April 18, 2014 by Ville Raivio
This 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 with round but chiseled toe, natural welt with white stitching, dark purple lining, flush steel toe guards and single oak bark leather soles with beveled waist. The pair arrived in a sturdy gold colour box with dark green velvet lid and wooden shoe trees.
They were made with my measurements and choice of features, and a critical look on fit is crucial. These austerities fit closer than any other pair in my ever-growing collection. Somewhat thicker socks will do, but anything above three-ply will make an uncomfortable fit. The last was adjusted most at the heelcups, which will simply not bulge in any direction when worn. Again, this is something I haven’t experienced with other shoes and the sensation will need some time to accustom to.
Some discomfort was due as the left pair isn’t as wide on the ball of foot as I’d prefer, but the upper stretched nicely with the help of simple wear and several layers of corn bandaids applied on the left shoe tree. This trick I found from Shoegazing.se, the Swedish gift to shoe nerds the world over. Apart from the very close fit, the pair feels different on pavement. They’ve hardly any cork under the midsole and any bumps or rocks do feel through the soles. This will also take some time to get used to. Like other Hungarian cordwainer wonders, the pair is very light and has the Rozsnyai house style features: leather stiffeners and arch support reaching almost to the vamp, lace keeper on the tongue, separate gimped cork sock liners and unfinished leather insoles.
The smooth buffalo leather has a nice inner glow, and the photos attached were taken before any additional layers of shoe polish. While fine calf is baby bum smooth, the buffalo uppers have a nice surface grain that suits the brogue-less austerity style well. As for the beveled waist, it’s narrower and more curvaceous than those offered by, say, Edward Green, but not as aggressive as the likes on Gaziano&Girling pairs. They’re finished with the maker’s signature and black-yellow staining and wheeled details. I look forward to many comfortable years together.