A comprehensive guide to ordering shoes online, and getting it right.

1. Know your true UK size:

The Crockett & Jones 348 last (Image courtesy: Crockett & Jones)

2. Learn to describe your feet well:

Different types of foot arches and insteps

3. Pay attention to the last:

Some shoes in my collection with different toe shapes. Rounded, almond chiseled, soft square and hard chiseled.

4. Test shoes:

Putting on my Norman Vilalta test shoe and pointing out the area(s) of discomfort

5. Final words:

6. Getting started:

  • Crockett & Jones Jones : EUR 450+ . The quintessential well made, British shoe. C&J has a variety of conservative and modern lasts and has something for pretty much anyone.
  • Cheaney : GBP 300+ (Excluding VAT). Coming in cheaper than C&J, Cheaney is an excellent gateway into the world of quality shoes and was my personal starting point as well.
  • Meermin : EUR 180 + . No personal experience, but generally well liked in the online communities for the price. Designed in Spain and made in China. I have heard reports that their shoes might be hard to break-in though
  • Herring shoes: EUR 150+ excluding discounts and VAT. Herring is a UK based retailer who sells shoes under their own brand as well as from other english and european brands. Herring can also be an alternative to find your UK size as their customer service is excellent and have a comprehensive return/ exchange policy.
  • Cru Nonpareil: USD 260+. Trinidad based Cru Non Pareil is a brand that offers a curated collection of mostly made to order shoes and caters to those with very wide or large feet.
  • Carlos Santos (Reviews coming soon) : Best purchased via The Noble Shoe : EUR 300 + . While portugal based Carlos Santos has their own e-commerce site, I highly recommend the Noble Shoe for a vastly superior customer experience and sizing advice. Carlos Santos shoes offer unique hand painted patinas and very good build quality for the price.
  • TLB Mallorca: (Reviews coming soon) EUR 350+ .Spanish company TLB has been one of the rising stars of the post pandemic online shoe shopping boom. Offering extremely high quality leathers from world renowned tanneries and beautiful, timeless designs, TLB is one of my favorites in this price category. They also offer extensive customization capabilities. The customer service is first class as well, which is sometimes handled by the owner; Toni himself!
  • Carmina: EUR 345 + .Carmina is the number 1 shoe brand in Spain and has a cult like following online. But in my personal experience, the quality and customer service were not on par with the other brands in this category. Others might have a different experience. Carmina does have a great 3D configuration tool that helps you design your dream pair very easily.
  • Antonio Meccariello (Reviews coming soon): EUR 550+ for “Argentum ready to wear” line: Napoli based Antonio Meccariello offers basically endless customization, most of which cannot be found on the website. It is recommended that one starts with a ready to wear shoe (Which still takes about 2–4 weeks to be finished), and only branch out further once one understands the brand and the make himself a bit better. Antonio’s shoes are impeccably built from the finest materials and are built to last a lifetime.
  • Paolo Scafora (Reviews coming soon): EUR 1100+: Another Neapolitan, family owned shoemaker, Paolo Scafora is the go-to option if you cherish Norwegian braided construction in your shoes. Scafora offers an easy to use, online configuration tool with which one can build their dream shoe with a few clicks. The customer service is first class as well.
  • Norman Vilalta (Reviews coming soon): EUR 1100 + : Argentina born; Barcelona based Norman Vilalta has taken the high end shoe making world by storm with his innovative takes on classic designs and incredible patina work. Norman offers a variety of shoes as Ready To Wear on his website, but any of his current and historic designs can be made-to-order in custom makeups, after consultation with the team.

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Via Sartoria

Via Sartoria

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Shoes, clothes and all things sartorial. Dress better, today.