June 18, 2012

Pigskin trainers by James Kearns

My regular readers are surely familiar with this talented designer from my past coverage. Recently I was lucky enough to have a conversation with James about some of his new work and newly launched website. For those that recall James’ work you’ve seen some teaser images and other little bits of information about these shoes and with the recent launch of James’ website I was able to obtain some more information regarding the process that goes in to creating these amazing runner boot hybrids.

First a bit about the process right from the Designer
"They are cut from pig skin at the moment, this is due to the treatments I do to it and i find pig leather works the best for this. 
They are all lasted by hand, the only machine used is the sewing machine for stitching the uppers. 
Then the band is sewn on, this takes me about 4 hours to do the pair. 
Each pair of soles are cut depending on the fit.
As each pair is hand lasted (which is the leather being pulled over a foot mould) the soles all need to be shaped for each shoe.  The soling is high density 12mm thick rubber foam.
Very hard wearing and gives a great feel when walking.
It takes about 4 days to make 1 pair.
The laces are leather and are 2 meters long made from parts of the leather used for the shoes. ”

As someone that doesn’t wear runners outside of necessity I’m absolutely enamored by these. The duality of the more reserved high top runner mixed with the aggressive shape and aesthetic of a combat boot are represented in such harmony. The leather itself is has a scarred texture which I’m immediately drawn to and is quite substantial given that it’s pigskin. In the past I’ve had troubles with runners falling apart way too quickly which is another reason I’ve generally avoided them but since these are composed of such durable materials these would wear in similarly to boots thus only improving with age. These extend beyond the expectation of a normal runner and into a world of their own as they are wearable in many different ways. Such an item would be at home in almost every wardrobe especially those looking for a more aggressive edge while retaining comfort and durability.