We recently discovered Indian shoe brand Lethato, which has been producing affordable yet intriguing footwear since 2016.
In this review, you will learn all about Lethato as we cover the following considerations:
- Lethato Overview
- Style & Appearance
- Fit & Comfort
- Dress Code & Formality
- Presentation & Value For Money
Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all.
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- Brand: Lethato
- Made In: Agra, India
- Style: Kiltie Loafer
- Formality: Business Casual
- Uppers: Full Grain Italian Leather
- Sole: Argentinian Leather
- Construction: Blake Stitch
- Price: $150 USD [Buy From Lethato]
Lethato was founded in 2016 by Vidhi Bansal who had no experience in either the shoe industry or e-commerce. Nevertheless, she discovered a small Indian factory in Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal, in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Lethato’s shoes are constructed in small batches and with a limited inventory, which minimises waste and storage costs. In most cases, the shoes are made-to-order. However, the turnaround time is fast and you can expect the shoes in just over a week after placing an order.
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Style & Appearance
A distinctive feature of Lethato shoes is the hand-painted finish, which is available in an array of vivid colours. While the colours are perhaps not as deep as Ace Marks, it’s worth bearing in mind that Lethato shoes are sold at half the price!
Furthermore, the loafer is of a “Buckled Kiltie” design. However, it has been given a thorough facelift to render its aesthetic more contemporary for younger wearers. The large buckle is fixed by a strap, which is woven into the vamp.
Usually, Kiltie loafers tend to be quite conservative with designs that edge towards moccasin toe finishes. However, you may have noticed Lethato’s choice to opt for rich broguing details instead. The added visual interest is undeniably unique and offers wearers with an original choice of footwear.
Overall, Lethato’s Kiltie loafer is stylish, to say the least! While somewhat unorthodox in its design, it will certainly turn heads and can nicely bring together an outfit when properly integrated into your wardrobe.
Fit & Comfort
Thanks to the Blake construction, you can expect a very short break-in time. Therefore, the shoes can be comfortably worn only a few hours after putting them on.
Admittedly, the fit is a little unusual. Lethato’s last is a little wide around the mid-foot and then narrows nearer the toe. Nevertheless, it’s far from uncomfortable and the shoes mould well to the feet after a few wears.
Furthermore, the heels cup the feet well. If you’re like us, we’re quite averse to loafers that are too large and cause the feet to slip out. This didn’t happen with Lethato’s Kiltie loafers and the heel was nicely cupped in the shoe. Furthermore, a strip of suede leather on the back of the quarter offered additional grip.
Finally, the inner is nicely lined with pads of cushioning that offer additional comfort. A large cushion sits under the ball of the foot, which provides excellent shock absorption.
Dress Code & Formality
Given its unusual colour and elaborate design, the Kiltie loafer is hardly formal footwear. While it can be worn in a pinch with a suit as you can see in the photograph above, it’s best used with more rustic styles.
For instance, it wouldn’t quite work with a typical business professional suit. However, it would add a certain countryside gentleman charm to a three-piece tweed or windowpane suit.
Generally speaking, Kiltie loafers aren’t exactly formal as you’ll learn in our dedicated guide to the style. That being said, Lethato’s design features a large buckle with the strap woven into the strap.
While its use of broguing renders it more formal than typical Kiltie loafers, these are still best worn in casual environments. Nevertheless, the design does deliver a fascinatingly unconventional and contemporary style, too.
Therefore, it’s best worn casually or even as part of a business casual look. Indeed, we recommend pairing the Kiltie loafers with chinos, open-collar dress shirt, and a windowpane sport jacket.
Presentation & Value For Money
Lethato shoes are delivered in a somewhat spartan plain cardboard box. While it perhaps isn’t as luxurious as other brands, its advantage is that the box can be easily recycled. Therefore, it’s easy to forgive for this reason.
Similarly, the box is made from a single piece of cardboard, which is folded over to reduce waste. The box features the brand name and is proudly stamped with “Made In India” on the base.
Inside the box, the shoes are presented in a single nylon shoe bag and they’re delivered with a plastic shoehorn, which is always appreciated. The shoes are also individually encased in protective wrapping to prevent them from scuffing one another.
While the Kiltie loafer costs $150, the brand’s footwear ranges from $140 to $250. As mentioned above, the Kiltie loafer is blake-stitched. However, Lethato shoes are manufactured using either using Blake-stiching or Goodyear-welting.
Consequently, those on the higher end of the price range are usually made with Goodyear-welting, which does offer very competitive pricing! Whichever construction you choose, Lethato prides itself in its craftsmanship. Indeed, the brand has a lot of potential to impress given its accessible prices.
India’s an often overlooked shoemaking country. However, it’s worth remembering that many prestigious traditional British brands produce shoes there as well. For instance, Grenson, Loake, and Barker have split much of their production between Northhampton and India.
Although production costs are lower, which allows for accessible pricing, the brands often argue that the quality parallels that of the UK. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we are starting to see more independent brands emerge in India and they will certainly merit our attention.
"Stylish, unique, and at an attractive price point, Lethato an exciting shoe brands that's worth watching."
Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of shoe content such as the following resources: