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 (the 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 also feature hand-painting and hand-burnishing, 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 the 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.
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 utilize 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 traditional dress shoes are too uncomfortable and unsupportive for you, then Sunnystep is the solution to your feet woes.
Who they are: Sunnystep describes its mission to be “helping people move freely and happily”. To that end, the brand employs proprietary arch support, blister-free uppers and a broader front that caters to Asian foot shapes, all meant to minimise stress on the feet and the body and ultimately improve the quality of life. It has since become a runaway success, with 9 locations nationwide (and an additional 4 booths in departmental stores).
My opinion: Sunnystep offers a range of supportive and comfortable shoes, with its most formal silhouette being the Elevate Walker. The Elevate Walker combines form with function, and I applaud Sunnystep for its effort. I appreciated the comfort and support that the Elevate Walker provided, as well as its sleek and versatile looks. One often has to choose between looking good and comfortable, but the Elevate Walker proves it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. In fact, there’s also an elegant white colourway available which I’m tempted to purchase myself. It’s fairly affordable too, being priced in the ballpark of a decent dress shoe.
Prices: Shoes from Sunnystep currently start at $118 (after the promo code below). As Sunnystep is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy $8 off all shoes store-wide!
Where to buy: Sunnystep shoes can be bought online here.
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 brands 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: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.