Nothing feels finer than shoes made specially for you. Small wonder. The cobbler will duplicate your feet with wooden 'lasts' - casts on which shoes will be made. In London there are still a handful of Master Bootmakers to make the sturdiest and most comfortable handcrafted footwear. Prices are steep, but it is usually worth it, especially for those with problem feet.

John Lobb, 9 St James St SW1A (071- 930 3664) Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm/Sat 9.30am-4.30pm John Lobb's shop is one of the few remaining West End Master Bootmakers. With past customers including the Emperor of Ethiopia, Guy Burgess, Alfred Hitchcock, Groucho Marx, Yul Brynner, Laurence Olivier, the Queen and the Prince of Wales, and prices starting at pounds 1,120 for a pair, this is truly a place for the well-heeled. Specific designs can be drawn up (the shoes may take three months to make). Men and women's start at pounds 1,120 and riding boots cost pounds 2,500.

James Taylor and Son, 4 Paddington St W1M (071-935 4149) Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm/Sat 9.45am-12.45pm

This is like stepping into the Twilight Zone. Old Sherlock Holmes booties line the walls like big bat ears, juxtaposed with New Age Birkenstocks. But never fear. Harley Street doctors frequently send clients. Shoes start at pounds 595 plus value-added tax and cost pounds 495 for subsequent pairs. They can take up to two months to make (personal designs welcome).

Jimmy Choo, Studio 50, The Metropolitan Workshop, Enfield Rd N1 (071 249 2082) Mon-Fri 10am-6pm/Sat 10am-3pm

Specialises in evening shoes and fancy party shoes and sandles, but makes boots and everyday shoes. First fitting to ready-to-wear takes two to three weeks, with prices from pounds 220 a pair. Too busy to make up new designs, but will alter or adapt (colours, heel height) any of its own to customer's specifications. Book for fitting.

Deliss, 41 Beauchamp Place SW3 (071 584 3321) Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm/Sat 12noon-4pm

Some of George Deliss's best customers are Jack Nicholson, Patsy Kensit, Alan Bates and Marie Helvin. In particular, he caters for people with problem feet. Women's shoes start at pounds 373 plus VAT, men's at pounds 472. Customers can have designs realised. Fitting to end product is up to two weeks.

Johnny Moke, 396 King's Rd SW10 (071 351 2232) Mon-Sat 10.30am-6.30pm

High fashion shoes to order (Cher and Madonna are regular afficionados of Moke's 4in kick and stab mules). Choose from 500 fabrics (suedes, satins, gross grains) and over 300 styles. Prices start at pounds 175 for a pair of hand made women's shoes, and range to pounds 350 for boots. A deposit of half the price is taken.

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