Where to Find Quality Handmade Footwear in Asia Pacific
If the shoe fits, wear it. Whoever coined that phrase probably never bought a pair of brogues off the rack. With that, here’s where to bespoke too soon, footwear-wise, in Asia Pacfic.
They still make them like they used to … Photo credit
The Mayer Shoe Co.
M-3 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Arcades, Connaught Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s love affair with proper tailoring held over after the British handover. The Mayer Shoe Co. makes custom classic men’s shoes for as little as 3875 HKD.
Shop 241, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Kow Hoo’s cobbler roots date to the 1920s in Shanghai. The shop left for Hong Kong in 1946 and is the only one that still makes personal wooden lasts for every customer.
2/F On Lan St, Central, Hong Kong
Over a century of old school tradition is on hand at Tassels, a store that offers a made-to-order service as well as ready-to-wear designs.
Shop 75, 1/F, Tower 2, Admiralty Center, 18 Harcourt Rd, Hong Kong
Legendary LIII LIII has not lost a step since the Chan brothers took over the family business some time ago.
Where to stay: Conrad Hong Kong
18 Cross Street, #01-06, China Square Central, Singapore
Singapore is a city where bespoke couture is in high demand. Diamond Walker delivers the goods when it comes to oxfords, double monks, chukka boots, sandals, loafers, moccasins and the like.
Ed Et Al
No. 5B, Jalan Kilang, The Mill, Singapore
Edwin Neo’s passion for design handmade haberdashery is evident the moment you step inside Ed Et Al, a shop that exudes quality and workmanship.
Where to stay: Marina Bay Sands Singapore Hotel
Roberts & Hassett
Level 1, 2 Somerset Place, Melbourne
In cosmopolitan Melbourne, Roberts & Hassett is a first-name in handmade footwear and leathergoods and provides gentlemen’s dens like Captains of Industry with a modicum of credibility.
Where to stay: Park Hyatt Melbourne
Shop 121–125, 2nd Floor, The Strand Arcade, 412-414 George St, Sydney
Andrew McDonald set up shop in 1992 in a wee atelier in Surry Hills. Business soon took off and McDonald won a Churchill Fellowship to apprentice under master shoemakers in London.
Where to stay: Sheraton On The Park Hotel Sydney
Mr Billy’s Handmade Shoes
1238 Changle Lu, Xuhui district, Shanghai
A Shanghai star, Mr Billy is popular with expats and anyone who wants to strut on the Bund in crocodile or ostrich leather.
235 Hengshan Lu, Near Yongjia Lu, Xuhui district, Shanghai
Two couples run this convivial shop, which specialises in affordable bespoke footwear and bags.
Where to stay: Ascott Huai Hai Road Shanghai
Sonomitsu Shoe Shop
2-18-6 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo
Sonomitsu Shoe Shop is where savvy salarymen in Tokyo go for sublime slippers.
Where to stay: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Tokyo
292-296 Sukhumvit Road (opposite Soi 19), Bangkok
For a price, you can get a tailor to cut you a suit in a day or two in Bangkok. So too for a pair of leather loafers or boots at Siam Bootery.
Where to stay: Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok
25 Moray Place, Dunedin
Louise Clifton is a pioneer shoemaker in New Zealand and has single-handedly re-introduced (or, perhaps, introduced) the art of bespoke footwear to the South Island.
Where to stay: St Clair Beach Resort