Just in case you wanted to ask...
I post images of new general stock items via instagram and facebook (see shop homepage for instagram feed). I only use social media as a gallery though, all enquiries and sales are via the shop.
Footwear stock is always announced via the newsletter.
Do pop in regularly to see what's new, making sure to check specific product listings for updates. Each style listing contains multiple colourways. This format applies to all smaller leathergoods & textiles.
I switch between making footwear & leather goods for extended periods of time so cannot forecast products in advance, but expect varying sizes / styles / colours on release.
I have always specialised in making limited edition stock footwear, its what I do best. It keeps things varied for me as a maker as well as allowing a flood of inspiration and creative freedom that custom alone can never offer. Apologies to anyone who feels frustrated at wanting custom footwear continually available and finds themselves unable to purchase. I do my best.
Materials & Care
Tanneries / Merchants
Leathers are carefully sourced from reputable accredited Italian and British tanneries that work to high ethical and environmental standards, among these are A & A. Crack & Sons, Badalassi Carlo and C. F. Stead. As a maker I am blessed to use these fabulously precious materials in my workshop.
I specialise in artisan leathers simply because they offer instant aged beauty. Expect perfect imperfections throughout. Like knots & grain in real wood, these materials are a canvas of their origin, with marks, wrinkles & scratches worked into each item, embracing the hides individuality to create a unique product which develops rich patina with use. Colours have been carefully chosen to ensure your footwear, bag or purse becomes an everyday, every season, go to accessory.
Many leathers harden during the lasting process as they are sculpted to the shape of the final shoe or boot. Do not be put off by this firmness, after a few wears they will soften and become supple and mellow. The leather insoles will allow your foot to bed into the sole creating its own unique cradle.
Prices vary depending on the leather costs to myself as well as other factors, such as lining, etc with the tannery name / origin (if known) stated on the product description.
Adhesives & Threads
The adhesives I use are the lowest in nasty chemicals (toluene and MEK free) I could find whilst still being highly effective. Stitching threads are British made, superior quality, rot proof and abrasive resistant. My old sewing machines are terribly fussy, they only like to sew with the best.
Always make sure that your shoes are kept well polished to avoid unnecessary wear. Any good polish will do, my preference being old fashioned dubbin (very sticky to apply), just use a small amount and rub in well. Dubbin is the most marvellous leather treatment balm made from almond oil, bees wax and other natural products. Any polish made from natural ingredients is a winner. I also recommend Renapur which smells almost edible. You can buy this on Amazon here.
Polishing your shoes will darken the finish on all leathers apart from the satin finish ones. The *antiqued finish leathers will lighten with wear as the waxes and oils in the leather are displaced. It's a useful indicator that a jolly good polish is needed to replenish both the colour and the finish. If there is any fading then you can use a tinted shoe cream available in shoe shops or online.
Veg tanned leathers develop their own unique patina over time, the colours darken and become rich and burnished. Polish them each month, make it a date ♥ and love them, they will be with you for a very long time.
Fairysteps are all season shoes. Mine have gone boulder hopping at the seaside and the Moors, as well as running and rambling. As with all leather shoes you should avoid wearing in excessively wet conditions as it may cause stretching. I clean off the mud, pop them somewhere lukewarm (not on a radiator), and when dry I give them a polish. The ribbons even get a wash in the sink with warm water and hand soap. My shoes are then ready for the next adventure.
Barefoot comfort soling
I believe that your shoes should feel just like slippers, all day, every day, and our shoes do just that. With all leather interiors your new shoes will naturally give with wear, gradually moulding to your feet and offering glove like comfort.
We use a very durable, highly flexible, lightweight, cushioned, non slip soling. There is no heel, just like Mother nature intended, with the soling offering a good level of bounciness and protection. When the time comes your shoes can be resoled by your local cobbler, thus extending the life of your beloveds and avoiding landfill sites.
I make shoes and boots in sizes UK 3 to UK 8 (no half sizes). Footwear is made to a standard D width fitting, but many of the styles have been especially designed to be adaptable for various width fittings adjusting from narrow to wide.
How to measure
You will need a metric tape, a sheet of paper, pencil and a wall. Use the diagram below to take your length measurement (both feet), then compare to size chart below to find the perfect fit. Allow a little wiggle room based on your own personal preference. If you buy larger sizes in high street shoes to get extra comfort on the width you may need 2 sizes down in fairysteps. Message me if you are unsure.
NOTE: Fairysteps shoes are generous. Customers always 'size down' in our shoes, so as a general rule, order one size down from your usual commercial shoe size, eg: usual size = EU 39 / UK 6, order size = EU 38 / UK 5. Half sizes should go down to the next full size below.
Place a sheet of paper and your heel against a straight wall. With pencil held upright, mark the longest toe. Do this with both feet as they are often different lengths. Use the longest measurement as a guide. If you are ordering boots it is advisable to wear your socks when measuring, for shoes, feet should be barefoot.
Interior finished size of BOOTS, SHOES & CLOSED TOE SANDALS:
UK 3 - Length: 23.8 cm
UK 4 - Length: 24.7 cm
UK 5 - Length: 25.6 cm
UK 6 - Length: 26.5 cm
UK 7 - Length: 27.4 cm
UK 8 - Length: 28.3 cm
Interior finished size of OPEN TOE SANDALS, foot bed from heel cup to front edge (measured at the centre line):
UK 3 - Length: 24.4 cm
UK 4 - Length: 25.3 cm
UK 5 - Length: 26.2 cm
UK 6 - Length: 27.1 cm
UK 7 - Length: 28 cm
UK 8 - Length: 28.9 cm
Sandals such as 'Flittle' are open at the toe, so the exposed foot bed is longer. As such, you may have to size down further to avoid too much room being left beyond your toes. See individual listings for specific sizing information.
Example; my foot length measurement is 25.5 cm and I am a high street shoe size of UK 7. I select size UK 6 for boots & shoes, but I choose a UK 5 in open toe sandals & slip on's.
Overseas Sizing Conversion Table & Order notes for International customers
UK 3 / US 5 / EU 35.5
UK 4 / US 6 / EU 37
UK 5 / US 7 / EU 38
UK 6 / US 8 / EU 39
UK 7 / US 9 / EU 40.5
UK 8 / US 10 / EU 42
Conversions are approximate, don't forget you will need to measure up before ordering to check your actual foot measurement on the chart. An International customer who wears a US size 8 would convert to a UK 6, but will need to select UK 5 when ordering, thus following the 'down one size' rule.
Please note: Customers are responsible for taking accurate measurements following the detailed instructions given. I can only give sizing advice with the information you provide, and even then, on occasion you may have to pay to return footwear for a refund. Feet are fickle things and sometimes only actually trying on footwear can tell you if the fit feels right for you.
I do not offer exchanges, instead please return your initial order which I will then refund (less the initial postage), and then reorder suitable replacements should you wish to.
Delivery & Returns
Delivery costs are calculated at checkout and are based on the basket total. Orders for stock items are sent within 3 to 5 working days of purchase with a dispatch notification sent at time of posting.
UK postage rates
Total £0.01 – £39.00 = £4.50
Total £39.01 – £90.00 = £6.00
Total £90.01 – £205.00 = £8.50
Total £205.01 - £250.00 = £10.00
Total £250.01 and up = £12.00
INTERNATIONAL postage rates
Total £0.00 – £30.00 = £11.00
Total £30.01 – £49.00 = £14.00
Total £49.01 – £90.00 = £18.00
Total £90.01 – £250.00 = £25.00
Total £250.01 – £350.00 = £30.00
Total £350.01 – £440.00 = £40.00
Total £440.01 - £500.00 = £50.00
Total £500.01 and up = £60.00
UK Delivery information
UK footwear orders are sent via either Royal Mail or courier and should be delivered within 5 working days of dispatch notice.
