the tanner ba'

You want shoe porn, I’ll give you shoe porn!!

Emidio "Mimi" Lazzarini

Emidio “Mimi” Lazzarini

If you are a regular reader of the Tanner Ba’ you will know that I LOVE shoes, and especially football boots.  I can name the brand and model of every pair of football boots I’ve owned since middle school- and at present I own six pairs (flats, turfs, and two pairs each of firm ground and soft ground boots).  You’ll also be aware that I have very strong feelings about what a good football boot should:

  • Black, or at least predominantly black.
  • Leather, preferably kangaroo leather.
  • Simply constructed.

That’s it.

All of which brings us to today’s topic.

In the past I’ve made no secret of my love for the boots made by the Italian company Pantofola d’Oro.  Thanks to a very generous gift I was given a year or so ago I even own a pair of their indoor boots– which are, I might add, EVERYTHING I hoped they would be.  Pantofola d’Oro make their boots by hand and they get all of the details right:  metal grommets for the laces, soles fully stitched to the upper, minimalist construction, etc..  Believe it or not, however, there is another, more impressive boot being made in Italy.  There is a story that needs to be told first.

The story begins in 1911, when Pasquale Lazzarini (1882-1969) established his shoemaker’s shop in Ascoli, Italy.  Lazzarini made custom moccasins for Ascoli’s elite class. His son,  Emidio “Mimi” Lazzarini, (1915-2001), followed him into the business and began to repair boots for local players from Ascoli Picchio F.C. 1898.  Mimi was not impressed by these boots so he set about creating a new style with an anatomical shape, using high quality leather, and focusing on flexibility and comfort Mimi’s new boots, “Lazzarini’s,” were so popular that he called upon a relative- Giuseppe “Pippo” Lupins to help him.

Their reputation was was cemented in 1959 when Welsh international John Charles- then playing with Juventus- said of his Lazzarini’s, “It is not a boot, it is a slipper…a golden slipper.”  From this point through to the 1980′s the boots now called “Pantofola d’Oro” gained a reputation as some of the best boots were available.  However, in the mid-1990s as Nike and Reebok moved into the football boot market and company’s like Adidas and Puma expanded in order to counter the move, the proverbial “little guy” was squeezed out of the market.  Seeing that the future was bleak, the family was forced to sell the company in order not to walk away from a half-century of hard work with nothing to show for it.

The new company, still called Pantofola d’Oro went bankrupt within three years (it has since been revived by Welsh ex-pat Tim Williams, fitting given the relationship between John Charles and the Lazzarini/Lupins family).  Pipi Lupins and the Lazzarini family were distraught that the boot-making tradition they had pioneered in Italy had disappeared and they decided to establish a new company- Akuna Cinquestelle- in 1997.

The Cinquestelle Classica

The Cinquestelle Classica

These boots may look similar to the Pantofola d’Oro boots I’ve featured here in the past, and indeed they are.  They use many of the same templates for the uppers (note the “U” shaped support on the forefoot that is also used in some Pantofola d’Oro boots), the same embroidered gold starts (five in this case, rather than three), etc..  There is one major difference, however.  While Pantofola d’Oro boots are “handmade” in that they are made, start to finish by one person with a sewing machine and a pot of glue (it’s a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea), they are made in standard sizes with standardize parts.

Cinquestella boots, on the other hand, are completely custom made.  Customers are required to send in the size of each foot, a width measurement, and then depending on the boot in question, to choose between as many as six different sole plates, four different “color ways”, embroidery, color of embroidery, etc.

The Toro

The Toro

And here is the craziest thing of all, you can get a pair of these boots for around $100 + shipping!  The “Toro” model (above) may have a printed logo instead of an embroidered one and is made from less expensive bull hide rather than kangaroo leather or calfskin, but it still has a fully stitched sole, is still built on order for you according to the measurements of each foot, and depending on the sole you choose (their are four options), costs between $95 and $105.

The Storica

The Storica

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Storica.  It comes in only one color, with only one sole plate, and it cannot be embroidered.  Then again, it is made from calfskin, has a buffalo leather footbed, and a sweet picture of Pasquale Lazzarini on the side!  Oh, and it costs $220.  Which, come to think of it, isn’t that bad compared to some of the space shoes that Nike, Adidas, etc. are currently selling.

Personally, I’d have a hard time deciding between the Colibri (all black), the Classica (all black), and the Piuma (all black).  Decisions, decisions, decisions…

I’ll leave you with this:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3CCoN4MPPgxLGz_76KROlQ

Advertisements

One comment on “You want shoe porn, I’ll give you shoe porn!!

  1. Sculptor?!?
    August 4, 2014

    Honestly. I have no need of boots, but I want these. I think I need to find out if they make a ‘street sole’ version. Because.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on August 3, 2014 by in Finances, Football Boots, Old School, Site Business and tagged , .
%d bloggers like this: