The First of its Kind.

When we started Seven Feet Apart, we knew that we wanted to bring comfort to fashion. Making the Original 172 is the start of a journey to see that vision come to life. All its innovations were intended to become signatures of all our products.

The Pioneer 396 is the ground-breaking first.

We have crafted a shoe that has the soul of finest handmade traditions while giving it the heart of a state-of-the-art sneaker. The result is a classic Goodyear Welted brogue that epitomises our design philosophy – to deliver you style and beauty with sublime comfort.

Like all pioneering stories, we’ve had to explore what is possible, to push conventions and to brave mistakes. A quest to a better product isn’t always the easiest. Now though, in the Pioneer 396, it is the most comfortable.


An outstanding Goodyear Welted Brogue is widely recognised as the finest example of the craft of shoemaking. Alongside our forthcoming women’s range, it has been our ambition to make the best shoe in the world, with all the hallmarks of quality, expertise and elegance.

The Pioneer 396 is a derby closure wing tip shoe with full stitched and punched brogueing. No longer crafted to drain water in the same way as they did historically, the pattern is now synonymous with sartorial elegance.

Each pair of Pioneer 396s are handmade in Portugal from carefully selected full grain Tuscan calf leather from Italy, with lining in the same, and sitting on a sole of leather with a harder-wearing rubber top piece on the heel. Crafting the finest shoe demands the finest materials, stronger, more durable, and more beautiful.

We have built the shoe with a rounded storm welt. As iconic as a typical welt, it also provides improved bad weather performance, sealing the shoe from moisture. The silhouette is smart formal, built on a longer last for an elegant yet sharp look. The Pioneer 396 features a soft tapering almond shape toe and is finished with a brogue rose.


The Pioneer 396 is a beautiful shoe with performance engineered within it. The Pioneer 396 is the first shoe ever to feature both our Comfort Bridge System and the Comfort Forever footbed, innovations developed for and derived from our Original 172 sneaker.

Imagine this, a formal shoe that feels as comfortable as your sneakers – all day long.

What you want from a hard-working brogue is all-day long comfort in style. What you get is aches and pains from thin, compacted footbeds, tarsal stress and blisters from poor construction, cheap materials and wear and tear. The Pioneer 396 is different.

To remove the pressure lesser brogues put on your tarsel bridge (the bit on top of your foot), we developed our unique Comfort Bridge System. Made of neoprene, it crosses the area where your laces sit, creating a fit like a glove and outstanding comfort performance. It also adds a flash of colour, in tonals and Signature Red. We’ve also added neoprene to the back of the heel.

The Goodyear Welted Brogue is a full leather shoe that can need to be broken in. There is a guide about how to do so in the box.

Read more here


While our designers and craftsmen stepped from prototype to prototype to bring the Comfort Bridge System to life, we turned our attention to our next challenge. Could we make the best cushion between your feet and the ground you walk on? We researched anatomical footbeds and advanced materials for cushioning. Then we engineered the Comfort Forever footbed.

Let's break it down:

  • Calf leather lining gives you a beautiful touch of luxury
  • PORON Performance Cushioning, memory material rebounds and won’t degrade, expertly shaped to give you heel and arch support.
  • A Santized EVA layer for odour protection
  • A Texon flexible in-sole for long distance comfort
  • A Bartoli base-layer insulates your foot from ground temperatures
  • Felt gives you one more layer of protection and comfort


We are happily obsessed with the finest details of the Pioneer 396 and have employed a skilled hand crafted process to finish the sole with a subtle, beautiful concave edge.

We are confident that you’ll be delighted with the Pioneer 396 and we have signed it off with a Gentlemen’s corner. Once a practical addition so trousers didn’t catch in shoes as you walked, it is now an acknowledgement to the highest craftsmanship and quality.

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