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Shoe patina – the art and the expression

Shoe patina – the art and the expression

March 28, 2018

What is a shoe patina?

The term patina usually refers to the surface of an object, which has acquired an aged look over many years. Artists have used techniques using dyes and pigments to create a patina, for example if they want to achieve an antiqued look.

Most shoes are made with leathers that are pre-dyed a particular colour before the shoes are made.

Thomas Bird shoes are made using natural undyed calf leathers which are then coloured or ‘painted’ by hand once the shoes are made. This process may take several steps as the dye is applied in stages and polished to produce its final rich patina.

Our standard shoe patinas are created by skilled artisans in Italy and include oxblood, blue, green, tan and various shades of brown. Even our black shoes have a patina which you can see if you look closely. Patina shoes will all be slightly different, and this uniqueness adds to their character.

Custom patina colours

Custom Patina

We also now offer an additional range of custom patina shoes. These are an even higher level patina created to order by a master patina specialist in London. These currently include tan, oxblood, blue, green, purple and grey as can be seen in the photo above.

Our custom patina range feature more vibrant colours with the deliberate classic streaks seen in high end patina shoes. They are intended to be striking and beautiful. They can make an outfit look even more stunning, as can be seen below with this photo from the @thesuitedtraveller on Instagram.

Thomas Bird Custom Blue Patina

Thomas Bird Custom Blue Patina – more photos (Photo credit @thesuitedtraveller)

Custom patina colour range

Shoe patinas – the colours and tones are endless.

See our current custom patina range.

Thomas Bird



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Size Chart

Thomas Bird fits fairly true to size. If in doubt, go half a size smaller. This size guide shows how EU sizes compare to US and UK sizing. Please ask our advice and tell us what you normally wear and we'll be happy to help.

Europe UK USA CM
39 6 7 23
40 6.5 7.5 25
41 7 8 26
42 8 9 27
43 9 10 28
44 10 11 29
45 11 12 29.5
46 12 13 30.5
47 12.5 13.5 31