If you believe in the old adage “I am too poor to buy cheap things”, then you have landed on the right page. Buying smart doesn’t always mean buying cheap. It can mean spending a bit more to get the quality that will be paying itself over time. This very much applies to good shoes.
The question now is: How do you find dress shoes in Singapore? How much can you expect to spend? Here we help you decide what shoes to buy, tell you what you should consider and a complete list of places where to buy quality shoes in Singapore.
Investing in quality shoes vs cheaper shoes
It is said that every gentleman should own a pair of dress shoes and every lady a pair of killer heels. You will probably need one of those for at least one occasion in your life: either if it is to wear on a special event, when you want to dress to impress or if you simply want to look like a “crazy rich Asian” every day. But quality shoes aren’t meant for special occasions only, they can be worn on a daily basis.
Workplaces with a more corporate environment will have a smarter dress code that requires you to dress a certain way. Even if you work in a startup environment, there’s a high chance that you will have to attend some kind of corporate event. For guys, this means dress shoes, for ladies some kind of heeled shoe. In this situations, you will be wearing these shoes often so ideally you would like them to be long lasting, to look good and to be comfortable at the same time: therefore, you need good quality shoes.
Quality shoes (custom-made or not) come with a price to match but they also come with added benefits: good quality materials, good fit, long life. If you decide to go for a quality dress shoe, then we guide you on how to buy it. Read on.
Tips to buy quality footwear
What is the right shoe for you? Ladies and gentlemen, there are a few factors to consider when it comes to buying shoes.
1. A shoe well made – You are at the store and the choice is immense. You hold a pair of shoes in your hand. How would you know that is a quality shoe? Check if the shoes look like they are made to last, look if the sole and the upper are stitched together. In dress shoes, there are 2 main manufacture methods: either the sole and the upper are Goodyear welted or they’re Blake-stitched together. These shoes tend to last longer.
Some shoes have the upper and the sole glued together instead of being stitched. After some use and especially when worn during rainy weather, you will notice that the upper might start to peel from the sole.
2. The secret is in the materials – Higher-quality shoes have better sole materials, quality leather and better stitching, and they are made to last up to 20 years. More affordable shoes will be made with a leather imitation that tends to crack and peel more easily. If your goal is quality, avoid faux leather shoes and opt for 100% full grain leather shoes.
3. Handcrafted shoes – High-end shoes ‘secret sauce’ lie in the quality and attention to detail. Custom-made shoe prices are high not just because of its materials but mainly because of the time put into their making. High-quality, custom-made shoes are therefore much more expensive comparing with shoes that are mass produced.
4. Quality assured – Handmade shoes have a tighter quality control. If only 25 to 50 pairs of shoes are produced at each time, it is possible to inspect every shoe that comes out of the production line. That is hard to achieve in shoes that are manufactured by the thousands.
5. Does the brand matter? Established brands, with history and reputation in the market, give us certain expectations and are synonym with high quality. Bespoke brands for handmade shoes also come with a price to match. So it all depends on your preference. One more factor that influences the price is the country of origin. You can find good shoes in every country but Italian, Spanish and Portuguese handcrafted shoes have a great reputation.
6. The distribution factor – When choosing a shoe brand and comparing prices, take into consideration the nature of the company you are buying from. Departments stores tend to mark up the products and offer a larger variety of styles. Buying directly from a company reduces that distribution cost and can lead to lower prices.
So, in short, what are the advantages of purchasing custom-made handcrafted shoes:
- If you need an odd size number shoe, when you get custom-made, you get the right shoe fit for you.
- You get a long-lasting quality shoe that is a good investment if you need to dress up often or work in a corporate environment with a dress code.
- It is a good investment for people who rather spend in one great shoe that will last rather than having several different ones in the closet that will wear out by the end of the season.
7. If you buy your shoes in a physical store, wait until the afternoon to shop. Your feet naturally expand with use during the day and may swell in hot weather so you want to make try a new pair in these conditions.
8. Choosing the correct size – Make sure you have at least a quarter- to a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
9. Feel the shoe – Before buying, walk with the shoes a bit and examine their soles. Do they look sturdy and comfortable enough?
10. True to size? Sizes vary from one manufacturer to another. When buying online, make sure the store has a return policy in case you need to exchange the shoes for a different size.
Pro tip – Ladies, do you want to invest in a good and expensive pair of heeled shoes? Choose a neutral nude colour that is more versatile and easier to match with your outfits. A nude colour is flattering because will make you look taller.
How much are we expected to pay for a quality shoe?
Depending on each brand, quality shoes’ prices in Singapore can vary as described below:
- Higher quality shoes: ~$300 to $400.
With this amount, you can buy you a very good quality shoe that’ll last quite a long time. If budget is not a problem, shop for Ed Et Al, Carmina or Crockett & Jones. Premium shoes, such as brogues and luxe trainers, can be found in specialist shops for prices starting at $300.
- Quality shoes: ~$200 to $250
- Affordable quality shoes: ~$70 to $200
If you don’t want to spend too much on dress shoes but still want to buy a pair of shoes that will last you more than 3 months, there are good options below $200.
- High-end dress shoes: ~$400 to $700
If quality dress shoes are your main choice, you can opt for custom made shoes or visit the Department stores to shop for high-end brands.
Note: Price isn’t the only indicator of shoe quality. Check the materials and the way the shoe is made to assure you are paying for the quality you want.
Do I really need a dress shoe or a handcrafted high-end pair?
It makes sense to invest in a $400 + quality shoes if you intend to wear them often. They come with a high comfort level, 100% leather, cork insole, and in classic, elegant design. The higher-end construction method assures its durability. There are other quality options available. If you simply don’t wear dress shoes that often you wouldn’t want to invest too much in it.
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I want to buy a few pairs of shoes but don’t want to spend too much. What are my options?
A pair of good shoes can cost anywhere between $70 to $200 in Singapore, with an average of $125 for a pair of men leather shoes. If you wait for sales periods to purchase, you can get a pair of dress leather shoes that normally costs $300-400 for half the price. Brands like Benjamin Barker, Pedro, Clarks, Ecco or Aldo offer good shoe options for $100++.
Define your budget and get 2 to 3 pairs in your closet so you can rotate them. If you look to buy during promotions you can get up to 3 good pairs of shoes for less than $300 total.
Where to buy quality shoes in Singapore?
Whether you choose to buy them in a store or online, Singapore has enough options for all styles and pockets. Check the table below for some of the most popular brands and stores.
Disclaimer: Table shows the average prices of all types of shoes offered in each one of the websites/brands mentioned, updated in September 2018. For specific prices for each shoe type, visit the suggested websites.
How to maintain your shoes in good condition?
The hot and humid Singapore weather can be our enemy when it comes to keeping shoes in a pristine condition. Who hasn’t ever been caught in the rain just to get their feet drenched after 30 seconds? Rain can change the shape of your shoe and affect its glue. High humidity doesn’t go well with leather either. So, make sure you keep good care of your shoes with these easy tips:
- Apply a water repellant product before you wear your pair of shoes.
- Clean and shine your shoes regularly. For dress shoes, this will prevent cracks and keep the leather intact.
- Use absorbent shoe trees (insert moulds) after you wear the shoes. The insert will keep your shoe dry and will help maintain its shape.
- If you wet your shoes, stuffed them with newspaper and leave them in a well-ventilated area to dry. Don’t use a hot dryer to dry leather shoes as it can make the leather brittle.
- Have more than one pair of shoes to wear and rotate them instead of wearing the same pair every day.
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