Other gentlemen style blogs have their own guides on where to buy quality shoes in Sydney, but I find that they also recommend some rubbish places and have no anecdotes of personal experiences. It’s also very concerning when they recommend two big names in the Australian retail space that sell cemented, sub-par shoes. Ergo, I have excluded them and have only recommended places that do properly constructed stuff.
Double Monk in The Strand Arcade sell four main brands of shoes amongst other gentlemen goods such as Abbeyhorn products, Saphir polishes, Fox Umbrellas and exquiste ties. These shoe brands are Crockett and Jones, Alden, Edward Green and John Lobb. They are considered top of the line quality shoes made in England and I am very thankful that this store is bringing them into Sydney.
Tom, James and Sascha are also the most chill and helpful people when it comes to style advice and general chats about men’s fashion and shoes. I’m looking forward to visiting their main shop in Melbourne the next time I fly there.
Here are some photographs of shoes that I have bought from them:
Here is a short video that I made about them:
Two doors next to Double Monk you’ll find Andrew McDonald, a local Sydney shoe maker who trained with John Lobb back in his younger days. He is always innovating new styles and spicing things up with his designs. I have actually written up a review already on his store and you can find it by clicking here.
In browsing through Janardana’s website at
http://www.janardanashoemaker.com, he employs the usual methods of shoe construction including Blake stitched and Good Year Welted shoes. However, the one amazing thing that stands out the most to me is that he actually Handwelts some of his shoes! This is huge as that takes tremendous skill, time and effort to commit to.
You can find his studio and showroom at Fitzroy Place in Surry Hills.
I’ve written a review on Kazuna’s services and I rate the shoes very highly. He does two lines of shoes: a Made to Measure service by Miyagi-Kogyo in Japan and a Made to Order service by a shoemaker located in Spain. I only have shoes from Miyagi-Kogyo and I am pleased to say that I am very happy about them as well as impressed by his Japanese high standard of service to customers.
His offering of Spanish made to orders also look very promising. I had a flick through his material book and the choice of options and leathers are very extensive.
J. H. Cutler
By appointment only at 12-14 O’Connell Street in Manufacturer’s House, J. H. Cutler specialises in bespoke menswear but they also do ready to wear and made to order Stefano Bemer shoes. Stefano Bemer shoes are one of the greatest shoes that one can get in the world and it is a service to us Sydney dwellers that they are obtainable on our home soil without having to travel too far.
Read more about their Bemer offerings here:
A tad expensive for my taste for mostly Blake stitched shoes, but they are undeniably very beautiful shoes with exquisite patinas and leather quality. It’s worth the experience of just looking and browsing through the store located in Pitt Street Westfield. If you’re lucky, you might even meet the store manager, Bastien Weill, who I can say is an intelligent man who holds a decent conversation. Or is that just me being seduced by his French accent?
Here are some nice purple Berluti’s that I had the pleasure to shine up for a Welted Shoes Australia member.
Oscar Hunt Tailors
At Oscar Hunt Tailors, you can buy a brand called Cordwainer. I don’t have personal experience with them but a colleague at work does. Here’s a pair that I shined up for him!
More out of necessity rather than recommendation, I guess it’d be wrong to leave out R.M. Williams from this list. There are stores everywhere over Sydney and it’s worth walking into a store and trying them on for fit before heading online to a wholesaler like http://www.nungar.com.au/catalog/ or
https://portphillipshop.com.au/ to buy.
Always check out their outlets to see if there’s any factory seconds. Sometimes they’re just as good.
This shop in The Galeries next to The Grounds of the City stocks a variety of shoes. Most of the shoes employ the blake stitch or rapid blake stitch construction but are nevertheless good quality. It’s definitely worth checking out their stock for brands such as Preventi, Barker, Moreschi and Conflict For Interest amongst many others. There are some interesting fashion forward designs that you can find here with Made to Order options as well.
In my visits to this store, it was immediately clear that the staff are quite passionate about their products. However, their sales approach was to deliver a lecture about their shoes before they gauged what kind of customer I was and how much I knew about shoes too. As a result, it felt like they were preaching to the choir. I’d much rather be able to have a friendly chat to build a relationship rather than be treated as a sales opportunity; after all, any visitor is a potential customer in the future if not today.
Their website can be found at www.124shoes.com
At Brooks Brothers you can get a lot of fashionable items like suits, ties, jackets, and of course shoes. They use reputable shoemakers like Allen Edmonds to make their shoes and you can’t go wrong with them. Personally, I don’t favour Allen Edmonds lasts but they are still a brand worth trying and buying in the price range that they present themselves in.
I am aware that in other countries, Brooks Brothers partners with other shoemakers like Edward Green and Crockett and Jones to bring shoe stock into their stores. Might be worth checking them out overseas too if you ever get the chance.
Tom Ford & Harrolds
Located in Pitt Street Westfield, these stores have some nice looking shoes by Artioli, Magnanni, Tom Ford and others. I’ve been informed that the shoe maker for Tom Ford is located in Napoli, but I have yet to pinpoint exactly which factory or shoemaker supplies their goods… anyone got an idea?
The Tom Ford specialist there, Jonathan, is also a nice guy who is very helpful and open to chatting about shoes and suits. I found him to be super friendly and his service felt very welcoming. I mean, nothing can get better than complimentary coffee or whiskey each time I say hello! He also rocks a few pairs of Carmina and Meermin each time I see him, so he knows a bit about his shoe choices too. So shout out to my main man Jonathan, go hit him up.
I was considering pushing this into an honourable mentions list as they used to stock Joseph Cheaney shoes regularly, but not anymore. M.J. Bale has opted for their own line of shoes made in India. Not that they are bad quality, in fact they are better than some other shoe brands out there, but the Cheaney’s just offer so much more in terms of history, prestige and quality.
If you can still get your hands on a pair of Cheaney’s through M.J. Bale, you can probably get a nice discount on them while stocks last!
For entry level decent shoes, Joseph’s on the ground floor of The Strand Arcade stocks a couple of reasonable brands including their own line. I personally don’t go in here after spending much of my time in Double Monk instead and the reviews aren’t great for this place.