The Process

There is a waiting list of 3-5 years for appointments and customers should be prepared for this.

Made to measure boots are for customers with more extreme or unusual foot shapes and dimensions. People who require 'made to measure' will have had a long history of boot fitting problems due mainly to the size or shape of their feet. Anyone requiring made to measure should contact the office to make an appointment with the senior boot fitter.

A minimum of two factory visits are required (it can be more). The first visit is for assessment and, should you decide to go ahead, foot drawings will be taken (this takes up to 2 hours).

There is a waiting list to place an order for made to measure - because of the time involved in hand making a boot, there is a limit on the number of orders that Alt-Berg can make every year. However, the timescale, once an order is placed, to returning for boot fitting is normally between 12-16 weeks. The boots are 100% handmade with specific patterns and lasts being developed and this takes far more time than a standard boot.

There is an option to purchase the last (which will be held at the factory permanently). After three months, if the last is not purchased, it will be remodelled for other work.

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A drawing is taken around the customers foot - weighted and un-weighted.

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The stick length of the foot is taken – weighted and un-weighted.

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The stick widths of the foot are taken across the key forefoot and heel areas - weighted and un-weighted.

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Circumferences are measured around the metatarsal and instep areas weighted and un-weighted.

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Depths of the foot are measured around the forefoot and toe areas - weighted and un-weighted.

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The Brannock length of the foot is taken - weighted and un-weighted.

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Foot anomalies are assessed and where appropriate measured and recorded on the drawings

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Measurements are taken of the side foot profile and side heel profile.

The Last

Once the drawings have been taken the last will be made and patterns produced to make an upper, midsole, footbed and sole to fit the last - there are over 170 separate operations to make a pair of made to measure boots. Shown below is a brief outline of some parts of the process.

The method shown is the 'adding on method'. For narrow, low volume feet - the 'take off method' maybe used, i.e. a last is carved, sanded and reduced to produce the required three dimensional shape. At Altberg we use both 'add on' and 'take off' methods.

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A last is built up using leather.

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Strips of leather are hammered into place.

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The last is sanded to shape as each new layer is added.

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The last length is checked as each new layer is added and sanded.

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The circumferences are checked as each new layer is added.

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Depths around the forefoot are checked.

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The heel dimensions are checked and shaped to the appropriate dimensions.

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The stick widths are assessed as last building progresses. .

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Setting and hardening the last ready for bootmaking.

The Upper

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Cutting a pattern.

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An example of paper patterns for the upper of a pair of made to measure boots.

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An upper is cut out of leather using the patterns to produce the appropriate shapes.

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Cutting the lining from the pattern.

The Sole

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Cutting a sole mid layer from the patterns.

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Sanding down an assembled sole to the appropriate outline.

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Setting the sole to shape before pressing and laminating.

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Setting the sole to the boot before final pressing.

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Sanding the edge of the sole, a fine finish.

The Boot

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Reinforcing the reverse of the upper with breathable cotton fabric or other materials.

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Sewing the upper.

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Punching holes for the 'D' ring lacing fastenings.

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Attaching and pressing the lacing attachments.

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Sealing the Sympatex® waterproof membrane lining (430 - 480°C).

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Moulding the heel.

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Lasting the forefoot.

Lasting the sides of the boot.

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Sanding the side of the boot to prepare for the sole.

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Attaching the sole.

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Sanding the edge of the sole to match the boot.

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Examining the boot.

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Buffing the boot to a waxed clear finish.

Cost Guide

Made to measure boots cost roughly £1200-£1500 depending on the amount of work involved. At least two factory visits are required. An estimated breakdown of costs is given below. For subsequent boots made on the same last (last must have been purchased by customer), the cost for building the last will be deducted, so only hand cutting, sole making, midsole and footbed costs will apply.

BUILDING A LAST Based on the customers drawings. £400-600
PURCHASE OF LAST Last is held for 3 months after fitting. If not purchased within this time it will be remodelled for other work. We will include purchase of the last in your quotation. The last remains the property of the customer but is kept at the factory. £150
CUTTING PATTERNS & UPPERS The customer’s upper patterns are developed based on the made to measure last and the upper is cut. £60-100
CUTTING PATTERNS & MIDSOLES A made to measure last requires a specific midsole to match the outline shape. The midsole will be moulded to match the pitch of the last. £25-45
CUTTING PATTERNS & MAKING THE SOLE A sole is made to match the last and give correct heel pitch and toe spring. £45-75
CUTTING PATTERNS FOR THE FOOTBED A footbed is made to go inside under the foot. This is moulded to the last profile. £20-40
HEEL ORTHOTICS It is normally necessary to use an 'off the shelf' heel orthotic with the footbed to achieve foot stabilisation for fitting. £20-40
CUTTING & FITTING INDIVIDUAL SPONGES, FELTS & REINFORCEMENTS These are cut by hand with patterns if necessary and fitted into the upper to meet specific customer need. £20-50
TAKING DRAWINGS There is no charge for the initial consultation and visual assessment - if the customer decides to proceed drawings will be taken (two hours). If the customer decides not to proceed after drawings have been taken - there is a cancellation charge of £60 to cover the time for taking drawings. £60 cancellation charge for drawings.

