A note from Andrew..

Andrew McDonald shoemakers was established in 1992. Started By Andrew in a small workshop in Sydney’s Surry Hills designing bespoke handcrafted shoes for men and women.
His skill and artistry were quickly recognised and Andrew was soon to be awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1996 to understudy master shoemakers, John Lobb of London and Paul Harnden shoemakers.
On his return to Sydney, Andrew opened his current shop/workshop in Paddington. Founded on his craftsmanship and design exploration. The team comprises a dedicated group of shoemakers at the forefront of footwear and accessories design.

We asked Andrew for a little more detailed information to pass onto you, here's what he shared with us......

Reverse Black Foldover

Dear Fallow,

As you probably know I trained at JOHN LOBB bespoke in St James in London. Training with the best has taught to me to use the best possible construction methods and materials that are environmentally sustainable.

So here is a breakdown of the material composition of my shoes...

Upper and Lining
All our upper and lining leathers are vegetable tanned horse or calf hides. Vegetable tanning improves the tensile strength making it softer and more breathable. This process is non toxic.

Nearly all of the English manufacture footwear employing chromic tanning (highly toxic) processes with their leathers. Chromic tanning is faster and cheaper and eventually breaks down the leather.

We are one the few select makers that use Oak bark tanned soling stock. It is extremely hard wearing tough as well as flexible. It is highly water repellent and especially breathable, biodegradable and emits a pleasant oak bark perfume when wearing.

Vegetable tanned shoulder leather

Welt stitched sole construction
All our soles use hemp thread as opposed to a waxed cotton thread for stitching our soles. Hemp thread does not rot and is impermeable to water. Waxed cotton eventually absorbs moisture (as used by church etc) and rots when water and dirt is trapped in the fibres.

My heels are made with veg tanned butt hide leather and hand layered piece by piece (not a heel unit nailed to the sole). We use brass nails to reinforce the heel block and Stoltz German rubber top pieces.

Toe and heel stiffeners are shoulder leather as opposed to fibreboard which eventually cracks and deteriorates with perspiration.

My shoes are a truly handmade product, made using the best materials sourced from around the world using traditional hand crafting techniques in my small workshop in Paddington, Sydney.
These differences are subtle, but to the trained eye and discerning customer mean the difference between a good shoe and a great shoe.

Yours, Andrew.


The Reverse Horse Leather this season has been handmade for Fallow in limited quantites.

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