Handsome handmade shoes

In a world of mass-produced and factory-made footwear, it’s a refreshing sight to see a pair of handsome handmade shoes.

Using natural materials, imagination and some traditional techniques, a shoemaker creates functional masterpieces for our feet.

Sometimes the results look so good, you won’t know whether to wear them or frame them on the wall.

hand knitted shoes

Hand knitted shoes
Photo by Amy Gizienski

joker shoe

Hand made joker shoe
Photo by Keith Williamson

snow shoes

Hand woven snow shoes
Photo by Mary Anne Enriquez

Hand painted shoes

Hand painted shoes
Photo by Shannon Kringen

woollen shoes

Hand moulded shoes
Photo by Inger Maaike

wooden shoes

Hand chiseled shoes
Photo by Sicko Atze van Dijk

straw shoes

Hand sewn shoes
Photo by Shi Yali

Khussa HandMade Shoes

Hand decorated shoes
Photo by Amir Taj

The million-dollar question for mens shoes – black or brown?

brown and black shoes 500

The big shoe dilemma - black or brown?

To be or not to be, red or black, Deal or no Deal? Indeed man has faced many great dilemmas through history and will undoubtedly face many more in the future. Yet no dilemma will ever challenge that which passes through the minds of shoe wearers around the globe — black or brown?

Flexibility — matching or clashing?

different mens shoes

Matching or clashing?

Whether it be blue jeans or white chinos, men’s black shoes are unrivalled for flexibility — quite simply, they will go with just about anything. Brown shoes on the other hand, err foot, are a little bit particular about what they’re associated with and clashes with certain colours are common. If you want flexibility, go back to black.

Style — cool or fool?

mens pimp suit

Look cool or be a fool?

When it comes to style, brown shoes have a certain je ne sais quoi and offer that touch of class needed to set off an outfit. Though there is most definitely a danger of getting it horribly wrong and looking like a pimp at a funeral. Black shoes offer a subtle kiss of style and won’t let you down, but sometimes they play it too safe and aren’t even noticed.

Occasion — sheep or wolf?

interview shoes

Rebellious or regimented?

There’s a misconception that the occasion dictates the colour of the shoe, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If it’s a funeral, then sure black shoes are your best bet, and this may also be the best option for the majority of job interviews. With everything else from weddings to creative job interviews, well it depends on what you’re wearing or how you’re feeling, but black tends to be more uniform and brown more rebellious.

Distinction — blend or rustle

brown shoes blend

Blend in or stand out? - Photo by Ed Yourdon


Make no mistake, brown shoes will steal the show when you first walk into a room — infusing the wearer with an air of distinction, but sometimes stealing the show from the wearer himself. Black shoes might seem unspectacular in comparison and sure they can blend into any party without a second glance. However shine those beauties up and match them with the right clobber, and they’ll give brown shoes a fight.

Character — you talking to me or would you like to talk to me?

black shoes

Mob boss or bohemian? - Photo by Jonathan Cohen

Black and brown shoes certainly give off different signals; intensified even more by the type of person who is wearing them. From mob bosses to nightclub bouncers to the police force, one might be forgiven for thinking black shoes have an intimidating, no-nonsense approach. Brown shoes tend to be on the feet of bohemian beatniks and artists, academics and librarians and posers and playboys.

Of course you don’t have to be any of the above to enjoy either colour — just remember it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.

Secret world of mens shoes

Whether it is a humble, durable brogue or something exquisite and handmade from Italy, a person’s choice of shoe says a lot about the wearer.

But what of those who take advantage of a hollowed out heel to stash away something secret?

Yes, smugglers, spies and villains will try anything to disguise their true character and intentions – including the cunning customisation of plain mens shoes.

Jewels

Diamonds

Diamonds in the heels of their shoes

One of the oldest tricks in the book, in 1951 three people were caught red handed trying to smuggle $1,500,000 worth of diamonds into New York from Europe. The diamonds were hidden in the heels of their shoes.

Nasty Surprises

knife in shoes

Severely pointed shoes

Dustin Hoffman falls into all kinds of trouble when he’s unwittingly embroiled in the middle of an international conspiracy in the 1976 movie, Marathon Man. Not only is his evil nemesis a whizz at bad dentistry, but he also has a few crafty tricks up his sleeve including a mechanism that causes daggers to flick from his shoes when he’s angry.

Songbirds

bird smuggling

Feathered socks and dirty shoes reveals all

In 2009, a Vietnamese man was passing through United States customs when officers noticed an unusual amount of bird’s mess on his shoes. When they lifted up his trousers, they discovered no less than 14 song birds tied to his socks. Word has it that when the man was taken for questioning – he ‘sang like a canary’!

Radio transmitters

transmitter shoe

Spy shoes

The stuff of cold war legend, heel mounted transmitters were part of a constant struggle for intelligence superiority that sometimes bordered on the farcical. These days, radio transmitters hidden in shoes have found a new use in helping keep track of the ‘wandering elderly’.

Compass

compass

Shoes that point north

Anyone who grew up in the 1970s will surely remember the Clark’s Pathfinder; the shoe that defined a generation. Not only did its specially moulded sole produce fine animal prints to keep pursuers guessing, but secreted in the heel of the shoe was a compass; just what every boy adventurer needed.