Interview with Raul Ojeda


Explain your love for shoes

I’ve always been into shoes, growing up I was very selective on the shoes I’d wear. Through my youth I only wore sneakers so I was interested in color themes and styles. For a few years, I worked in a shoe shine parlor, where I became interested in dress footwear, the different styles that “better dressed” gentleman would wear.

In 2004 I started to apprentice shoemaking for a true classic bespoke shoemaker. He had been making shoes for sixty years then and I learnt so much about shoes from him. I learnt about the advantages of wearing a good shoe, a shoe that fits well, but more importantly today I love shoes, because I can make them the way I like them.

What’s the favorite pair of shoes you ever owned?

Through the years I have had many favorites. My top three:

  1. The first pair of shoes I made for myself, blue electric patented leather Oxfords.
  2. John Lobb Saint Crispin 2010
  3. Nike Cortez. (all time fav, growing up)

Why custom shoes?

Shoes are now made for the “average Joe”, so if you have a particularity with your feet, or are specific about what you like to wear, shoes at the store may not always satisfy your needs. Custom Shoes from my workshop are made to fit you better, and since they are made for you, you decide the style and colors. So, custom or bespoke, having them made for you really makes a difference on every step.

What does El Calzado mean to you?

El Calzado place is like my second home, where I get the opportunity to work with what I am passionate about, make use of my expertise and continue to make rocking shoes/sneaks.

What’s it like to work with Converse and what Converse project has been most enjoyable for you?

Working with Converse has been out of this world. I have been around Chucks all my life and wore them year after year, so now working with the Converse team and Darren, makes me feel like I am in.

How did the DRx X Raul Ojeda partnership begin and how has it evolved?

Darren ad I were introduced by a mutual friend, that saw a connection between what we do. We first started to talk about working together when TPE was being conceptualized, DRx immediately set up shop for El Calzado Place and I started to work on the first Pro Leather Project. Receiving nothing but good feed back, we are now talking about a couple more projects.

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