What Are The Best Made-to-Measure Shoe Brands For Men?
After the quick menus below, we reveal the top 5 best made-to-measure shoe brands around the world. We carefully researched each brand as well as contacted them and tested some when we had the opportunity.
Furthermore, they are not necessarily featured in any particular order of preferences and each have their own particular benefits.
Following their 25 years of experience with other renowned English shoemakers, Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling established their own brand in 2006 with a view to experimenting with new styles and shoe forms.
With a workshop in Kettering near Northampton, their benchmade shoes exude raw style and elegance with a unique twist.
As part of their made-to-order service, Gaziano Girling offer a few made-to-measure last adjustments. Their adjusted made-to-order shoes start at $1,800. Meanwhile, the turnaround time is between three and four months, the same as their made-to-order service.
Celebrated London-based workshop George Cleverley was founded in 1958 and continues to operate as a family-business. Today, it is now run by the father-and-son duo, George Sr and George Jr Glasgow.
Cleverley’s semi-bespoke shoe service is well-known and is proposed as an affordable compromise to their full bespoke shoes. Prices can start from as little as $1,900 and their semi-bespoke shoes may require between 4 to 6 months to complete.
A three-generation shoemaker that is today run by the grandson of the founders, Aubercy receives far less attention than it deserves. Specialising in hand-sewn welts, they offer shoes from ready-to-wear all the way to full bespoke.
In fact, Aubercy is one of the few brands that openly publicises their made-to-measure service, which uses adjusted lasts to craft tailored shoes from $1,700.
A graduate of Milan’s Ars Arpel school, Antonio Meccariello started his shoemaking journey under Adriano Lunati’s apprenticeship. Meccariello’s workshop flourished and caught the attention of Mariano Rubinacci.
Two years after launching a designer shoe brand, Antonio Meccariello sold his shares so he could focus on his own workshop. His business offers several ready-to-wear, made-to-order, and even a bespoke line.
For a mere 200 to 250€ supplement, Meccariello provides a made-to-measure last adjustment for his clients. This would come to around $900 when performed on his most affordable made-to-order shoes.
After graduating from London’s Cordwainers college, Horiyuki Yanagimachi launched his own business in 1999. The brand began as a shoe designer but quickly moved on to crafting bespoke footwear thanks to popular demand.
From his boutique workshop, also provides a made-to-measure service by modifying base lasts. Prices for this service start at $2,750 and although the majority of brands don’t offer trial fittings, Yanagimachi does so for made-to-measure boots.
What Are Made-To-Measure Custom Shoes?
George Cleverley Penny Loafers
Sometimes referred to as “semi-bespoke”, made-to-measure shoes are perceived as something of a grey area in the shoe-making industry. Few brands officially provide such a service and some that do are quite hesitant to openly advertise it as it the process is surprisingly complicated.
The overall ordering process is much like buying a made-to-order shoe where you choose the last and size that fits you best. However, rather than produce a last from scratch like a bespoke shoe, the stock last is modified by the shoemaker to account for any particular sizing needs.
Sometimes, these are taken down as measurements and compared with the base last. In other cases, it might be simply noted down as adjustment to make on it before constructing the shoe.
For instance, the alteration may be as simple as a lower instep or a roomier toe box. Alternatively, it may even include a number of small alterations to the last. As a result, a made-to-measure shoe is the closest you can have to a tailored fit without investing in bespoke shoes.
How Much Do Semi-Bespoke Shoes Cost?
As no last is actually made specifically for you, the costs and labour of semi-bespoke shoes are significantly reduced. In most cases, a made-to-measure shoe will cost half the amount of a full bespoke one.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. Naturally, some shoemakers would prefer you to opt for a bespoke shoe so that they have a last made for their records. Therefore, the prices can sometimes be slightly inflated to incite patrons to instead choose a bespoke service.
However, this is rare and most offer some particularly attractive prices. For instance, Aubercy’s “Sur Mesure” made-to-measure service starts at 1,500 € whereas their fully bespoke “Grande Mesure” shoes are from 4,900 €.
Occasionally, any last modifications may be simply charged as an additional customisation to a made-to-order shoe rather than an entirely different service. In this case, the surcharge can be anywhere between $300 to $500 extra.
Bear in mind that this might be offered when there are only a few adjustments that need to be made to the last to provide a comfortable fit. Similarly, remember that all the mentioned above refer to the minimum cost and don’t take into account additional modifications.
Why Buy Made-To-Measure Shoes?
Gaziano Girling Leather Swatches
Despite being regarded as a somewhat grey area, made-to-measure shoes certainly have their place in the market. Not only is it a service best adapted to a particular budget but it’s also suited for people who need only minor tailoring to their shoes.
For instance, if a last fits you perfectly but feel just a little snug on the vamp, a made-to-measure shoe would be ideal. Alternatively, you might be seeking to venture into bespoke shoes but would like to test out a few makers first. As such, made-to-measure shoes would be a great place to start.
George Cleverley Adelaide Shoes
However, semi-bespoke isn’t without its drawbacks. For instance, it’s unlikely that the modified last is then kept on record for future orders. Instead, it may be stripped of the modifications to be reused for future clients to save money.
Similarly, another reason bespoke shoes are much more expensive is that making them includes a fitting. As you’ll learn in our guide to linked below, this consists of creating a test shoes once the last has been made.
Although made from cheaper materials, the test shoes are used to check the accuracy of the last. If there are any imperfections in the last, it is modified or rebuilt from scratch before the final shoes are made.
Meanwhile, made-to-measure shoes won’t include this extra step so there is less of a guarantee of a perfect fit. Nevertheless, if you do opt for this service from one of the makers listed above, you can rest assured that they will be crafted from some of the most experienced professionals in the world.
Still, if you want to learn more about the more exclusive service and see the best shoemakers on the market, head to our dedicated bespoke shoe guide.
Now that you have read about the best made-to-measure shoe brands and what they offer, feel free to explore our other related guides: