Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant

Christophe Varraud

Bespoke production of lasts and shoe trees
295 chemin de l'étang
13220 Chateauneuf les Martigues
Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur

Sale to private individuals and professionals
The company was founded in 2011 by Mr. Varraud who comes from a family of shoemakers in the Ardèche that goes back at least 5 generations. Christophe Varraud manufactures made to measure shoe trees, featuring some of the rarest expertise in France.
The use of machinery requires great concentration and substantial experience as the work is carried out by presenting the parts on rotating machines by hand (cutters, drills, sanders, etc). The shape is achieved by sculpting pieces of wood entirely by hand. Each piece is sanded down with a band saw. A pantograph is then used to achieve the shape based on a "standard" shape. The pantograph simultaneously creates the shape of the left shoe and that of the right shoe. Finishing involves removing the small excess by hand and polishing the piece. The "standard" shape is produced using the dimensions of the foot, measured by its length and several circumferences at 4 or 5 locations along the length. It represents the shape of the shoe and not the shape of the foot; it is shaped by hand. The shoe tree is a form that is hollowed out to make it lighter and cut into 2 pieces articulated with a hinge.

Their clientele is mainly composed of businesses and private customers. Part of their production is purchased by private collectors, some of whom make their own shoes.