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!
By far the most affordable brand on this list, Design & Comfort is a great option if you’re on a tight budget.
Who they are: “Established in 1989, D&C has become Singapore’s second biggest shoes and bags retailer with 19 stores island wide as of 2018. D&C’s main motto is to provide not only trendy and stylish footwear for all age groups but also ensure utmost comfort and durability for all of its products. D&C’s motto is predicated on its STEPS principle to its customers. D&C’s design and comfort assurance is attained through vigorous and stringent quality examination and construction by D&C’s founder and top corporate management.”
My opinion: If you’re someone on a budget, or someone who perhaps don’t have a need for dress shoes often, I think D&C offers some great value selections. The 6290 loafers in particular punches above its weight – it looks elegant, and more importantly, remains comfortable on the feet even after an entire day of walking. I once wore a pair of D&C loafers to a photoshoot, and my photographer was shocked when he found out that they cost only S$40+! Indeed, I personally find the looks and build quality of D&C loafers to rival departmental store offerings that are double the price. However, I would still recommend saving a bit more for a full-grain leather shoe, such as those offered by the below brands!
Price: Currently, their online selection starts at $45.90. Readers can use the promo code “DNC29” for 15% off online orders! (Valid till end of February 2019)
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from their web-store here, or visit them at any of their 19 stores nation-wide!
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 Penny loafer – it looks stunning, and is also very comfortable to walk in. 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.
Similar to Scofield, Arden Teal offers a wide selection of full-grain leather dress shoes at an affordable price point.
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.
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.
Last but not least, Jonathan Abel offers affordable Goodyear welted dress shoes, often with striking designs!
Who they are: “Here at Jonathan Abel, our ethos is simple: purposefully create beautiful, functional products essential for a gentleman’s everyday living. We strive to design the products which become invisible in your life, making them wonderfully and with a hint of reverence to the craftsmanship honed over generations.”
My opinion: Jonathan Abel offers perhaps one of the most affordable Goodyear welted dress shoes on the market. There’s a reverence to the age-old craft of shoecrafting that Jonathan Abel pays heed to – their shoes are made in a small factory that has been family-run for three generations, finished by hand using the Goodyear welt construction method to ensure quality and longevity for each pair. In an industry where most of their peers in the same price range outsource production to mass factories in Asia for cheap, that’s respectable. In addition, their shoes often boasts striking designs (such as the side-laced Alexander pictured above) that sets their shoes apart from the crowd. If you’re looking for a pair of well-crafted, handsome shoes, give Jonathan Abel a shot!
Prices: Shoes start at S$297 (after promo code) for Goodyear welted shoes. As Jonathan Abel 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: Jonathan Abel shoes can be bought online here. In addition, their shoes are also stocked at Takashimaya, though the discount code will not be applicable for purchases made there.
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!