The above are intended as a price guide - a verbal guide quotation will be given once visual assessment has been completed. Once the drawings have been completed a full written and costed quotation will be provided.

Made to measure boots are only made on a non-refundable basis. The senior bootmaker will give an estimate of fitting improvement during the assessment. We normally anticipate a fitting improvement of 60-80%. We would not anticipate a 100% improvement, because an element of the fitting problem will always be related to bio-mechanical/foot movement issues, and a made to measure boot may help, but it will not necessarily solve these issues. Final decision to proceed with an order (or not) is entirely with the customer.

FAQ

WHO SHOULD CONSIDER MADE TO MEASURE?

This is a service for people who have a long history of boot fitting problems, which cannot be successfully fitted with standard ‘off the shelf’ boots.

HOW IS THE MADE TO MEASURE SERVICE CARRIED OUT?

This is a service for people who have a long history of boot fitting problems -they cannot be successfully fitted with standard ‘off the shelf’ boots.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

There is a waiting time of 3-5 years for an appointment with the senior bootmaker - he sees a maximum of 6 people a month. From foot drawings, through boot making, to fitting - the time is between 3 - 5 months, it can be longer depending upon the complexity of the boot to be made and the time available each week for the senior bootmaker to concentrate on this type of work.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF MADE TO MEASURE?

A made to measure boot will not correct or cure foot problems which result from a medical, orthopaedic or extreme bio-mechanical conditions.

A made to measure boot can most certainly help alleviate some of these types of problems and help foot comfort by creating less pressure across or on joints, incorporating more padding/cushioning or support into parts of the upper or giving the boot a specific amount of flex or stiffness - the variations which can be built into a made to measure boot are many and varied.

During assessment the bootmaker will give his view of what level of success can realistically be anticipated - however - the decision to proceed or not remains entirely with the customer.

IS THE LAST SUITABLE FOR OTHER TYPES OF FOOTWEAR?

The last the bootmaker makes is specifically a boot last so it is not suitable for dress shoes or every day footwear. Boot lasts and shoe lasts are significantly different. The last will also have an allowance built into it to enable a footbed or orthopaedic heel cup to be used in the boot. Altberg make ONE shoe (the McColl Microlite) that is based on walking boot design and it is used by many customers as ’everyday footwear’ - This can normally be made on a customer’s made to measure last.

CAN A MADE TO MEASURE BOOT BE RESOLED?

Yes - we use the customers last for resoling - it will cost more than a standard resole because we must hand make the replacement sole. Also the customer must have purchased the last so that it is still available for use.

IF I HAVE FOOT PAIN WILL MADE TO MEASURE CURE THIS?

It depends very much on what is causing the pain - if the problem is simple a boot fitting problem - i.e. Foot shape, foot volume or pressure on joints - then a correctly fitting boot will certainly help a great deal.

If the problems have elements in them which are the result of ligament, muscular, orthotic or bio-mechanical issues then the boot is only one part of the solution and although it may help it will not necessarily cure.

CAN I JUST TURN UP AT THE FACTORY?

Absolutely not - Customers for this service are seen by appointment only, the senior bootmaker can only see a maximum of 6 people each month and there is normally a waiting list for appointments.

If you wish to make an appointment contact the factory - 01748 850615/824717

We have people travelling from all over the country as well as from outside the UK - do not make the journey unless you have a confirmed appointment with the senior bootmaker for the made to measure service.

IF I DECIDE TO COME TO THE FACTORY FOR AN ASSESSMENT AND DECIDE NOT TO PROCEED, DO I PAY ANYTHING?

The point at which costs start is when we take the drawings - prior to this there will be a visual assessment and a full discussion about the fitting problems the customer is experiencing (it helps if the customer brings their old boots, socks or orthotics if they have them).

If it is decided a made to measure boot will be of no benefit then no charges are made.

If the customer wishes to proceed - then drawings will be taken. This takes up to 2 hours and a charge of £60 is made for this.

Once the drawings have been taken the customer is given a written quotation together with copies of the drawings. The customer does not need to decide anything further on the day. We file the drawings and the customer can place an order at a later date should they wish to do so.

DO I PAY A DEPOSIT AND IS IT REFUNDABLE?

Yes, a deposit is payable. There is normally a period of one month between the receipt of an order and work starting. If the customer cancels within this period the deposit is refundable.

Once work has started the customer pays for any work done up to that point, so a partial refund could be made. Details of times of starting work will be indicated on the order confirmation - these are intended as a guide