When it comes to footwear, there is nothing quite like a pair of top quality leather shoes. From Spain to Italy, these shoes have a long-standing reputation for their craftsmanship, durability, and timeless style. Whether you're in the market for a classic Oxford or a bold derby shoe, there is a wide range of options to choose from. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular types of leather shoes, as well as highlight some of the best brands in the industry. So, if you're in search of the perfect pair of shoes that will stand the test of time, look no further than these top quality leather options.
Popular Types of Shoes in Spain
Oxfords, loafers, derbies, and monks are all highly popular types of men's dress shoes in Spain and worldwide. Here's a brief description of each:
- Oxfords: Also known as Balmorals, Oxfords are classic dress shoes that are characterized by their closed lacing system. The eyelets for the laces are sewn beneath the vamp, resulting in a sleek and streamlined appearance. Oxfords, typically made of leather, are suitable for both formal and semi-formal occasions.
- Loafers: Loafers are slip-on dress shoes known for their low profile and absence of laces or buckles. Made primarily from leather, they are versatile and can be worn with various outfits, ranging from business casual to more formal attire. Loafers are particularly favored for their comfort and ease of use.
- Derbies: Also known as Bluchers, Derbies have a construction similar to Oxfords but feature an open lacing system. The eyelets for the laces are sewn on top of the vamp, creating a more relaxed and casual look. Derbies are versatile and can be worn with both casual and formal outfits.
- Monks: Monkstrap shoes are a distinctive style of dress shoes that feature a strap and buckle closure instead of laces. They are usually made of leather and are available in various colors and styles. Monk strap shoes are considered a more fashion-forward option and can be worn with both formal and casual outfits.
Each of these dress shoe styles possesses unique characteristics suited to different occasions and outfits. Whether you prefer a classic and formal Oxford or a more relaxed and comfortable loafer, Spanish shoemakers offer a wide selection to meet your needs.
Cobbler Handcrafted Shoes
Cobbler Union specializes in crafting shoes that are meticulously handcrafted. They are constructed using a Goodyear welt method, which ensures exceptional durability and allows for easy resoling. To create these high-quality shoes, Cobbler Union sources its top-grade leather from esteemed tanneries in Italy and France. The shoes are then carefully made by skilled artisans in small batches.
Cobbler Union offers a diverse range of shoe styles, catering to different preferences. Their collection includes classic oxfords and loafers, as well as more contemporary designs. These shoes are highly sought after by discerning customers who value the timeless elegance and superior craftsmanship of traditional handmade footwear.
Overall, Cobbler Union is renowned for its unwavering commitment to quality, meticulous attention to detail, and steadfast dedication to preserving the art of traditional shoemaking.
Spanish Shoes vs Italian Shoes
Both Spanish and Italian shoes are highly regarded in the fashion industry for their exceptional quality and stylish designs.
Spanish shoes are cherished for their traditional craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Many Spanish shoemakers have been producing high-quality shoes for decades, or even centuries, utilizing traditional techniques and the finest materials. These shoes are often characterized by their sleek and classic designs, as well as their impeccable construction.
On the other hand, Italian shoes are celebrated for their innovative designs and luxurious materials. Prominent Italian shoemakers, such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Prada, are at the forefront of fashion trends, constantly pushing the boundaries of shoe design. Italian shoes are often known for their bold and avant-garde styles, incorporating high-quality leather and other premium materials.
The choice between Spanish and Italian shoes ultimately depends on your personal taste and style preference. If you prefer classic, timeless designs and traditional craftsmanship, then Spanish shoes may be the perfect choice for you. However, if you gravitate towards cutting-edge, fashion-forward styles and innovative designs, Italian shoes may be a better fit. Both Spanish and Italian shoes offer excellent options for those seeking high-quality and stylish footwear.
Traditional Monk Straps
Versatility is the foremost consideration for Jim O'Brien, co-founder of Cleobella based in Huntington Beach, California, when it comes to formal shoes. He appreciates the fact that the single monk strap style can be dressed up or down for various occasions, from weddings to dinners out. Furthermore, he finds them exceptionally comfortable, especially for a more structured shoe.
Durable Double Buckles
These double-strap shoes feature the same antiqued leather treatment preferred by O'Brien, incorporating darker dye deposits at the toe and heel. This intentional design element enhances durability, as these areas are prone to show signs of age and wear. Notably, O'Brien appreciates the variation in color, as the interplay between light and dark brown makes these shoes fitting for various occasions.
Bold Derby Shoes
Wes Sharpton, lead brand educator and stylist at Hairstory, who divides his time between Catskill, New York, and New York City, appreciates classic shoes with a twist. He finds this particular style of leather lug sole shoes visually intriguing without being overly flashy. Moreover, he appreciates the additional height provided by the 1.75-inch rubber soles.
Durable lug soles that are waterproof
These Rockport Men's Northfield Oxford shoes are equipped with waterproof lug soles that are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. The laces and classic body shape maintain the timeless look of traditional men's dress shoes, while the rugged rubber soles add a touch of uniqueness to any formal outfit.
Minimalist vegan shoes
For those who prefer a vegan option without compromising on style, these Matt & Nat Itoki Men's Vegan Dress Shoes are a perfect choice. The clean lines and timeless design make them versatile and suitable for any occasion. These lace-up oxfords are not only comfortable but also ethically made, as no animals were harmed in their production. They are crafted using biodegradable polyurethane, reflecting the brand's commitment to sustainability.
Crafted suede shoes with exceptional craftsmanship
Heschung, a boutique French brand, offers these exquisite Wenge Suede Goodyear Welt Derbys that exemplify exceptional craftsmanship. Each pair is meticulously handcrafted in the Alsace region using a reverse-welt construction technique, where the sole is stitched instead of glued. The result is a visually stunning pair of shoes with leather soles that can be easily replaced by a skilled cobbler every few years. Wearing these shoes is not just a practical choice but also an artistic statement.
Leather chukka boots
These leather chukka boots, available for $265 at Saks Fifth Avenue, are a favored silhouette among enthusiasts. The higher ankle rise and sleek leather uppers give them a polished look, while the cushioned insoles ensure comfort.
These heeled boots, known for their almond toe, smooth black leather, and stacked heel, offer a rockstar vibe. They are admired for their versatility and comfort, making them the go-to choice for both dressed-up occasions and casual outfits. Slipping them on and off is effortless, thanks to the convenient interior zipper.
These versatile boots are highly regarded for their adaptability to different wardrobing needs. They are both stylish and durable, featuring rubber outsoles, steel shank construction, and treated leather designed to age gracefully. With a range of 13 colors and finishes, including options like Dark Charcoal and Olive, these boots effortlessly match any casual or more formal outfit.
These statement slip-on boots are admired for their unique style and comfortable fit. Made from high-quality leather with rubber Vibram soles, they exude attitude and add personality to any outfit. Available for 3 at MyTheresa, they are a favorite among those looking for distinctive footwear.
These sleek sneakers are an ideal choice for dressing up without compromising on comfort. Made from leather and free from busy accents or logos, they can be worn with dress clothes to create a polished look. Personal stylist Rayne Parvis recommends these sneakers as a substitute for brown lace-up dress shoes. Clients have attested to their comfort, and they can be customized with orthotics for an even better fit.
Luxurious Lace-Up Shoes
These luxurious lace-up sneakers, known as the Original Achilles Sneaker, are highly coveted by stylists and clients. They possess an understated and refined design. Instead of a traditional logo, they feature a distinct string of numbers on the side of the sleek leather. This detail is equivalent to Christian Louboutin's iconic red soles and is recognizable to those in the know.
You can purchase these exquisite sneakers for $425 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Timeless Oxford
The Oxford shoe is a classic and elegant dress shoe. With a closed lacing construction, it exudes sophistication. Typically seen in black, these shoes offer a versatile option for various formal occasions, from business suits to black-tie events.
One of the most popular styles is the cap toe Oxford, featuring a capped toe for a refined look. Another noteworthy variation is the wholecut Oxford, crafted from a single piece of leather. While equally stylish, it allows for unique patina techniques, creating an eye-catching appearance.
