Shoes for the very well-heeled

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Mike Lock­ley Staff Re­porter

THEY are the ul­ti­mate plush pup­pies and the per­fect footwear for men who want to walk with di­a­monds in the sole of their shoes.

But be warned. If you’re con­sid­er­ing these brogues – en­crusted in gems and gold – as a Christ­mas gift, they’ll set you back a cool £10,000.

The Em­pire Di­a­mond Brogues are the lat­est line from House of Borgezie, a Birm­ing­ham Jew­ellery Quar­ter busi­ness that spe­cialises in bling for the su­per-wealthy. In the past, boss Chris Shellis has made head­lines by of­fer­ing di­a­mond-stud­ded, plat­inum stilet­tos for the well­heeled. They cost a stag­ger­ing £200,000 – mak­ing the brogues a real bar­gain.

But users are warned to tread care­fully. One scuff could cost you a lot of money.

They have taken Mr Shellis al­most a year to cre­ate and rep­re­sent the elite com­pany’s first foray into the male mar­ket.

In black, Royal blue, and Sham­rock rac­ing Fer­rari green, red the shoes are guar­an­teed to get tongues wag­ging. They can last a life­time, the boss be­lieves.

“We are look­ing at the VIP mar­ket,” said Mr Shellis, “the su­per-car driv­ers, foot­ballers, show­biz names and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives.”

The master crafts­man has worked on the lux­ury footwear with one of the coun­try’s long­est es­tab­lished cob­blers. Each pair bris­tles with pre­cious metal and stones. The fea­tures in­clude: A stag­ger­ing 68 di­a­monds on the side of the leather soles

18ct gold en­crusted tubes on the tip of the laces. Each tube is stud­ded with a di­a­mond

The Birm­ing­ham hall­mark – nat­u­rally in gold – on the heel. Even the in­soles are 18ct gold. “That en­ables the owner the true lux­ury of al­ways walk­ing on solid gold,” said Mr Shellis. “The metal also has an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties and, pos­si­bly, anti-rheumatic ben­e­fits.”

The brogues also fea­ture very an­cient tech­nol­ogy dat­ing back 2,000 years. Ro­man sol­diers strength­ened their san­dals by in­sert­ing bronze sup­ports in the base. Mr Shellis has done the same – in gold.

He has also de­vised a way of ex­tend­ing the shoe’s lifes­pan. If the leather be­comes worn, the bling can be re­moved and trans­ferred to a new pair, pro­vided by House of Borgezie.

“The longevity is in­cred­i­ble,” said Mr Shellis. “All the di­a­monds and gold fit­ting can be eas­ily trans­ferred to a new pair of brogues, en­abling the owner a life­time of pure lux­ury.”

Mr Shellis ad­mits it’s a high price to pay for shoes, but ar­gued: “These are truly for a man who re­quires the very best in life.

“Re­mem­ber – a man is judged by the shoes he wears.” al­ways

> The Em­pire Di­a­mond Brogues, which have a Birm­ing­ham hall­mark on the heel, plus gold-tipped laces

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