It’s the story of a name: RAUTUREAU.  The story of a family. 
The story of a style born from the coming together of bold design and shoemaking savoir-faire.

It all began in 1870, in the village of La Gaubretière, in the Vendée, Western France. A cobbler by trade, Jean-Baptiste Rautureau founded his business, making and repairing shoes. And so the saga begins. 4 generations later, Yvon and Guy Rautureau carry on the family business.

Brands' greatest strength?

Its shoemaker and only one shoemaker. Free Lance style means excellence, the endless quest for innovation, and the unique touch of a French craftsman. Rawer and more handmade, with a love of irregularities- this is a more human shoe, embracing an alternative vision of luxury. Our footwear is hand crafted, right down to the smallest detail. Every last stud of the Rocker styles is hammered into place by one of the 100 artisans at our factory!

Free Lance also stands for iconic finishing touches. Soles and shoes in matching colours, bold new techniques for manipulating raw materials (laser cut imitation python and crocodile, patchwork and exclusive prints), and our distinctive emblem, an embroidered rose on the arch of each sole. A homage to the rock ’n’ roll spirit.

Materials and shapes

The factory in La Gaubretière, Vendée, the birthplace of Free Lance, has a veritable library of materials. Here, thousands of hides are stored, waiting to be picked out to become part of the latest collection.Snakeskin, crocodile, leathers in every colour under the sun; no other brand in the world affords itself this kind of luxury ... it’s the only way to offer a unique product and keep things fresh.

Shoe construction techniques

Blake construction:
The upper is attached to the lasting board, then the shoe is joined together with stitches going all the way through the sole, board and upper. The Blake construction is only visible inside the shoe and there is no separate lining.

Goodyear construction:
The Goodyear welt stitch and construction are one and the same. The welt stitch joins the lasting board (or insole), the upper and the welt. This horizontal stitch strengthens the shoe while keeping it flexible. Once the shoe is finished, the stitching is no longer visible.

Cemented construction:
This is the most common construction method currently in use. Different glues are used to join the shoe’s upper and sole. The gluing process requires a great deal of preparation and care as any gaps could weaken the shoe.

Hand construction:
This painstaking type of construction is done entirely by hand and used to make sandals. It involves precisely attaching the separate straps of the upper.