Made-to-Order shoes are one of the most popular and affordable types of custom footwear. In fact, there are many made-to-order shoe brands on the market, which can make it very overwhelming when choosing the brand best adapted to your needs.
Fortunately, we’ve created a top 10 list of the Best Men’s Made-to-Order Shoe Brands:
- Gaziano Girling, England
- Antonio Meccariello, Italy
- Stefano Bemer, Italy
- László Vass, Hungary
- John Lobb, France
- Aubercy, France
- Hiro Yanagimachi, Japan
- Yohei Fukada, Japan
- Caulaincourt, France
- Rancourt & Co, USA
You can use the links to jump ahead or scroll down to read more. Alternatively, learn about made-to-order shoes at the end of this guide.
What Are The Best Made-To-Order Shoe Brands For Men?
Following the navigation menus below, you will be able to discover the top 10 best made-to-order shoe brands on the market. We researched each one as well as tested some ourselves. Furthermore, they’re not featured in a particular order of preference as each one has its own advantages.
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In 2006, Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling founded their eponymous brand following their 25 years of experience in the premium English shoe-making industry. Their workshop is located in Kettering near Northampton while their boutique can be found on Jermyn Street in London.
Prices for their made-to-order shoes begin at around $1,500 and a wealth of customisation options are available. Furthermore, the process will take between three to four months from start to finish.
Read More: Gaziano Girling Brand Guide
Two years after launching Kiton in partnership with Ciro Paone and Antonio de Matteis, Antonio Meccariello sold his shares. Instead, he sought to focus on his own workshop to produce quality benchmade shoes.
His made-to-order shoes begin at $650, which increases according to construction and customisation options. Overall, the shoes will require 20 weeks to be fully made.
Orders can be placed in their shop or by telephone yet Meccariello has also set up an online customisation process, which is quite rare for shoemakers at his level.
Today run by Tommaso Melani, Stefano Bemer founded his Florentine workshop in 1983. Like Antonio Meccariello, their made-to-order shoes are quite affordable and start at an affordable price of around $750.
Interestingly, Stefano Bemer’s turnaround time is shorter than Meccariello and can take only 10 weeks thanks to their more sizeable workshop.
If you’re looking for exotic leathers such as snakeskin or alligator, László Vass would likely be our first choice. Known for his eclectic range of contemporary styles, Vass is an excellent choice when looking to stand out with an original pair of shoes.
Like Stefano Bemer above, the turnaround is between 8 to 10 weeks, which is certainly fast for a quality handmade product.
As we noted in our main custom shoe page, it’s important to make to distinction between the John Lobb in London and the other in Paris. In 1901, John Lobb launched a second boutique in London thanks to the critical acclaim of his Jermyn Street workshop.
In 1976, the Parisian shop was acquired by the Hermès who had permission to keep the name. Today, all of its made-to-measure and bespoke shoes are still produced in the Parisian workshop.
With regards to the former, the process takes about 4 months and starts at a 208€ supplement added to the ready-to-wear model’s base price. However, the made-to-measure shoe won’t feature the same Goodyear welt as the ready-to-wear model. Instead, the construction will be hand-sewn from a rich selection of stitches.
Founded in 1935 by André and Renée Aubercy, the brand is today run by their grandson, Xavier. Aubercy prides itself in its handmade Goodyear welt, a unique approach to the celebrated construction method that is usually accomplished by a machine.
Their beautifully-crafted ready-to-wear shoes are sleek with a refined profile, which can be customised using their “Commande Spéciale” service. The starting price is that for their ready-to-wear collection but increases with each corresponding customisation.
A graduate from London’s prestigious Cordwainers College, Horiyuki Yanagimachi established his own brand in 1999. Although the operation began by designing shoes, it quickly grew to produce luxury handmade footwear too.
What’s interesting about his shop is that it’s an open workshop so you see all the artisans at work when you visit. His made-to-order shoes start at a somewhat premium $2,300 and feature a handsewn welt construction.
Following his rich experience as a shoemaker in London with John Lobb, Caziano Girling, and George Cleverley, Yohei Fukuda produces luxury handmade shoes for The Armoury.
As the workshop is based in Hong Kong, bespoke shoes have to be ordered from the stores there. However, orders for made-to-order shoes can be ordered from their New York boutique.
Founded in 2008 by Alexis Lafont, Caulaincourt produces exquisite ready-to-wear and made-to-order shoes from their workshop in the Maine-et-Loire region. Caulaincourt have garnered a particular reputation for their tasteful approach to hand-painted and patina shoes.
Although they don’t craft bespoke shoes, their made-to-order service is well-known and admired in France for their excellent craftsmanship. For just a $220 supplement, any ready-to-wear shoes can be customised with a unique hand finish and customisations.
Based in Lewiston, Maine, David Rancourt has been crafting handmade shoes since the early 1950s. With the growth of the family business, Rancourt has modernised while still retaining its original values.
Their made-to-order handmade shoes can be easily customised via a 3D-designer on their website for as little as $395. What also sets Rancourt apart is the artisanal yet casual style of their shoes and boots, which have a distinctively American feel to them.
What Are Made-To-Order Custom Shoes?
Not to be confused with Group Made-To-Order as performed by the likes of Beckett Simonon, made-to-order shoes are unique shoes that you can essentially design yourself.
With most shoemakers, this begins by selecting one of the brand’s existing lasts and the size that corresponds to you best. Although it depends on the shoemaker’s customisation options, you can choose anything from the leather, its colour, ornamentation as well as shoe’s construction and finish.
In some cases, this can be limited to just to leather’s colour and shoe’s design. Meanwhile, certain brands will allow you to effectively design every part of the shoe down to the sole’s finish.
However, whatever you choose, nothing will affect the fit. Indeed, the purpose of made-to-order shoes is not to have a tailored shoe but a unique pair designed to your tastes.
How Much Do Made-To-Order Shoes Cost?
In some cases true made-to-order shoes can cost as little as around $600 and sometimes less. However, they usually cost nearer the $1,000. Meanwhile, pedigree shoemakers may charge somewhere closer to $2,000. Of course, this entirely depends on where, how, and from what they are made.
For instance, all the shoemakers listed above can craft their footwear by hand. However, cheaper options may use some machinery on occasion to save costs. In this case, all of the above brands prides themselves in making their shoes by hand.
Bear in mind, however, that the term “handmade” is used somewhat liberally by many shoemakers these days. Similarly, the cheapest hand-made shoes will usually be constructed using a single leather sole. Meanwhile, a hand-stitched welt like those offered by Aubercy will naturally cost somewhat more.
Additionally, where the shoes are made can greatly affect the overall price. Skilled labour can cost significantly more in places like the UK where it is slightly more affordable in Italy. However, this doesn’t necessarily suggest that the workmanship is better or worse in either country.
Furthermore, the quality and source of their raw materials will also affect the cost of the shoes. If this is something that’s particularly important to you, it’s worth discussing directly with the makers. Bear in mind that particularly precious leathers will greatly increase the price.
Finally, the brand’s reputation and its scale will play a role in the resulting price, which is usually closely related to their demand. In short, the greater a brand’s reputation, the higher the demand for their footwear, which consequently impacts their prices.
Why Buy Made-To-Order Shoes?
What’s the point in effectively paying for a custom shoe if it doesn’t change the way it fits, right? Indeed, it can be confusing and even baffling for some people when they learn that a made-to-order shoe only customises the design and not the shape.
Why pay extra when there are so many shoe designs already out there?
Firstly, whatever you design will still be a shoe that’s completely unique. It offers the wearer an opportunity to sartorially express himself and project a personality that can’t be reflected with ready-to-wear shoes.
Some brands will offer a plethora of customisation options so that you can create shoes that are truly special. Furthermore, if you have a made-to-measure suit and you want to pair the perfect shoes with them, this is the most affordable way of being sure that you’ll have the perfect shoes.
Similarly, many designs and combinations of ornamental features are only available by selecting made-to-order shoes. As such, it’s the only possibility if you’re looking for something in particular.
Finally, it’s also important to remember that not everyone can afford full bespoke shoes. In fact, made-to-order is essentially the next best thing. As a result, it offers both the thrill and pleasure of being able to have a custom-made shoe.
Made-to-order shoes are comparatively affordable and usually only slightly more expensive than premium ready-to-wear shoes. If you’re willing to invest in a premium shoe, then why not have something that’s crafted just for you?
However, if you do need something with a tailored fit, you might want to consider a rarer yet affordable made-to-measure shoe-making service.
Now that you have read about the best made-to-order shoe brands and the different techniques, feel free to explore our other related guides:
- Most Comfortable Dress Shoes For Men
- Best French Shoes To Buy Online
- Top 10 English Shoes To Buy Online
- Best Made-To-Measure Shoes To Buy Online
- Bespoke Unit Shoe Homepage
"Excellent, thank you. This is a great guide. I was seriously considering Johnn Lobb but now I'm going to look into the other brands listed beforehand."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★