Hello everyone! In this feature, I’ll be rounding up local establishments for you to get affordable dress shoes from. Yes – there are homegrown efforts specialising in dress shoes! Instead of getting your shoes from run of the mill places such as Aldo or Cole Haan, I urge all of you to consider supporting a local establishment instead.
All shoes from the brands below are affordable, from under S$50 to just below S$300. I own shoes from all of the below-mentioned brands and wholeheartedly believe that each offers better bang-for-buck than their departmental stores counterparts. Without further ado, let’s get into this list!
Arden Teal offers a wide selection of full-grain leather dress shoes at an affordable price point. For those searching for a no-frills, well-made dress shoe, check out Arden Teal!
Who they are: “We (team at Arden Teal) were growing weary of the traditional retail experience for buying a good pair of men’s shoes. We searched for options that delivered aesthetics at a price we could relate to but grew needlessly impatient with our encounters. We started this company at the heel of a problem we knew wasn’t unique to us. We wanted to curate products we were proud of. Impressively designed, high-quality shoes that could be conveniently accessed at an easy price..”
My opinion: If you’re searching for bang-for-buck dress shoes, I’ll highly recommend Arden Teal. At just a little over $100, you get a sleek-looking shoe made of full-grain calf leather! The walking experience in them is surprisingly comfortable as well, with rubber swathes applied to key areas of the outsole to aid traction. In addition, Arden Teal includes accessories such as a dust cover and a shoehorn with every purchase as well – something uncommon at this price point. With their recent Carlota and Olavarria collection, their shoes feature hand-painting and hand-burnishing as well, which is a great feature at this price point. For my detailed opinions, do read my review of Arden Teal shoes here, here, here, here and here.
Price: All shoes are priced at S$112.50 (after promo code). As Arden Teal is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all shoes store-wide!
Where to buy: Arden Teal shoes can be bought online here.
Another affordable brand on this list, Scofield offers quality leather dress shoes from as low as S$89 currently.
Who they are: “We produce unique leather shoes, made using the highest quality materials. Our shoes are produced in limited quantities. We cater to the individuals with unique tastes, pushing the limits of our design, and creating footwear that is fashionable, comfortable, yet affordably priced for the modern gentlemen. We believe in delivering shoes that are worth more than you pay for, by paying attention to quality details, whilst leveraging on a cost-effective business model.”
My opinion: I think Scofield is perfect for those looking for smart casual footwear, such as minimalist sneakers, loafers, brogues and boots – all of their offerings are great bang for the buck. I can tell that there’s an emphasis on materials here – most of their shoes use full-grain leather, with lamb lining for enhanced comfort. They do everything from minimalist white sneakers, to detailed brogues, all at a very affordable price point. My personal favourite would be the Scofield Cavalier – it looks stunning, and I simply love the wingtip oxford design. It pairs brilliantly with a wide variety of outfits as well, be it a polo tee and pants, or a suit. For more information on the brand and their shoes, do read my recent review of the Cavalier, Minimalist sneakers and the Penny loafers, here.
Price: Shoes currently start at $89.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here.
Dubbing themselves “Singapore’s leading Artisan Shoemaker”, W.H.Y & CO have been offering handcrafted shoes to the Singaporean masses since 2015!
Who they are: “Backed by Master shoemakers with a heritage of more than 3 decades of handcrafting shoes from the U.K., our designs deviate little from the classic and timelessness of the English eye for shoe construction and design but with our own added flair, bring them into the modern era.”
My opinion: I believe that W.H.Y & CO offers handcrafted shoes at a great price. In fact, I would say that I believe they offer the best shoes for around $200 SGD. As compared to the more affordable options mentioned above, W.H.Y & CO shoes are all hand-painted and finished manually. Furthermore, unlike the cemented options above, W.H.Y & CO shoes all come blake-stitched for added durability and utilizes only European calf leather. Furthermore, they also offer various intriguing designs, from the off-black Qi pictured above to Bottega inspired hand-woven loafers. Lastly, Wei Han (founder) also does restoration services at his showroom, so if your shoes are in need of rejuvenation, you can consider popping by W.H.Y & CO as well! For more in-depth opinions of W.H.Y & CO, do read my review of the W.H.Y & CO Qi here.
Prices: Blake-Stitched shoes start at S$239.
Where to buy: W.H.Y & CO shoes can be bought online here. Shoes can also be viewed in their International Plaza showroom!
If you’re looking for affordable Goodyear-welted shoes, Jonathan Abel is the brand to go to.
Who they are: Jonathan Abel was founded in 2017 by Teresa Chong. Perhaps the only female entrepreneur in the local shoemaking industry, Jonathan Abel has nevertheless been growing from strength to strength as the brand seeks to carve out their own niche in the market. According to Jonathan Abel, their mission is to “enable confidence” in their gentlemen customers. To that end, the brand partners with small family-owned factories in Europe to deliver Goodyear welted shoes at an affordable price point.
My opinion: Jonathan Abel offers outstanding value for the price. I don’t think you can find Goodyear shoes – made with leather from esteemed European tanneries – for ~S$300 anywhere else locally. If you’re a discerning sartorialist who’s looking for affordable Goodyear-welted shoes, Jonathan Abel is the place to go. Furthermore, the brand possesses both style and substance. In particular, the Alexander (pictured above) is immediately striking, with its brush stroke patina a wonder to behold on its unique Midnight Blue leather. Meanwhile, the Chicago is a great option for those who have always wanted to try Goodyear-welted shoes but was put off by their reputation for being unforgiving.
Prices: Shoes from Jonathan Abel currently starts at $298 (after promo code below). As Jonathan Abel is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout or when making the appointment to enjoy 10% all shoes store-wide!
Where to buy: Jonathan Abel shoes can be bought online here. Shoes can also be viewed in their Telok Ayer showroom!
If you found this tailoring listicle helpful, do check out some of my other listicles below:
- 9 Affordable Tailors in Singapore (Complete Guide!)
- 12 places to get Watch Straps in Singapore
- 6 Perfume Brands in Singapore to check out
- 6 Affordable Wallets in Singapore
- 10 Underrated Singaporean watch brands that won’t break the bank
- 6 Affordable Briefcases in Singapore
I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this list of local shoe brands! In my daily interactions with my peers, I realise that most still turn to established outlets such as Aldo or Cole Haan for their dress shoes needs. Even for those with more spending power, many are still getting their shoes from luxury outlets in high-end shopping malls (Berluti, Ermenegildo Zegna, etc). Again, there’s nothing wrong with that – but why not give your local shoe efforts a try? Each of the brand listed here offers great value propositions that punch above their price tag. Furthermore, most of these efforts are bootstrap projects, with the founders pouring everything they have (money, sweat and tears) into their passion. If we Singaporeans won’t support them, who will?
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!