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Lexus-inspired shoe uses upholstery leather in the upper

Sports footwear brand Norman Walsh has worked with Lexus to produce a limited-edition, hand-crafted athletic shoe inspired by the quality and craftsmanship of the automotive company’s CT F Sport luxury, self-charging, hybrid hatchback.

Called the CT, the shoe draws on the design, colour palette and interior materials of the car. The upper combines bright red perforated leather and black suede, with contrast red stitching. The soles are made from hard-wearing PVC.

Walsh’s head of design, Jason Crompton, said at the time of the launch of the new shoe that the “soft and supple” leather upholstery that Lexus uses in its CT range helped inspire the footwear brand. The leather Walsh has used to make the limited-edition shoe is material that would more usually go into an automotive interior.

Mr Crompton said: “Here we had a small, hand-made shoe business working together with an automotive giant, yet there was a nice duality between our shared approach to craftsmanship and luxury detail. This made it a rewarding project for us to work on and we are very pleased with the results, which draw directly on the inspiration provided by the Lexus CT F Sport.”

For his part, Ewan Shepherd, UK director of Lexus, commented: “We are passionate about craftsmanship and quality. We receive lots of positive feedback about the brave design of our range of cars, which are contemporary yet different in the marketplace. The CT F Sport is one of the most effective in bringing new customers to the Lexus brand, particularly those leading busy urban lifestyles. This made our partnership with Walsh a natural meeting of minds and the result is an innovative sports trainer that delivers both amazing looks and great performance.”

Lexus insists that, just as its cars have inspired the new Norman Walsh sports shoe, sport has also inspired models such as the CT 200h F Sport, which it says is evident in the car’s “sharper styling and sports-themed interior”.

All the CT shoes are manufactured in the UK at Norman Walsh Footwear’s Bolton factory. The company was founded in 1961 by Norman Walsh, the son of a cobbler who became a master of his craft while working for another local shoemaker after World War II.

Mr Walsh was chosen to work on high-profile sporting commissions, including making the running shoes worn by Roger Bannister when he broke the four-minute mile in 1954. Norman Walsh Footwear also produced the first mountain and fell running shoes. More recently, the company has has embarked on a series of joint-projects with leading fashion designers, leading to this new collaboration with Lexus.

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