The Stylish Derby
Often mistaken for Oxfords, the Derby shoe distinguishes itself with its open lacing. Unlike the sleek and formal Oxford, the Derby's more relaxed upper construction makes it a versatile choice. While it can be worn with a suit, it is particularly well-suited for pairing with unstructured blazers and tailored trousers.
A variation of the Derby is the suede buck, also known as buck. It features a plain toe and is made from nubuck leather, lending it a distinct texture and appearance.
The Elegant Monk Strap
The monk strap shoe has experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly among fashion-forward individuals. It comes in two forms: the single buckle and the double buckle, with the former being considered more formal. These shoes feature a buckle and strap closure system, adding a touch of sophistication. Despite their formality, monk strap shoes can be found in various styles, ranging from formal with elaborate patinas to more casual options with thin soles.
Monk strap shoes pair exceptionally well with wool tailored trousers or pleated cotton trousers, adding an elegant touch to any outfit.
The Versatile Loafer
The loafer, commonly associated with casual attire, deserves recognition as a dress shoe as well. Its slip-on style can be traced back to Norwegian fishermen who wore moccasins for comfort. In the 1930s, G.H. Bass recognized the market potential and introduced the 'Weejun' loafer.
Today, loafers come in various styles, including penny, tassel, and horsebit designs. Belgian loafers, resembling slippers, are currently a popular choice among style-conscious individuals. Loafers pair best with relaxed tailoring, making them ideal for summer ensembles featuring light-colored suits and separates.
The Sophisticated Brogue
The term 'brogue' refers to the decorative punched leather pattern found on Oxford and Derby shoes. Originally intended to aid water drainage, brogueing is now purely ornamental.
There are different types of brogue styles to consider. The wingtip brogue showcases an 'M'-shaped pattern on the upper, commonly seen on Oxfords. The semi-brogue features brogueing along the toe cap seam, providing a less decorative look. The longwing brogue extends the perforated detail to the heel, adding a unique touch.
Formality of brogue shoes often correlates with the amount of brogueing. Rugged outdoor boots may feature extensive brogueing, while sleek Oxfords typically showcase minimal brogueing on the toe cap. This distinction allows brogues to be worn with a range of outfits, including suiting.
Discover the best brands for men's dress shoes and elevate your footwear collection.
Velasca Badalüch Derby shoe
Velasca Pacciasass Derby boot
Velasca is a luxury Made in Italy shoemaker that specializes in creating high-quality footwear. The brand carefully selects skilled artisans located in the renowned Marche region to craft each pair of shoes and boots. By maintaining close relationships with these artisans, Velasca ensures that every pair is meticulously crafted and maintains full transparency throughout the supply chain.
Velasca offers a diverse range of footwear, including formal Oxfords, sophisticated slippers, comfortable moccasins, and stylish Chelsea boots. Each pair is meticulously crafted by hand using premium calf leather and suede.
Morjas The Oxford in Medium Brown Suede
Morjas The Tassel Loafer in Black Calf
Situated at the intersection of the Mediterranean and Scandinavia, Morjas is among the contemporary luxury shoe brands that operate on a direct-to-consumer model. This approach allows customers to enjoy the epitome of luxury footwear at more accessible price points compared to well-established brands.
Crafting each pair of shoes takes eight weeks and involves over 128 meticulous steps and 61 dedicated workstations. The result is a truly exquisite shoe that is well worth the wait.
Edward Green Piccadilly Leather Penny Loafers
Edward Green Chelsea Cap-Toe Burnished-Leather Oxford Shoes
Edward Green is renowned for producing exceptional dress shoes and demands a premium price. The brand, founded in 1890, maintains its peerless reputation by meticulously handcrafting each pair of shoes using only the finest calf leather hides. With around 250 pairs completed per week, the artisanship and attention to detail shine through in every Goodyear-welted pair.
Edward Green offers an eclectic range of luxury classics, with its exquisite Chelsea Oxfords and elegant Piccadilly loafers being particularly noteworthy.
