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 belowmentioned 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 shoe horn with every purchase as well – something uncommon at this price point. With their recent Carlota and Olavarria collection, their shoes features 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, 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$81 currently (after promo code below)!
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 is 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 buck. I can tell that there’s an emphasis on materials here – most of their shoes uses 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 Minimalist – it looks stunning, and is also very comfortable to walk in given that it is a sneaker. 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 their Minimalist sneakers and the Penny loafers, here.
Price: Shoes currently start at $81 (after promo code). As Scofield Shoes 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: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here.
For those who enjoy more unconventional designs, Gaius Walks offers styles and colourways that are uncommon in the market.
Who they are:”Our styles are heavily influenced by classic artisan Italian shoemakers. Gaius is Latin for joy. It was also the first name of Julius Caesar, one of the most successful men in ancient Rome so Gaius also symbolises charisma and class for us. We want every guy to be able to afford a stylish and luxurious pair of Gaius Walks to ace that interview or impress that hot date.”
My opinion: I think Gaius Walks is perfect for those who likes to take the path less taken when it comes to fashion. Whilst their shoes are still decidedly dressy, they come in a variety of unique colours such as slate and indigo (pictured above), as well as in more uncommon designs as such a single monk strap. My personal favourite from them would be the Nappa Leather Tassel Loafers – they are the best loafers I’ve worn till date. It’s light, low to the ground and comfortable, and they feel like a pair of Toms on the feet! Despite the sartorial style of their shoes, Gaius Walks manages to keep prices affordable. For more information on the brand and their shoes, do read my recent review of their Gianni Single Monk Strap and the Paolo Nappa Leather Tassel Loafers here.
Price: Shoes currently start at $125.80 (after promo code). As Gaius Walks is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 15% off all products store-wide!
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here. They also have a physical store, though prior appointments are required.
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 under $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 for a rejuvenation, you can consider popping by W.H.Y & CO as well! For more in-depth opinion of W.H.Y & CO, do read my review of the W.H.Y & CO Qi here.
Prices: Blake-Stitched shoes start at S$197 (after promo code). As W.H.Y & CO 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: W.H.Y & CO shoes can be bought online here. Shoes can also be viewed in their International Plaza showroom!
Previously called Donovan’s, CustomMade offers made-to-order shoes at an affordable pricing.
Who they are: “Quality Custom Shoes At A Truly Affordable Price. CustomMade’s mission is to simplify and personalize your shoe shopping experience. Some will simply call it a shoe. We call it The CustomMade Experience.”
My opinion: I might be wrong, but at $250, CustomMade probably offers the most affordable Made-to-order dress shoes in the market. In addition, I find their brand story to be a most compelling and personal one. You can read the CustomMade story (which founder Donovan chronicled in detail) here. I love the fact that Donovan roped his mother (and previously younger brother) in to help run this business – yes, CustomMade is in many senses a family business! At the price, for a made-to-order shoe, I think CustomMade is fantastic value. For more detailed opinions, do read my review of CustomMade here!
Prices: Made-to-order shoes start from $250 for blake-stitched construction.
Where to buy: CustomMade’s showroom is located at 82 Telok Ayer Street, #02-04, S048467.
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 punches 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!