Every single pair of Docksides has been on its own unique journey, crafted
by the hands of expert artisans who, with years of experience and highly specialized skills, lovingly transform a single piece of leather into a work of art and a lifelong companion.
From hide to leather
Each shoe starts out at a tannery, where compounds known as tanning agents are applied to the natural animal hides. Tanning is one of, if not the most important stage of leather production, as it preserves the skins and stops them from decomposing: it’s what gives the leather its durability and ensures every Docksides shoe stands the test of time. !ere are various types of tanning methods, however the most common are chemical (using several agents that give the hide a light blue colour), plant-based (using tannin, a substance extracted from the bark of specific tree species) and mineral (using mineral compounds like chromium and aluminium salts). Tanning also has major advantages on an environmental level, as it takes a by-product of the meat industry and gives it a new life: waste that would otherwise be disposed of, or worse still, sent to land"ll, contributing to the destabilization of our ecosystem.
Precision, care and expertise
The leather is now ready and construction can begin: a long and rigorous process comprised of several complex and technically demanding steps. The first? Cutting the leather into the different sections that make up the upper and the lining of the shoe using a special tool called a cutting die, which is essentially a template that ensures optimal precision, and maximum efficiency. A punch can then be used to add any embellishments, such as perforations or cut-outs, while a paring knife is used to shave down the edges in order to prevent the joints from becoming bulky. Then it's time for the pieces to be stitched together, a step that requires extreme precision, care and hand-eye coordination. A key part of this involves a technique known as lasting, and this is when the shoe really begins to take shape. !e lower part of the upper is stretched over a special mould called a last, which is in simple terms a wooden model of a foot, and is key to a comfortable "t. !e vamp is then carefully sewn on by hand to create the Docksides’ signature raised apron stitching. Unlike the yarn that would be used on a sewing machine, the individual strands comprising the thread are twisted, rather than intertwined, making them stronger and more durable. !is stage is the foundation of the entire process and can only be carried out by skilled shoemakers who know the anatomy of our Docksides inside and out.
Next up: the sole that revolutionized the sailing landscape
Then it's time for our craftsmen to turn their attention to the shoe's famous non-slip, nonmarking rubber sole, which is produced using a compression molding technique is involves positioning a piece of rubber that has been cut in advance to the correct shape and weight, inside of a heated mold. The mold is then clamped tight until the rubber has vulcanized into its new, final form. Once the sole has been trimmed and cleaned, it can be attached to the shoe.
A few final touches
Finally, the shoe undergoes a finishing process to make sure it looks its best. Our artisans meticulously remove any stray threads, excess glue or other marks, accepting nothing but perfection. After this, the insole can be inserted, which marks the very final stage before packaging.
And it’s buon viaggio!
Before the shoes are placed inside their box, separated by tissue paper to prevent them from rubbing against each other, a shoe filler is fitted inside each one, helping them to maintain their all-important shape during transport. Finally, a barcode label is stuck to the box so that our warehouse and shop-front staff can quickly and easily identify which model, size and color are inside, and ensure that each pair arrives safely to their new owner.