Crockett & Jones
Crockett & Jones Sydney Suede Loafers
Crockett & Jones Lace-Up Leather Derby Shoes
Crockett & Jones, another legacy shoe maker from Northampton, has been a leading figure in the British luxury shoe industry since 1879. Each pair of Crockett & Jones shoes undergoes a meticulous eight-week construction process consisting of over 200 separate operations, all carried out by skilled craftsmen.
The brand boasts a wide range of classic dress shoes and quality dress boots, offering excellent value compared to some of the other specialist luxury brands. Their suede summer loafers are particularly noteworthy, and for a smart pair of Oxfords for business attire, Crockett & Jones is an excellent choice.
Baudoin & Lange
Baudoin & Lange Sagan Classic Plain
Baudoin & Lange Sagan Classic Tassels
Baudoin & Lange can be credited with the resurgence of the Belgian loafer, thanks to its iconic Sagan loafer introduced in 2015. These handmade shoes, produced in East London, possess a unique blend of slipper-like comfort and supple elegance. They are the perfect summer footwear option to complement linen or cotton tailoring.
For those seeking uncompromising quality, Berluti is the brand of choice. Based in Paris, Berluti is renowned for its bespoke and truly unique shoe offerings. While most shoes are custom made to order, the brand also offers select stock options.
The price of Berluti shoes varies due to the individuality and craftsmanship involved. If you desire genuinely exceptional and one-of-a-kind shoes, Berluti is the perfect fit.
Joseph Cheaney & Sons
Cheaney Andrew Derby Semi Brogue in Light Chestnut Calf Leather
Cheaney Hythe II R Wingcap Oxford Brogue in Mahogany Grain Leather
Joseph Cheaney & Sons, based in Northampton, has undergone a revival under the ownership of two dedicated brothers. Their goal was to restore the brand's reputation for handcrafted excellence, and they have succeeded in maintaining the brand's legacy.
Cheaney's collection of brogues and semi-brogues showcase the brand's commitment to meticulous craftsmanship. Each pair is handmade in the same factory that has operated since 1900.
Santoni Suede Monk-Strap Loafers
Santoni Suede Penny Loafers
The Santoni workshop is renowned for creating impeccable handmade Italian shoes. Founded by Andrea Santoni in 1975, this family-run business has maintained its commitment to exquisite craftsmanship and expertise.
While Santoni produces exemplary examples of various timeless shoe styles, its double-buckle designs, particularly in the form of loafers, are especially celebrated. In recent years, Santoni has also ventured into pushing the boundaries of shoe design, particularly with sneakers and hybrid models. If your personal style can be described as 'classic with a twist', you'll find plenty to be enthused about.
Salvatore Ferragamo Calf Leather Oxford Shoes
Salvatore Ferragamo Cube Eco Logo-Debossed Leather Sneakers
Salvatore Ferragamo, considered one of the pioneers of Italian shoemaking, gained prominence in early 20th-century Hollywood due to his comfortable shoe designs. While the brand is now well-known for its women's pumps and ballet flats, its men's shoes are equally remarkable, particularly the Oxfords. Ferragamo's integration with the world of fashion and ready-to-wear has enabled it to embrace innovation and offer modern interpretations of classic shoe styles, including chunky-soled derbies and eclectic sneakers.
Best Boot: Thursday Boot Company's Captain Boot
A timeless and versatile cap toe boot, the Captain Boot from Thursday Boot Company is crafted with top-quality leather sourced from US hides and features Goodyear welt construction. Designed to withstand the test of time, this boot effortlessly complements any outfit.
- Versatile dress/work boot hybrid
- Wide variety of leathers
- Offered at just $199
Out of my extensive collection of boots, the Captain Boot is always my top recommendation. It combines unparalleled value and versatility, which are rare qualities to find in the boot market. While many solid boot options on the market exceed the $300 price range, Thursday Boot Company offers a stellar boot at an accessible price point of $199.