International Delivery information
Your order will be shipped overseas by Royal Mail or courier. Delivery times can vary depending on the destination country but it can take a while. Please allow up to 21 days for your parcel to be delivered. International customers are responsible for any customs charges that may be incurred. I am afraid that custom charges are beyond my control and I am unable to offer quotes of what they might be. Please do check the customs rules within your country before ordering. It is most likely that there will be customs charges for European destinations since Brexit, do check.
Please check the Royal Mail International Incident page to see if there are any current restrictions for postal services from the UK to your country.
Returning goods - PLEASE READ!
I accept returned products within 14 days of date of delivery. Custom footwear can be returned as per conditions below. Custom / Made to Order accessory orders / sales are final and are non returnable. To log a return please contact me with your name and the date of order. Return to: Ren Cuming, Fairysteps, Northridge Farm, Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 8QB, England.
Items must be returned unworn / unused and in the new condition in which they were received, in their original packaging. Always try shoes on a clean carpeted surface to assess fit.
"Footwear should feel comfortably snug, not squished. ONLY when you are completely happy with the initial fit should you wear them. If worn, for any length of time at all, they cannot be returned. This includes walking around your home for periods of time to check for fit, simply because your foot will begin to imprint on the insole and the shoe will start to adopt the shape of your foot. It is the nature and beauty of handmade shoes, but it does render them unsuitable for reselling as new. Always trim your ribbons OR tie in double bows, long ribbons are a tripping hazard! Leather likes to be loved, polish regularly."
Please read the following:
Refunds EXCLUDE the initial and return delivery costs. Refund is not guaranteed and is subject to our review of the returned product. Parcels should be carefully packaged and insured to cover the cost of the item should they be lost. International customers are responsible for any customs charges that may be incurred, either way. Mark international returns clearly as 'Returned Goods' to avoid this.
Customers are responsible for taking accurate measurements following the detailed instructions given on each listing. I can only advise with the information you give me, and even then, on occasion you may have to pay to return footwear for a refund. Feet are fickle things and sometimes only actually trying on footwear can tell you if the fit feels right for you. I am afraid I do not offer an exchange service as such, or even custom remakes, so if you have changed your mind / or decided another pair in stock would suit better, then do please purchase them as a separate order and send the original shoes / boots back to me for a refund. This keeps my accountant very happy (tidy books) and reduces the likelihood of me being Told Off by them... thank you.
DAMAGED PARCELS - If in the unlikely event that your goods have been damaged in transit then please KEEP ALL PACKAGING and send me clear photographs of the package as proof for me to file a claim on your behalf.
Reviews are super important to small businesses so a HUGE thank you to everyone who leaves one.
To read reviews or to leave your own please visit the REVIEWS collection leaving your feedback on the relevant product listing.
If you 'do' social media then please follow @fairysteps.co.uk and tag shares #fairysteps
Made To Order
There is one employee at fairysteps and sadly I've yet to find a way to clone myself. Creating at my own pace, making stock, switching between footwear & leathergoods allows me to avoid burnout. Unfortunately this means that custom listings rarely open (*see note below) and that I do not accept product requests.
I know this is frustrating, but for me to keep busily making rather than offering nothing at all seems a happy medium. Hopefully lady fate will make something 'just right' appear for you before too long.
*NOTE: If custom spaces are offered they are always announced on INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK / SHOP HOMEPAGE / NEWSLETTER. Only limited spaces and styles are ever available. Spaces cannot be reserved in advance and are sold on a first come first serve basis to keep things fair. As ever, I am eternally grateful to my loyal customers who stick by me and my slightly unorthodox way of working. Thank you.
Can you make another?
I'm afraid this gets asked a lot... I specialise in limited editions, usually one of a kind, made as stock items only.
See 'Made To Order' above.
ps. If I could make you a cup of tea to apologise now, I would. The kettles on...