G.J. Cleverley Snuff Suede Lazyman Shoes review
A brief review of an unusual and (in spite of fitting very poorly) rather beautiful pair from renowned bespoke maker George Cleverley.
The "Lazyman" is a dress shoe that features the elasticated side panels commonly found on Chelsea boots. They are named for the ease with which one can slip them on and off - an ease bordering on laziness, one could say.
This bespoke pair from George Cleverley had a couple of interesting design details. The overall design is very minimalistic - no captoe or broguing - just a distinct instep bordered by the elastic gussets. The toe section features a double row of stitching, with a discreet single row bordering the heel and quarters.
The elastic itself has an interesting aquamarine colouring on the interior. Not something you'd notice when worn, but a fun detail for the owner.
Incidentally, Lazyman shoes can be a tricky purchase when buying vintage. As with Chelsea boots, the elastic degrades relatively quickly when worn, and be quite costly to replace in a way that still looks neat. The elastic in this case was pretty immaculate, though.
The shoe trees were interesting - I believe they were from the original pair, but the writing on the tree refers to a "3 tie" - quite clearly, this pair have no lacing to speak of. I suppose they might have been from another pair from the original owner. They were a great example of a pair of travel-friendly trees though - hollowed out on the inside, they were extremely light. It's interesting that we traditionally associate weight and heft with quality, but with shoetrees the lighter the better.
If they were the original pair then it's fascinating to note that this pair are nearly fifty years old, but in damn near pristine condition. One day I hope to be able to buy a £4,000 pair of shoes and then never wear them for 50 years.
Sole finishing was of course very neat - modern iGents accustomed to fiddled soles and beveled waists will be disappointed with the understated approach favoured by vintage bespoke makers.
A couple of pictures below showing the condition of the suede, and the fineness of the stitch detailing. The second picture also shows the colour very well - this particular tobacco brown is pretty on-trend.
A final shot to show the neat dovetail seams at the rear.
Unfortunately, these were a prime example of tricky bespoke shoe sizing. On paper, the outsole and shoe tree measurements should have been a good fit for my UK 9.5 feet. But when worn they were obviously unbearably uncomfortable in every way - pinching at some points, slipping others. Luckily they went on to find a happy home through eBay.