Unhappy with the premium prices of other resoleable boots, the founders of Thursday Boot Company chose a direct-to-consumer model, eliminating the markups associated with traditional retail stores. This decision allowed them to create a remarkable boot without compromising on quality.
The Captain Boot strikes a perfect balance between refined dress boots and rugged work boots. This design philosophy results in a boot with a slim profile that effortlessly transitions from formal to casual occasions.
It also features a 360-degree Goodyear welt that not only provides superior water resistance and ease of resoling but also maintains a streamlined appearance. Additionally, the boot is equipped with a layer of EVA on the insole, a foam commonly found in sneakers, ensuring excellent shock absorption and a comfortable feel comparable to sneakers rather than rigid work boots.
The Captain Boot is a truly unique product that masterfully combines elements of both dressy and casual styles, setting it apart from any other boot on the market. Furthermore, it offers a wide range of leather options, guaranteeing a selection that suits individual preferences. In terms of value and overall quality, it is undoubtedly the best boot available.
Runner-Up: Oak Street Bootmakers' Trench Boot
- Made in the USA
- Wide toebox for enhanced comfort
- Priced at approximately $442 - $480
The runner-up for the best overall boot is the Trench Boot crafted by Oak Street Bootmakers.
These boots feature exquisite leather construction and robust craftsmanship. Made in Chicago using leather sourced from Horween Leather Company, a renowned tannery in the city, they boast exceptional sturdiness, versatility, and resoleability. The design focuses on simplicity, allowing the construction and high-quality materials to speak for themselves.
Furthermore, these boots are entirely made in America (including the packaging), underscoring the brand's commitment to domestic production. However, with a price point of around $460, they may not be suitable for everyone. Keep in mind that the boots often go on sale several times a year, and opting for a leather sole can reduce the price by around twenty dollars.
Best Chelsea Boots: Koio's Trento
The Trento Boot by Koio is a sleek Chelsea boot that embodies flexibility, lightweight comfort, water resistance, and resoleability. With its three available colorways, this boot checks all the boxes.
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- Flexible, lightweight construction
- Comfortable leather soles
- Produced using sustainable leather
The Trento Boot exemplifies excellence in craftsmanship, boasting premium materials and a versatile design without unnecessary features.
What sets this model apart is its commitment to traditional construction techniques. While many prefer robust Goodyear welts and rugged Commando soles, Koio opted for the classic combination of Blake stitch and leather soles. This choice prioritizes comfort by creating a more flexible and lightweight boot compared to many others on the market, while still offering resoleability.
Comfort is key with the Trento Boot. Though not specifically designed for rugged terrain, the all-leather construction molds to the foot over time, creating a custom-fit feel. Whether worn with formal or smart casual attire, this Chelsea boot delivers uncompromising comfort and style.
The only dilemma lies in selecting a leather variant. The smooth black leather ensures compatibility with a suit, while the range of smart casual suedes adds a touch of versatility.
Runner-Up: R.M. Williams Comfort Craftsman
- Made in Australia
- Yearling leather strikes the perfect balance between softness and durability
- Versatile aesthetic
- Priced at approximately $550
When it comes to Chelsea boots, R.M. Williams is unrivaled and essential for any gentleman's wardrobe.
There are two standout features that distinguish these boots from the rest. First, they are "whole cut," meaning the upper is made from a single piece of leather that envelops the foot and is stitched together at the ankle. This design translates into an incredibly comfortable fit that molds to the foot over time, resulting in a boot that feels almost "sock-like."
Second, the boots are crafted using unique "yearling leather" sourced from one-year-old calves. This leather combines the durability of cowhide with the softness and fine grain of calfskin, striking the perfect balance.
While some may have reservations about the slightly square toe, these boots are exceptionally comfortable (to the point where you may forget to take them off when you get home), durable, and even endorsed by Hugh Jackman in their commercials. With a price point of approximately $550, the Comfort Craftsman may be a justifiable investment for those seeking unmatched quality.
The Finest Moc Toe Boot: Grant Stone’s Brass Boot
Grant Stone's Brass Boot Grant Stone's Brass Boot stands out among moc toe boots due to its exceptional quality materials, robust construction, and versatile aesthetic. This is undoubtedly the top choice in the moc toe boot market.
