Anatomy of Rozsnyai Shoes

3

October 26, 2013 by Ville Raivio

Keikari’s left-hand corner flies the banner of Rozsnyai (pronounced ROASH-gnaw-yee) shoes, so this article is not a review but a presentation of the Austro-Hungarian school of shoemaking from one company’s perspective. The history and selection of these cordwainers have been featured in June along with a few select photos of this MTM pair’s birth, but now it’s high time to take a look at the make and finish.¬†One Hungarian house is mentioned often thanks to their fascinating book and wide range of lasts. The country’s long history of the gentle craft has made Budapest home to several makers more, with varying levels of international repute. Rozsnyai is one of them, and this is their shoe story.

Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com02 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com03Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com04

The Package

The example pair is a Budapester variant in mid-brown Italian buffalo leather with a 360-degree natural storm welt, white goyser stitching, Eton rubber sole from Vibram and my signature choice of purple lining. A variant because the traditional Budapester is a derby, usually with an elongated wingtip, but this model is an oxford — an interesting mix that caught my eye. Rozsnyai’s pairs arrive in a large, golden, sturdy shoebox with a matte surface and a green velvet lid with the maker’s gilt name. Shoeboxes are too often dull workhorses, designed and made for convenience rather than presentation, so this one made me smile.

Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com05 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com06Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com07

Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com08

The U-shaped shoe bags continue the chosen matte form in cream colour and are made from polyester satin instead of cotton flannel. Though on the small side, the bags are sturdy and made to last. Rozsnyai’s shoe trees are unpolished and -lacquered, with a beechy smell and a hefty knob as well as toe to fill the Budapester last. The heels are rounded and shapely, the instep curves with a strong angle. The spring has enough give without being tight.

Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com09Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com10Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com11Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com12

The Finer Points

The upper leather is surprisingly pliable and soft for buffalo, with a small, neat grain. Smarter than I expected. Thanks to the Eton rubber soles, which are softer than Dainite but harder than Ridgeway, the pair is heavy. Coupled with the Budapester last with its high-reaching toe and the goyser welt, the end result is rus in urbe in shoe form. These stitchings travel around the welt in even, tight pairings. The leather stiffener makes the toe area extremely stiff just like the heelcup. The latter has more give around the sides of the ankle but very little at the middle. The uppers are joined with exact, tight rows of thread in mid-brown colour to match the leather.

Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com13 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com14 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com15 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com16

While the last follows the contours of my feet naturally, as is proper for a MTM pair, it has no aggressive curves so beautiful on smart shoes. The instep is very high as well as the heel cup, a surprise that was bested with separate, high, cork-filled sock liners. Three details separate a Rozsnyai pair from others. The insole is rough and unfinished, but covered with a separate, un-glued cork sock with pinked edges. A detail I haven’t seen on other pairs. The same goes for the sewn shoelace holder on the tongue, and the leather arch support which reaches from the heelcup to the middle of the shoe. After inquiring about the three, I was told that they’re default details on all models. The company’s artisanal make allows its cordwainers plenty of time to make each step the good old way, in true Hungarian spirit.

Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com17 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com18 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com19 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com20 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com21 Anatomy_of_Rozsnyai_Shoes_at_Keikari_dot_com22


3 comments »

  1. […] latest post in a series on the fineries of Austro-Hungarian shoemaking picks off where the last Budapester post concluded. The newer example pair is a MTM austerity oxford in orange-brown Italian buffalo leather […]

  2. Duncan MacDonad-Korth says:

    Thanks for this great post! For anybody looking to purchase a wonderful pair of these shoes, visit our site http://www.sourceculture.co.uk. We seel Rozsnyai’s shoes directly from the manufacturer and ship internationally.

  3. These are interesting shoes. There are many fine leathermakers in the city of Budapest. I will have to visit you next time I am there.

    The Hobo Prep,
    Always Homeward Bound.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Only a beautiful life is worth living.


"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell