Shoes maketh the man, but the man doesn’t always make enough money to afford the shoes – especially men’s leather shoes which jazz up a work outfit, but often come with a steep price tag.
But if you have some cash saved up to splurge on something you wouldn’t normally buy but would gladly use regularly, it might as well be durable, handmade leather shoes you can rely on throughout the work week or any formal occasions. Here are 9 Singapore men’s leather shoe brands that will fit your footwear budget.
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For those looking for an affordable starter pair, Earnest & Collective has handmade, hand-dyed shoes (from $139) straight from their Guangdong factory, where they insist on using full-grain calf leather for their inner lining and insoles. That’s the highest quality of leather you can get from the animal.
The only quibble some might have is that their cemented rubber soles don’t usually last as long as stitched leather soles, but they contribute to the lower price and have a better grip. Plus, it’s easy to replace a rubber sole, and to find a cobbler who can do so for under $10 in Singapore.
To save you the hassle and health risks of travelling, Singapore buyers also get free contactless shipping and one free size exchange. You’ll still be served personally by a human being – phone in or email the remote customer service staff to ask any questions.
Fashion tip: Match your new shoes to full-grain leather belts and card holders, also designed by them in-house.
Learn more about Earnest & Collective here.
Telephone: 8742 5862
Phone service hours: Mon – Fri 9.30AM-6.30PM
Image credit: @ardenteal
Word may not have spread to Singapore yet, but Argentina is known for its quality leather from free-roaming cows, and their horsemen called gauchos who wear it proudly. Argentine leather is rare in Asia where expensive European leathers are more common, but you can try it in person with Arden Teal’s shoes (from $119).
Arden Teal is also one of the few Singapore shoemakers who make wholecut shoes, using one single piece of leather with no visible seams. It’s a challenging technique, but results in a long-lasting, smooth, and minimalist shoe for gents who prefer a cleaner look.
Try them on by appointment at their main showroom at Tampines, or their partner shops nearer town at Braddell and Orchard. Online purchases come with free shipping.
Address: T-Space, 1 Tampines North Drive 1, #02-16, Singapore 528559
Hours: Mon – Sat 11AM-8PM, by appointment | Closed Sundays
Telephone: 9782 4397
Phone service hours: Mon – Fri 10AM-6PM
Image credit: CustomMade Shoes
Imagine a shoe shop that doesn’t have any shoes in your size – or anyone’s size – in stock. Sounds as if they’re shooting themselves in the – pun intended – foot, but CustomMade does not have a off-the-shelf selection because there’s a limit to the styles, colours, and sizes they can keep in store.
Rather than having customers walk away without finding the perfect fit, they’ll custom-fit you for shoes (from $250) so you can get the exact design and size you want. This takes just 15 minutes – just make an appointment and pop in during your lunch break.
They’ll first check if your feet should have a relaxed, balanced, or snug fit, then measure your big toe, pinky toe, and instep. Next, pick from 23 designs, 8 colours, and an optional burnishing effect. Finally, choose the colour of your sole edge, shoe lining, and toe.
Image credit: CustomMade
Frequent travellers can opt for the Unlined Collection. These single-layer loafers have no inner lining, keeping your feet cool while being easy to slip on and off during airport security checks and house visits.
Coming in two styles (tassled and plain) and four colours (tan, navy, maroon, and dark brown), they’re going at $199 per pair for a limited time- a reasonable price considering that this shoe is custom-made.
Address: 101 Telok Ayer St, #03-04, Singapore 068574
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12PM-7:30PM (appointments preferred) | Weekends by appointment
Telephone: 8717 0179
Image credit: Carl & Oak
Having a shoe-maker come to you sounds like a luxury reserved for royalty, but you can enjoy this convenience from Carl & Oak who’ll visit you anywhere in Singapore to measure your feet. Since they don’t rent a store space, they pass on their savings to you.
Browse and pick from different leather types and fully customisable designs, such as brogues, oxfords, derbies, and monkstrap styles for your all-leather custom-made shoes (from $499). Their leather uppers can be kept and given a new sole when the current ones start showing some wear.
While Carl & Oak is a Singaporean brand, their shoes are created by their craftsmen in Seoul with blake-stitched welting, making them lighter and longer-lasting. The result: shoes that an oppa walking the Gangnam streets would wear with pride.
Telephone: 9626 2990
Maine loafers from Jonathan Abel
Image credit: Jonathan Abel
Jonathan Abel shoes are designed for the customer who’s really specific about what he wants. Pick from a buffet of 5 million possible design combinations, in sizes 37E to 46EEE including regular and wide sizes. Choose your outsole material, outsole and insole colour, shoe style, and your leather and lace type.