- Offers more versatility than traditional moc toe boots
- Crafted with high-quality Italian vegetable-tanned leather
- Priced at $330 - $380, depending on the leather chosen
Next in line is the finest moc toe boot, an iconic casual style that adds a touch of sophistication to any relaxed outfit. The Brass Boot by Grant Stone is an exceptional boot from a brand renowned for their exquisite footwear that leans towards a more formal appeal. The Brass Boot represents their foray into work boot-inspired designs.
While it may not be specifically suited for electrician work, it boasts a spacious and robust construction, making it an excellent choice for its durability and versatility. It effortlessly complements both casual and semi-formal ensembles. What sets this moc toe apart is its sleeker profile, allowing some individuals to pair it effortlessly with button-down shirts and blazers, as well as with well-worn jeans and t-shirts.
The Brass Boot features impeccable leather quality (the golden variant utilizes Italian vegetable-tanned leather that develops a beautiful patina over time) and is an ideal option for those seeking a single pair of boots that pairs harmoniously with almost anything.
Runner Up: Red Wing’s Classic Moc
Red Wing Classic Moc The Classic Moc by Red Wing is arguably the most iconic boot in America. Maintaining the same construction since the 1950s, this boot excels both on the job site and when paired with contemporary streetwear.
- Proudly made in the USA
- Exudes an iconic aesthetic
- Priced at $299
The runner up in this category is Red Wing’s Moc Toe, which represents the epitome of moc toe boots. Personally, my Charcoal pair of Red Wing boots holds the title as my oldest and most beloved boots. They have achieved classic status and have been embraced by notable personalities like Ryan Gosling and Drake, often styled in the striking Oro Legacy leather that seamlessly coordinates with almost any attire.
Although the Brass Boot wins due to its leather quality and versatility, Red Wing's offering presents an attractive alternative at a price of $299, plus the added allure of being made in the USA.
The Sturdiest Boots: White’s MP Sherman
- Meticulous handsewn stitchdown construction
- Very thick and durable leather
- Inspired by military police boots
- Priced at 0 - 0
It's important to emphasize that the boots featured here excel in both style and ruggedness, guaranteeing a dashing appearance both in urban settings and challenging environments. For this category, we turn our attention to White's.
White's MP Sherman boasts a double-layered leather upper, midsole, and insole, a significant increase in thickness compared to lower-end brands. These boots provide an undeniable heft, reminiscent of wearing a sturdy cowhide armor on your feet. However, it is not only the weight that matters - White's employs meticulous handsewn stitchdown construction, a labor-intensive and time-consuming technique that surpasses the standard Goodyear welt found in other boots on this list. Many consider this construction method to result in a substantially more comfortable boot. Paired with the timeless aesthetic and superior leather quality, White's truly stands out as an unrivaled option.
For those who appreciate unparalleled craftsmanship, exceptional durability, and products made in the USA, White's should be your destination of choice.
Runner Up: Truman Boot Company
- Handcrafted in Oregon
- Offers a wide range of distinct and captivating leathers
- Priced at $399 - $520
Truman Boot Company, an entirely American brand founded in Pennsylvania and currently based in Oregon, captures attention with its robust and rugged design, as well as their captivating leather selection.
These boots feature a more ample and work boot-inspired silhouette, distinguishing themselves from the MP Sherman mentioned earlier. Depending on availability, Truman offers an extensive range of innovative leathers that adds a unique touch to their boots, featuring shades ranging from vibrant reds to sky blues and deep greens.
My personal pair of Truman boots is crafted with their flagship Java Waxed Flesh, a durable and scratch-resistant roughout leather sourced from Horween. Over time, it develops a beautiful patina, gradually revealing a golden nap underneath.
When I slip on a pair of Truman boots, I feel invincible and undeniably stylish. Yes, I said it.
