How much does a custom shoe cost?

In line with the spirit of the times, more and more people are attaching importance to individuality. This is especially true for clothing and thus, of course, also in terms of shoes. When you talk about customized shoes, you inevitably come to the top category in the field of footwear – the custom shoe. The
The cost of producing such a pair is known to be
is known to be enormous and in this context, of course, the question of price comes up again and again.

There is a lot of price information circulating on the Internet – from several hundred euros to four-digit amounts. Basically, you should always question this information and you are well advised to put the various criteria in context with the price. Some details to keep in mind can be found in this listing:

  • One consideration that greatly affects the price is where the shoe is made – in Germany or other comparable countries with high labor costs, or in low-wage countries (which also exist in Europe)?
  • Is it a true manufacture/craftsmanship or is the shoe made on a more industrial scale? This means with greater use of machinery, such as pinching machines or Goodyear sewing machines. Specifically, is a shoe hand-stitched or welted by machine? Is doubling done by hand or by machine?
  • What materials are used (especially where you can’t see it)? For example, is more expensive, genuine leather used for the insole or back cap, or inexpensive substitutes such as LEFA (leather fiber cloth), as is common in the industry?
  • Are the shoes manufactured completely in-house or are parts of the production, such as upper construction, outsourced for cost reasons (to low-wage countries)?
  • Is the supplier a real artisan company or manufactory or just a sales platform with its own brand that has the shoes manufactured in outsourced contract manufacturing (usually in regions with lower wages)?
  • Are there finesses and innovations that only this provider has and that justify a premium? Be it in terms of the use of special materials, exclusive features or special styles.
  • Is it really custom work? That is, are lasts specifically fitted for the customer and a custom footbed created?
  • What is the level of anatomical / orthopedic expertise of the manufacturer? A custom shoe by no means has to have anything to do with foot problems. But when making a custom shoe, the manufacturer should definitely have a wealth of experience in this area and be very knowledgeable about the anatomy of the feet.

All these points are listed above first of all without valuation and  can be combined with each other then lead to specific prices that are realistic or also partly quite simply unserious.

From my experience as a shoe technology engineer and shoemaker, and considering the work that goes into a pair of traditional, custom-made shoes (namely, 40 hours or more), the price of a pair of classic custom shoes handmade in Germany starts at around 2,500 euros. The shoe is pinched over an individually aligned last, hand-stitched, hand-doubled and equipped with leather caps, leather branded soles and layered leather heels – a true piece of craftsmanship created by true experts in their field and with a great deal of manufacturing knowledge.

With offers that are significantly lower than the above prices, you can assume that the shoes are most likely manufactured in a rather industrial way and in cheaper foreign countries. At first, this is to be seen completely value-free and nothing bad. I would just like to sensitize you to the fact that a handmade custom shoe requires a variety of high-quality materials as well as a great deal of experience in the entire manufacturing process, and numerous hours of work go into such a project. All these criteria definitely justify a higher price and in the end the customer also knows exactly that he wears excellent and unique quality on his foot.

Leave a comment