We think it's important for you to know that you are investing in a company that stands by their products and practices and puts their clients first. We will always help where there is a genuine issue with the fit of your boots regardless of who measured you. We are as passionate today as we were when we introduced our iconic boots to the world almost 15 years ago and all but a tiny few will have perfect fitting boots, first time - time after time. We decided to write this blog to explain exactly what happens and our commitment to you from our perspective when the fit isn't quite perfect.
Buying custom boots is indeed an investment and not everyone can visit the studio to be measured professionally. The numbers of boots that don’t fit properly are incredibly low (less than ½ %) when we consider the number of boots we sell. Even then all is definitely not lost and we are here to help.
When you send us your measurements
Firstly, before we place an order where we have not measured the client personally, which accounts for over 50% of all orders, we follow a very strict process of checking the measurements. Studying them very closely (literally) requesting new measurements and zooming with the client so we can oversee any measurements we want to triple check.
Most clients are comforted by our due diligence, but some find us a bit of a nuisance and it can take weeks or months before we will accept the order. We are not in business to simply make boots and for them not be perfect. We will do absolutely everything possible to be as sure as possible the boots will fit. We will persist with checking until we are totally satisfied they are as accurate as possible.
We do make our boots to the precise measurements supplied but that doesn’t mean two boots ordered at the same time will feel totally identical – the fit will ultimately depend on the model and the leather selected. Models do feel different as we have various foot shapes and leathers which may also feel very different and we will discuss during your consultation.
At the time the leather is cut we know what stretch that skin will have and the order is cut according to that. So for instance, a leather with no stretch vs one with a lot of stretch means they will arrive with one feeling practically perfect from day one and the other may feel very tight but ultimately after breaking in they will both feel more or less the same.
If you follow our measuring guide perfectly, we are totally confident from years and years of experience and so many happy returning clients, that you will not go wrong.
The top 3 things you must never do:
- Measure yourself - however tempting!
- Use measurements that you used for another brand of boots – they will not work other than the foot and height (possibly)
- Add or subtract any mm/cm – at all!
What we do when we receive your measurements …
We will literally scrutinise them for imperfections, which, with so much experience, becomes rather obvious. For instance, under the knee where the boots will end (measurement 8) will rarely be bigger than the calf and if it is we can assume in most cases it’s been measured too high. This is not to say it can’t be the same, those with very slim calves will actually have little difference between the calf measurement and the under-knee measurement and sometimes (even more rarely) under the knee will be bigger so this is one area we focus on when we first set eyes on a set of measurements.
Possibly the hardest measurement is the height. We provide photos for our measurements rather than a video as we want you to see precisely where to measure rather than a video where it might not be so easy to view as you are measuring. We have a top tip for the top and also compare the measurement with an existing pair of boots.
At the point we have a full set that has been checked, if we are still a little unsure we will have a final ZOOM to see anywhere we are unsure of ‘in person’.
If we simply took the first set of measurements supplied, we would not have the reputation that we do.
But after all this the boots have arrived and don’t fit? Regardless of who did the measurements:
Firstly, we need to look at why you think they don’t fit. If they are just incredibly tight all over and made in a soft matte leather this just wouldn’t alarm us. The rule of thumb with custom boots is that if they zip, even with some effort, they just need breaking in. With a matte leather on some models if they are not tight they may well not retain their shape.
Secondly, we need to work out what measurement may have been wrong as it could be tight in just one area.
In almost all cases the boots will stretch naturally quite fast and it’s usual in the studio for clients to say, within ten minutes, they feel better already! So why does this happen? When your boots are removed from your mould there will be an element of shrinkage but once your legs are inside the boots and you warm up the leather it returns to the shape and size we made. Depending on the leather will depend on how long this takes.
We know leather and we know our leather - which is exceptional. We are not fobbing anyone off when we explain how our measurements work and how our leather is cut. We make a truly handmade product crafted by incredible artisans who have been leather workers their entire lives and these skills have, in many cases, been passed down through generations. We are known for the perfect fitting boots and customer service – we would not have that reputation if we did not know our craft.
Some things to try first and do not panic!
We do send out fitting instructions with your new boots but many are so excited to get in them (totally expected) and they don’t read them first but here are our top three tips!
- Try them on first thing in the morning (if you haved failed at any other time of the day).
- Wear your thinnest breeches and ankles socks
- Step into the boots from standing, this might be a struggle, then sit to zip them up the first time (always)
We will automatically ask for a new set of measurements; this is NOT implying you have gained or lost weight but we want to see if anything has changed as we will need to stretch them to a new measurement if necessary. This is also not us trying to deflect anything at all but simply to ascertain where the issue is, we are trying to help and will help. Without exception.
Out of 24 measurements it is not possible for us to get them all wrong – in the past 5 years we have made a typo on 2 pairs of boots and this has been on 1 measurement of the 24. We have also omitted (on 1 pair of boots) to not add in the space to accommodate a full sheepskin lining. We cut very, very precisely by hand and this is all triple checked before the leather arrives on the cutting table which is then checked by laser first so we really do ensure we cut the measurements we have. Every time.
IF a full set of measurements come back and every measurement has changed we know one of two things has happened – they were measured wrongly (it is not unheard of that someone has not measured from zero!) or the measurements have changed! There is no other explanation and 99% of times in this instance the measurements have changed.
One client was recently measured by us and between the fitting and the collection had gone from not riding at all to back to riding all day and every measurement had changed consistently. Riders generally think their leg measurements do not change but we know from extensive experience they absolutely, 100% do. We still remade these boots even though everything had changed.
All this said it’s just so rare for these situations to arise due to our extensive checking in the studio or online. Be confident. Follow the guide. Get perfect boots.
Ok I’ve read all that they don’t fit, so what happens next?
If the boots are just super tight and you can’t cope with breaking them in and they do not have laces (if you have laces adjust the laces) we will still ask for a full set of measurements. If nothing has changed we will collect and stretch at absolutely no cost to you. If the measurements have changed significantly we may just remake them. In any case and as per our terms and conditions of sale you would only pay shipping costs and the replacement would be identical boots in the new sizes. Any change to design will incur costs.
Regardless of why the measurements are different, if they are, we will offer solutions but please do remember we are the same people you have been working with the entire time so please do be kind, we will resolve the situation without a doubt. Speak to us in the first instance. Ultimately and in the worst-case scenario we can remake them - on the odd occasion we receive some very rude emails or phone calls it really is soul destroying and totally unnecessary. It’s very hard to get the solution right as nothing is good enough and usually we know at that point there is nothing we can do (but not through trying) – we are a super small company and we want every client to have perfect boots.
But do you make mistakes ? Come on.
Rarely as detailed above but we try incredibly hard not to and succeed over 99% of the time. Do we provide solutions which have included stretching, altering, remaking or refunding in all of those cases? Yes.
We just can’t help if we are not aware of a problem and we will do our best to help if the boots are unworn (because you can’t get them on or they are too tight). If you have worn them we can only offer stretching (or adding an elastic panel) as a solution but this will be quicker and cheaper for you to do locally and we can usually suggest someone for you.
The celeris effect
The beauty of celeris is that consistent fit, the joy of the same hands on the same table making your boots time after time. We are not a production line, we are an old-fashioned, traditional and passionate company. We are so proud of the company we are today and we are who we are because of our loyal clients who have grown our company as much as we have, they are our cheerleaders and we hear them.
We are here to make sure you receive the most perfect boots and in all but a very few situations you will. It is our soul mission to deliver perfect boots every single time. And that is a fact.