Yeah, it’s easy to find shoes that cost around $70 a pair that may look like nice dress shoes and may even be made of actual leather… but when it comes down to it are they really worth your money? A cheap pair of shoes worn regularly will maybe last a year, if you’re lucky. Even if you go a grade higher and buy a pair of $150 shoes, you’ll probably get a maximum two years if you’re not too hard on them. However, if you invest in a quality pair of men’s Italian leather shoes, they can last you a lifetime.
There are several reasons why quality leather dress shoes deserve a steeper price tag. As far as style goes, men’s shoes tend to evolve less season to season. If you stick to classics (think cap-toe oxfords or a simple pair of driving loafers) your shoes will stay on trend year after year. If you are buying your first pair of dress shoes, go with a shade of brown, one of the most versatile colors. Eventually you’ll get more adventurous with a pair in oxblood, but starting off every man should have a pair of a neutral color in his closet. Don’t let the specifics of choosing style and color trip you up: your new pair of Italian leather shoes are sure to elevate your look as long as you feel great wearing them.
And you will feel great in them because handmade shoes crafted with quality materials are more comfortable than the cheap, factory made alternative. Period.
Part of what you’re paying for is craftsmanship. Shoemakers in fashion capitals like Italy pass their skills on from generation to generation. It’s not just about making shoes: it’s an art form. The welting is carefully executed to ensure breathability and will be malleable enough to shape to your foot’s unique form without losing support. The leather they choose is from the choice areas of the hide, resulting in minimal processing and a sturdier build to the final product. As time goes, a great pair of leather shoes becomes more comfortable than being barefoot.
High quality men’s shoes are made from full-grain leather. Shoes with corrected grain not only look cheap, they’re going to disintegrate very quickly. Their chemically-treated finish shows wear and tear almost immediately and can even flake off within a matter of months. True craftsmen use full-grain leather which not only looks better, but can also last you 20+ years with periodic re-soling.
Speaking of re-soling, handmade leather shoes do take a bit of maintenance. After all you wear them on your feet so they’re exposed to the elements. But, if you take time to care for your shoes with proper cleaning and storage, they’ll continue to look great for years. While you may opt to get them re-crafted after some time, putting $100 back into them for 5 more years of wear still beats replacing a cheap $80 pair every six months.
When it comes to stylish shoes you’re going to spend some money, so you should spend it wisely. Investing a little more in handmade Italian leather shoes not only pays off in how you look and how they feel, but it ends up saving you money and time in the long run.