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Tramezza: A Shoe For Gentlemen

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Written by Aksel Ritenis

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An impeccable balance of tradition and modernity, the tramezza construction shoe is the most exclusive segment of Salvatore Ferragamo men’s footwear.

Prestige detailing, clean lines, quality materials and comfortable fit are the hallmarks of all Ferragamo shoes but they approach the sublime when the tramezza technique is combined with the craftsmanship and tradition of an almost century old brand.

Tramezza is a traditional technique representing the ultimate in men’s handcrafted footwear. The procedure can be used on many types of model, the common denominator being long lasting form and perfect bonding of sole and upper.

The tramezza is the defining feature of the shoe. It’s a thick yet flexible layer of leather sandwiched between the insole and the sole.

tramezza-shoe-2The upper is anchored to the insole by internal stitching through the welt, a long strip of leather. At this point, the tramezza is inserted and with a second stitching, known as “quick stitching”, the welt is attached to the sole: a construction system with three layers of leather totalling 12 millimetres. The leather sole is hand shaped and finished by expert craftsmen, its perimeter having been determined on the last.

The construction also involves the use of two supports: one is inside the tramezza and made of steel – the “shank” patented by Salvatore Ferragamo in the Twenties – to support and stabilize the shoe under the arch of the foot, and the other, made of beech, is placed under the tramezza to further increase stability and help shape the sole at the point on which the bulk of the body’s weight is centred.

Tramezza construction also has the exclusive advantage of extending the life of the shoe, since a worn-out sole can be replaced by working on the quick stitching only and without altering the rest of the construction.

tramezza-shoe-3One of the marks of excellence in Ferragamo tramezza models is the selection of materials: the upper is made of top quality hand-finished leather, the inside lining in the heel area is an anti-slip leather turned inside out, the stiffening on the toe and heel is made of natural materials attached with ecological adhesives enabling the upper to stay flexible, the insole is soft vegetable-tanned leather, the sole is real leather and the heel is leather and anti-slip rubber.

Ferragamo tramezza shoes are also the only ones on the market in which the tramezza is not cork but leather softened in running water, which makes it more flexible and breathable and helps take on an anatomical shape as soon as it comes into contact with the natural warmth of the foot.

The highly complex construction process carried out in the Salvatore Ferragamo workshops has 320 separate, standardized phases requiring over six hours work by an expert shoemaker and over four days shaping of the upper on a last.

This is a shoemaking tradition that produces two collections of tramezza shoes a year, available in Ferragamo stores all over the world.

tramezza-shoe-4Another exclusive, available in Ferragamo flagship stores, is the sophisticated “made to order” service. With a choice of nine models, customers can personalize their tramezza shoes by selecting from a range of colours, materials and combinations.

After a thorough fitting session conducted by skilled personnel, the customer’s pair of unique shoes are delivered within 60 days of placing an order: the shoes come in a red padded case and bear the owner’s initials punched into the leather.

Tramezza construction gives shoes certain unique characteristics: extraordinary flexibility and retention of shape, resistance to wear, impermeability and durability over time.

Tramezza is above all a byword for extreme, incomparable comfort. Thanks to the elasticity afforded by the working and quality of the materials, contact with the warmth of the foot enables the shoe to model itself naturally to the foot and memorize the “cast”. A perfect system of “reaction”, the fruit of meticulous anatomical studies, ensuring that each shoe is for one foot in particular. This makes it the made-to-measure shoe par excellence, worldwide.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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