The Ultimate Luxury Boot: The Alden Indy
The Dressed Up Adventurer
- Unparalleled comfort
- Made in New England
- Worn by Indiana Jones
- Priced at 0 - 0
When we refer to a "luxury boot," we do not limit ourselves to dress boots alone. Every boot on this list is suitable for casual wear. What we are looking for are leather boots that have achieved legendary status within the industry due to their rich history, superior quality, and, indeed, their price. Both boots featured in this category originate from companies that were established in the 19th century and boast a price tag well over $500.
The first contender is Alden's American-made 403, famously known as the Indy due to its association with Indiana Jones in all his movies. It can't get any cooler than that.
This boot showcases a unique and captivating design that captures attention without being too ostentatious. It also features a storm welt for enhanced water resistance (invaluable when swimming to German U-boats). Furthermore, Alden produces these boots entirely in New England, from start to finish.
Founded in 1884, the company initially focused on creating orthopedic shoes. This emphasis on anatomical correctness is perhaps why they offer their boots in a broad range of widths, from B (extra narrow) to EEEE (extra, extra, extra wide).
The Indy boot is often recommended by podiatrists for individuals suffering from foot pain due to its outstanding comfort and support. This attribute is especially appreciated by those who spend long hours on their feet. And yes, it may even help you survive a nuclear explosion inside a refrigerator.
Runner Up: Carmina’s Chelsea
- Crafted in Spain
- Made with luxurious French box calf leather
- Incorporates three layers of leather in the sole for exquisite underfoot softness
- Priced at approximately $525
The runner up in the luxury boot category is the Chelsea Boots by Carmina. This particular Chelsea boot holds a rich history, as it is meticulously crafted on the Spanish island of Mallorca, and the family behind the brand has been involved in shoemaking since 1866. In fact, we paid a visit to Mallorca ourselves to discover precisely how Carmina boots are made.
The brand is renowned for its elegant lasts. Noteworthy elements of their boots include using box calf leather, a highly regarded French calfskin known for its smoothness and vibrancy; a sole constructed with three layers of leather, considered by many as the pinnacle of softness and comfort; and exquisite details like the high stitch count and closed channel stitching.
Gaziano Girling Hayes
Gaziano Girling Bletchley
Gaziano & Girling is a bespoke and made-to-order shoemaker renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship and timeless designs. The duo behind this prestigious brand, Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling, have successfully merged Italian elegance and comfort with British craftsmanship and tradition.
The brand carefully selects the finest French or Swiss calf leather, which is then finished by premier Italian leather finishing houses, ensuring a level of perfection that approaches footwear excellence. The burnished leather 'Hayes' model exemplifies the epitome of shoe allure.
George Cleverley George Full-Grain Leather Penny Loafers
George Cleverley Archie Leather Derby Shoes
Father and son team George Glasgow Sr and Jr have established themselves as one of the world's leading shoemakers through their unwavering commitment to their craft. Cleverley's expertise lies in their unparalleled bespoke experience.
The brand's shoe styles, particularly the slip-ons like the single-buckle Ashford and Chesterfield or the tasselled Bexleys, exude a captivating sense of nostalgia. Investing in a pair of Cleverley shoes, especially the bespoke ones, ensures a lifelong friendship with your footwear.
John Lobb Skye Lace-Up Leather Ankle Boots
John Lobb Lopez Suede Penny Loafers
Renowned British shoemaker John Lobb has contributed to the diplomatic relationship between France and Britain ever since Hermès acquired Lobb's Paris workshop and boutique in 1976. As a result, all of the brand's custom orders are meticulously handmade in Paris while the ready-to-wear collections are produced in Northamptonshire.
Lobb's repertoire extends beyond classic shoes, now venturing into contemporary sneakers with minimalist design elements.
Grenson Brady Boot
Grenson Fred Brogue Boot
Grenson is another esteemed shoemaker from Northamptonshire, tracing its origins back to 1876. The brand is best recognized for its exceptional boot and brogue designs, in addition to their contemporary sneaker collection that embodies minimalist aesthetics.
If your preference leans towards brogue boots with a countryside-inspired aesthetic, Grenson is one of the top brands to consider. Moreover, for those seeking a more rugged urban look, Grenson offers remarkable chunky styles.
