What are Hand Painted Shoes

Posted on 8th October 2020

The footwear industry is an ever changing industry, with new designs arriving every season, new ways to measure your feet to find the perfect size  and now even the ability to design your own bespoke shoes from the comfort of your home; it really begs the question what will come next?

Well one of the newest trends to take the shoe industry by storm this season are hand painted shoes!

Now before you say anything, all of our shoes are hand finished, however for the majority of our calf skin shoes, these leathers used are pre-coloured during the tanning process, and then finished by hand to give them shading or a shine. ‘Hand painted’ leather is where this entire process of colouring the leather is done by hand. To get the rich colour into an unfinished ‘crust’ leather, the paint is applied layer by layer all by hand, giving each shoe a unique Patina and finish. The painting of each shoe does not begin until it is completely constructed.

This is all orchestrated by a skilled ‘Patina Artist’ who will hand paint each shoe individually, using nothing but their hands, brushes, white cloths, and a set of colour dyes. It is this hands-on approach that gives each and every shoe its own personality and flair.

This technique is known as ‘Anticutura’ which is an Italian phrase for antique finishing relating to the weathered effect the brush strokes leave on the leather.


How to care for hand painted shoes

The beauty of hand painted shoes lies within each individual brush stroke left on the upper, so maintaining these characteristics is the main goal.

To do so we recommend using a neutral leather cream as the cream will feed the leather without altering the colour, this is very important to hand painted shoes as keeping the leather nourished will stop the leather from drying out and potentially cracking.

We recommend using the Saphir Renovateur as the best product to maintain hand painted shoes and preserve the original colours.

Like all leather shoes, over time they will age and create their own story as you polish and wear them, so it is important to remember that the colour they are now will not be the same colour in many years to come. But remember, these are made using incredible leathers, that will age beautifully if cared for and as they were created with unique brush strokes, you will then create your own unique story within the leather.


Great Hand Painted Shoes from Loake Shoemakers

With the launch of the new ‘Artist Collection’ Loake Shoemakers are leading the way in the British footwear industry towards this new trend. The ‘Artist Collection’ brings in a whole new range of styles all built on a brand new last. Here are a few of our favourite from Loake.



Brand new from the Loake Artist collection.

The Hepworth is on a classic wing tip brogue created in a perfectly autumnal Chestnut.  A classic style which is easy to wear with blue or brown colours, you can’t go wrong with these.

Available in Chestnut

 Loake Hepworth £190.00


The Stubbs a plain derby with minimal detailing, this really does accentuate each individual brushstroke, showing off the patina artist’s true skill.  For those that love the hand painted finish, this shoe will really show this off for you.

Available in Burgundy & Chestnut

Loake Stubbs £190.00


The Hirst is the only boot in this range and great for the weather, these boots are equipped with Loake’s ‘Lattice sole’.

This sole gives the user the slim profile of a traditional leather sole, however its rubber sole section will give the wearer grip on those wet cobbles!

I particularly like the plain ankle section where there is minimal burnishing, allowing you to see the patina brush strokes perfectly.

Available in Chestnut & Burgundy

Loake Hirst £195.00

Get Winter Ready

Hand painted shoes have the same construction properties as your regular goodyear welted shoes and can certainly be repaired like a normal goodyear welted shoe.

With the wet weather on the way, now is the perfect time to get your shoes refurbished to allow you to take the winter weather head on.

With a variety of soling options available, why not switch your traditional leathers soles to a harder wearing, better gripping rubber sole for the winter!

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