There are still a few remaining custom shoemakers in Hong Kong who can make up a pair of shoes and a handbag within a few days. They cater to men, women and even children.
Surprisingly, their prices are quite reasonable considering the work involved.
Three of the shoemakers below design a pair of shoes from scratch. They ask clients to either bring in a photo, an old but comfortable pair of shoes or an outfit that they would like to match the shoes with.
WHY CUSTOM-MADE SHOES?
But for most customers, it’s to achieve a comfort level which they can’t easily find buying shoes off the shelf. There are loads of reasons for this: Their feet are too narrow or too wide, their instep is too high or too low, the lining is too hard on the skin of their feet, one of their feet is a different size from the other or, one of their heels needs to be higher than the other. Any of these reasons and more, makes it difficult for them to look as stylish as they wish and to feel comfortable at the same time.
Hence the custom shoemaker.
The Admiralty Centre, Tower 2, 1/F, Shop 75
Hong Kong Island
Tel: (852) 2136 9739
Mon to Sat:
Shoe designers: Alan and Billy Chan
It can take as little as 24 hours or as long as one month to finish a pair of shoes, depending on the complexity of the design and on the uniqueness of a leather type and color, which, if you’re looking for something special, might need to be shipped from Europe.
Most shoes cost between HK$2000-$3000 (Approx
The Sheraton Hotel
Tel (852) 2367 2539
Shoeman Lau offers a wide range of attractive bags as well
Prices vary depending on the bag size and on the quality of the leather
Near corner of
Tsim Sha Tsui
Monday to Saturday
Most clients are looking for a good fit
This shoemaker travels to a city near you
The shop is lined with a variety of handbags models which he can make as well
2 shops in Central
6 Li Yuen Street East (The Lanes), Central
Tel: 2525 6402
Monday to Saturday 10:30 to 8pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 11 to 7:30pm
The shop also carries a line of satin wedding and special occasion shoes.
171 Wong Ngai Chung Road
A short walk from the Times Square exit of the Causeway Bay MTR station
Shoe prices start at HK$500 ($65US). Depending on the changes involved, the custom-making price can vary. GiGi also custom makes handbags. Prices start at HK$1000 and can go as high as HK$9800 for a crocodile skin bag (see below).
Now that you've figured out that you don't have to settle for what you see in shoe shops, start thinking about what shoe designs you'd love to wear. Next, think of the comfort factor: width, instep, size of heel, softness of lining, different sizes of left and right feet, and so on.
Believe it or not, you can have both fashion and comfort, just like everyone else!
The rest is easy. Look over this list. There are five shoemakers to choose from. Four are in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central or Admiralty. The other is a quick taxi ride from Admiralty or a short walk from the MTR. And wear a comfortable old pair of shoes!
Whoever you choose, it'll be a pleasure to finally find a shoe shop that pushes comfort as their first priority.
Have a great time shopping!