Stefano Bemer Penny loafer C1330
Stefano Bemer Semi-Brogued Captoe Oxford in Replica Russian Reindeer T6620
Even after the passing of the late Stefano Bemer in 2012, his legacy lives on in the form of his handmade, bespoke Florentine brand. In addition to their bespoke offering, Bemer also crafts ready-to-wear shoes of exceptional quality. The ready-to-wear collection is divided into three segments: Traditional, Classic, and Essential, offering a range of formality options.
Bemer's shoes exemplify excellence and pay homage to the art of handcrafted footwear, leaving customers in awe of their impeccable craftsmanship.
Maison Corthay Arca Boucle
Maison Corthay Arca
In 1990, Pierre Corthay established his eponymous luxury shoemaking brand, which has gained recognition for its exceptional handcrafted shoes and, more notably, its unique patinas. Corthay offers a range of colors that cannot be found elsewhere.
In 2008, Corthay earned the prestigious title of Master of Art from the French Ministry of Culture, attesting to the brand's unrivaled craftsmanship. Their Derbies, Oxfords, and monk straps flawlessly fuse traditional and avant-garde elements, making a statement with every step. For those seeking a Parisian label that stands out, Maison Corthay is a must-visit.
Johnston & Murphy
Johnston & Murphy is another highly popular shoe brand globally. For those seeking shoes with a strong reputation at a more affordable price point, exploring the Johnston & Murphy collection is recommended. Their selection includes oxfords, loafers, slip-ons, boots, sneakers, full widths, and dress classics. Even their handcrafted Italian shoes typically do not exceed $300 in price.
Prada shoes boast a sleek and sophisticated look without compromising on comfort. While the brand offers a range of black oxfords and loafers, their Cordovan Cap-Toe dress shoes are particularly impressive with their two-tone design (despite being listed as brown).
Prada shoes can be found at most luxury stores, and prices vary depending on the design, ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand.
Bruno Magli is among the best leather shoe brands globally, known for its highly sophisticated designs and textures. The shoes offer a blend of smooth and flat surfaces, making them easy to clean in high-traffic areas that tend to accumulate dirt.
With their sleek and modern aesthetic, Bruno Magli shoes attract wearers of all ages and styles, providing an attractive design with durable leather soles. The prices of their shoes range from moderately high, starting at $100 and reaching up to $300.
Leathers shoes are not limited to formal footwear; the demand for leatherworking shoes and boots continues to grow. Timberland is one of the most popular shoe brands offering selections in nubuck leather and textured leather.
Timberland shoes often feature a combination of leather and rubber materials, as well as solid fabrics. While prices vary, they typically do not exceed a few hundred dollars.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana stands as one of the best luxury leather shoe brands globally, offering both men's and women's shoes. While the men's collection embodies a more traditional look with oxfords and loafers, the women's shoes showcase futuristic fashion trends, particularly in their high heel selections. The women's collection also offers a wider range of styles and choices.
Crafted from genuine leather, Dolce & Gabbana shoes span a price spectrum ranging from the low hundreds to 0, depending on the boot, size, and style selected. These shoes can often be found in high-end luxury clothing stores, with occasional availability online.
The information provided above about various shoe brands does not reflect the endorsement or guarantee of their quality. It aims to present the renowned brands in the industry, leaving the final choice to individual preferences and requirements.
In the realm of top quality leather shoes, the options seem endless. From cobbler handcrafted shoes to traditional monk straps, the Spanish and Italian footwear industries have made a name for themselves. Whether you prefer durable double buckles or bold derby shoes, the craftsmanship in suede is unparalleled. But the versatility doesn't end there – leather chukka boots, statement slip-ons, and sleek sneakers offer something for every style. And let's not forget the classics – the Oxford, the Derby, the Monk Strap, the Loafer, and the Brogue. With luxury brands like Edward Green, Santoni, and Berluti, finding the perfect pair has never been easier. So, embrace the world of top quality leather shoes and step confidently into the realm of timeless style and unmatched durability.