kept at Feit’s factory, upon which future products can be built. This ups the cost again but brings the brand into the realm of the truly bespoke and couture, like the finest shoe brands in the world. Trainers will never be the same again.
To find out more about these unique and exquisite shoes then click through to the official Feit website.
Guy Bird is a freelance writer and editor specialising in cars and design for the likes of CAR magazine, Esquire, Wallpaper* and Car Design News. He attends the world’s auto shows from Paris to Tokyo and has road-tested the vast majority of vehicles available in the UK over the last 18 years. www.guybird.com