All this happens under 30 minutes at their private showroom in Jurong when you book an fitting for made-to-order shoes (from $450) – it is open by appointment during Singapore’s Phase 2, with safe distancing measures in place.
Tip: Stitched with sturdy Goodyear welt construction, their soles can be replaced in future to save the existing leather upper so your shoes last longer. This sole stitching method is considered the “gold standard” of shoemaking among leather shoe aficionados.
Goodyear welted Jonathan Abel shoes before sole colouring and the final polish
Image credit: Jonathan Abel
You can also browse their ready-to-wear collection online, or in person at the men’s shoe department at Takashimaya.
Address: 391A Orchard Rd, Takashimaya Department Store Level 3, Singapore 238873
Opening hours: 10AM-9.30PM, Daily
Image credit: Diamond Walker
Colourful shoes aren’t just for the ladies – they’re also a men’s statement piece for themed parties, or adventurous gents who want an alternative way to add a pop of colour to an outfit besides a funky tie or watch.
Upon your request, Diamond Walker’s French patina artist Landry Lacour will splash dyes in rockstar colours such as hot pink, neon green, or orange on your tailor-made shoes.
Image credit: Diamond Walker
Before the patina magic happens, Diamond Walker’s craftsmen will make whatever unconventional order you give them, such as studded shoes and perforated toe cap patterns. Their shoe range (from $450) even includes leather sneakers, ideal for men with a smart casual office dress code or who do a lot of walking on the job.
Address: 277 Orchard Rd, #04-03 Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238858
Opening hours: 12PM-9PM, Daily
Telephone: 6844 9119
Image credit: Ed Et Al
Long before the current eco-friendly trends, our parents were into repairable #BuyItForLife items. They’d approve of handmade leather shoes (from $289) such as Ed Et Al’s, with outer soles directly stitched to the insoles for durability. The soles can be easily unstitched and replaced, so you don’t have to buy a new pair of shoes when the sole is damaged.
Their custom-made shoes are handmade by craftsmen in Saigon, Vietnam, then hand-dyed and optionally monogrammed in the Singapore workshop.
When your shoes need a new sole, repairs, or new coat of paint, head to the Telok Ayer workshop that’s shared with a repair service, Recraft SG. They’ll treat shoes from any brand, and any repair work over $150 includes free local pick-up and delivery so you’ll save yourself a trip.
Address: 120A Telok Ayer Street, Second Floor, Singapore 068589 and 6 Shenton Way, Downtown Gallery, #03-14, Singapore 068809
Opening hours: By appointment only
Telephone: 6337 8919
Image credit: @whyandco
Besides job interviews, another nerve-racking occasion when a man may wear a tailored suit is his wedding. For such moments that’ll level up your life, it’s worth investing in leather shoes to complete your look and leave a good impression.
After W.H.Y. & Co. shoemaker Goh Weihan couldn’t find a new pair of affordable, presentable shoes for his own wedding shoot, he did a 4-year shoemaking apprenticeship, and started crafting and hand-painting shoes between sizes EU 37-45 for fellow Singapore grooms.
For a pair of locally made men’s leather shoes, his prices are surprisingly affordable from $199. Reviewers praise how he generously shares shoe care advice, and doesn’t push a second sale before you get comfortable with your first pair.
Address: International Plaza, 10 Anson Road #02-92, Singapore 079903
Opening hours: By appointment only
Telephone: 9017 4843
A height-increasing shoe
Image credit: @walkingtallshoes
Tall people are supposedly more successful in life, treated better by strangers, and make more money, if pop science is to be believed. But one thing’s for sure, we can’t fault anyone for wanting some extra cm for a confidence boost for an important presentation or date.
Shoe lifts could do the trick, but if they’re not the perfect size, they’ll do the slip ’n’ slide under your heels, making walking a pain. Instead, Walking Tall’s elevator shoes (from $165) have hidden insoles built snugly into the shoe that will never fall out, and make you look 6 to 10cm taller. Try their genuine calf leather footwear at their Somerset store, or order online with free local delivery.
Address: 277 Orchard Road, #04-05 Orchard Gateway, Singapore 238858
Opening hours: 11.30AM-9PM, Daily
Telephone: 6438 2526
However your men’s leather shoes were made, you can maximise their lifespan with regular polishing and conditioning, and letting them fully air dry between wears. What you #treatyourself with your newfound moolah can end up lasting for years.
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