Think You’ve Got Weird Feet? Check Out These Shoes

Photo: Courtesy of Shoes of Prey.
If you’ve ever had custom or bespoke shoes made, whether by a cobbler in Italy or at a nondescript storefront in Vietnam, you know what I mean when I say that there’s something thrilling about designing a pair of shoes to your exact specifications. I love buying designer footwear, but as someone whose feet are sometimes too small for standard size 5, I have to admit that nothing feels quite as memorable — or fits as well — as the few pairs I’ve had made to order over the years.

In addition to offering a personalized design and experience, custom-made shoes are a great option for women who wear very small or large sizes, need extra-narrow or wide soles, or whose feet are two different sizes. Luckily for all of us, there are now many companies that offer well-made, customizable shoes online at reasonable price points, so you don’t have to travel to another continent to design the shoe of your dreams!

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Perfect if: your feet aren’t the same size.

If you’re looking for special ballerina flats or have feet that are noticeably different sizes, this direct-to-consumer New York upstart is the brand to know right now.

Launched just last year, Margaux sells flats made out of Italian leather by factories in New York and Spain — and made-to-measure styles only take two weeks to ship. Standard-size styles (available in EUR 33-45) start at just $125 and it’s only an additional $20-30 to order a custom pair.

The only drawback? Some of its most fashionable styles, including the line's fall 2016 collaboration with chic RTW label Tome, are currently not available for custom sizing.
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Poppy Barley

Perfect if: your calves don’t fit in off-the-rack boots.

This Canadian company’s shoes are made in León, Mexico, with full-grain leathers from a family-run tannery. Poppy Barley is a proponent of ethical manufacturing, too. Workers are paid a living wage and offered benefits, such as vacation and work-related training.

Poppy Barley offers ready-to-ship shoes in sizes 5 to 12 in narrow, standard, and wide fits on its website, but the label is best known for $425 made-to-order boots that incorporate your calf width and desired boot height into the design. Styles take up to eight weeks to be made (and at the moment, your color options are just black or cognac), but if you’ve had trouble finding boots that fit your calves properly, you can finally rock the equestrian look!
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Shoes Of Prey

Perfect if: you have extra-small or above-average-sized feet.

This Sydney-based custom-design company should be your go-to if you’re after unique shoe options for hard-to-find sizes or widths at a mid-market price point. Shoes of Prey, which uses standard lasts or foot molds for each style instead of offering a true made-to-measure service, offers footwear from sizes 2-15 in four different widths.

You can pick from 170 materials (including vegan leather) in pretty much every color imaginable — as well as popular patterns, such as leopard print and lace — and shoes take about four weeks to get made and shipped. Prices range from $129 for basic flats to $279 for evening heels from Shoes of Prey’s collaboration with Aussie designer Carla Zampatti and selecting certain materials or adding design tweaks costs extra. Customs and taxes are included in the price and there’s a generous 365-day return policy.
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Julia Bo

Perfect if: you can’t find shoes in the color you want.

Julia Bo offers just two types of shoes: oxfords and boots. But within these two categories, styles range from classic brogues to quirky cutout sandals. Prices start at just $105, which makes this European company a good resource for affordable custom shoes. There’s no extra cost for modifying anything, from shoelace color to heel materials, and Julia Bo offers free worldwide shipping within 2-3 weeks from its workshops in Eastern Europe.

Only sizes 5-11 are available and the brand don’t offer shoes in narrow or wide fits. Plus, the no-frills website doesn’t let you preview what your finished customization will look like...but at these prices, you can afford to play around!
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Perfect if: you want bespoke shoes with arch support.

Founded by an architect in 2005, this is the label to check out if you’re looking for comfortable shoes that are made to fit your feet. Mohop offers customizable bespoke clogs, wedges, and ribbon sandals made in Chicago using digital scanning and 3-D manufacturing techniques.

Custom-fit designs start at just $128 (although more ornate wedge shoes top $500 for a one-of-a-kind creation) and you can request different sizes and even sole heights for each foot. Some of the styles are a bit clunky, but we love that Mohop’s sandals are ergonomic, offer arch support, and are made of American vegan leather and sustainably sourced wood.

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