Tanisha Angel

13 Best Shoemakers & Brands in the World | Man of Many

Likely the most infamous shoemaker on this list, John Lobb founded his eponymous bespoke footwear company in 1866, having been in the business since 1849. John Lobb operates independently in England and as part of the Hermès group in Paris. Known for their traditional English shoemaking style, John Lobb shoemakers handcraft each pair from premium leather and feature a Goodyear welt (allowing for resoling). Perhaps most well known for being the preferred shoemaker of Charles, Prince of Wales (who still sports a pair of John Lobb oxfords from the 70s), a pair of bespoke John Lobb shoes is a timeless investment piece.

1. John Lobb

A tale of three Georges; George Cleverley is currently headed by George Glasgow Snr and George Glasgow Jnr, who inherited the company from the eponymous creator himself. With workshops across England, George Cleaverley’s clientele range from David Beckham to Winston Churchill. The illustrious shoemaker uses resoleable Goodyear welting and offers all classic footwear options, as well as more contemporary styles like monk strap brogues.

2. George Cleverley

Founded in Spain in 1866, Carmina have steadily expanded across the world whilst retaining their fastidious production style. With fifteen lasts designed to accommodate various foot shapes and differing aesthetics, and Goodyear welt stitching allowing for resoles every few years, Carmina is an ideal entry level bespoke footwear option.

3. Carmina

Australia doesn’t have much of a market for bespoke shoes, however Andrew McDonald didn’t let that stop him from bringing them to our shores anyway. Formerly of  John Lobb in London and Hermès in Paris, McDonald imbues traditional European shoemaking with a uniquely Australian sensibility, making quality bespoke footwear wearable down under.

4. Andrew McDonald

Founded in England in the 19th century by Charles Jones and Sir James Crockett, Crockett & Jones remains owned and operated by the fourth generation of the original founding families. Utilising Goodyear welting and an eight stage construction process, Crockett & Jones shoes are made to last. Though their offerings are traditional, they’ve managed to retain their appeal, with Daniel Craig’s James Bond wearing them in Skyfall and Spectre.

5. Crockett & Jones

The eponymous label was established in Northampton, England, in 1890 by a former shoemaker’s apprentice. To maintain their high quality, Edward Green produce just 250 pairs of shoes a week, utilising the hallmarks of traditional English shoemaking; Goodyear welts, full grain leather, and hand-cut patterns.

6. Edward Green

French label J.M. Weston was founded in 1891 by Édouard Blanchard, with their production remaining centered in their workshop in Limoges to this date. J.M. Weston own their own tannery, allowing them to retain control of almost the whole production process. Like many of the shoemakers on this list, they use Goodyear welt construction, allowing for their footwear to last decades with resoling. The French label imbue traditional English shoemaking with a Gallic approach; the resultant footwear being less traditional and more contemporary.

7. J.M. Weston

Based in Glasgow, the Scottish brand has been making quality footwear since 1925. Buchanan Bespoke infuses its footwear with Scottish charm, with their bespoke shoes allowing for an individualised selection of leather and tartan.

8. Buchanan Bespoke

The French fashion house was founded in Paris in 1895 by Italian Alessandro Berluti as a maker of bespoke footwear, and has since expanded to accessories and read-to-wear from 2005 onwards. However, Berluti’s bespoke shoes remain the essence of the house; entirely handmade and customisable, Berluti footwear is still produced in their Parisian workshops. Renowned for their unique lace up shoes made from a single piece of leather with no visible stitching, Berluti shoes are loved by many, with their esteemed clientele including Andy Warhol and Jean Cocteau.

9. Berluti

Paolo Scarfora established his eponymous brand in Naples, Italy, in 1956, with the company currently being run by his grandson. Originally producing ready-to-wear footwear, Paolo Scafora has been offering bespoke shoes for the past decade. The handmade shoes utilise plastic lasts rather than wood, allowing them to be produced relatively quickly; in just four to six weeks.

10. Paolo Scafora

Founded in Northamptonshire, England, in 1880 by three brothers, Loake has stood the test of time; incorporating contemporary options into their classic range. Though not bespoke, Loake are a high-quality, affordable introduction into the world of custom shoes. Whilst factory made, Loake shoes still incorporate some handcrafted elements and utilise a Goodyear welt, allowing them to be resoled.

11. Loake

Viennese heritage shoemaker Ludwig Retier has been producing bespoke shoes since 1885, adopting the Goodyear welting technique in the early 1900s. Ludwig Reiter creates high-quality footwear in the Viennese style, with elements of traditional English shoemaking. In recent years, they’ve expanded into modern ready-to-wear styles like sneakers, and have collaborated with designers like Helmut Lang.

12. Ludwig Reiter

One of the few newer shoemakers on this list, eponymous Italian brand Antonio Meccariello has been producing bespoke shoes since 2012. With a family history in shoemaking and a prior collaboration with Mariano Rubinacci, Meccariello personally consults and fits his clients in his showroom just outside Naples, Italy. In addition to a bespoke service, Antonio Meccariello has a read-to-wear range which makes for a good starting point for the budget shoe lover.

13. Antonio Meccariello

Best Shoe Repair Stores in Melbourne & Sydney

Alternatives to the Best Shoemakers and Brands in the World

Best Shoe Repair Stores in Melbourne & Sydney

Join our exclusive community