Mantorii Custom Footwear Review - The Verdict

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mantorii Review

Update: Mantorii now has official product photos online here.

I promised to publish a review of Mantorii, so here we go. For the introduction, please go here. I was a kind of beta-tester for Mantorii. They had their prototypes ready and wanted to have at least one review up for their launch, so they made me an Oxford toe cap (I specified it using a PDF, the website now is much nicer). It arrived within 3 weeks for me, luckily also without any extra tax to pay.

The Looks:
The shoes look great, I like the design, just what I wanted. Classic yet elegant shape with nicely rounded toes. Not too pointy, definitely not square. I like them like that. Heel size is just right as well, soles are nicely and carefully made. It's always a sign of quality if the edges of the sole have been smoothened to the shape of the shoe. All the stitchings seem flawless, there is nothing on the shoe that was done in a sloppy way.

The leather inside is black, something that will be switched to tan leather by default for production shoes. I think brown leather and black lining doesn't go that well together, but then it's true I had a prototype version of the shoe. 

The Feel:
I have very sensitive heels, I don't get blisters anywhere else, but usually I get them on the heels with virtually every shoe I buy. My Mantorii shoes did need some breaking in as well, but I did it carefully, wearing them only in my flat for a couple of hours every day. The fit was rather tight, but spot on right from the start. I have a pair of proper shoe trees that I put in after wearing. After a few days, I felt comfortable enough to wear them for my daily job.

I've been wearing it frequently for the last 2 weeks or so and the sole has held up very well - even though the weather was wet and cold. There is actually no real damage on it, I just didn't bother to clean the sole, so you get a real picture. Some of my RTW shoes looked worse after a few weeks. By the way, I only have the single leather sole, but on my model the thread is not visible, I heard they decided to leave it visible for the production models.

The leather held up equally well, no scratches so far. There are a few wrinkles that I like, it adds personality to the shoe.

Mantorii Sole
Sole holds up well, even in wet and cold climates
The Shoemaker gives his opinion:
The real test for me was to bring the shoes to a local shoemaker. That's also the reason why I'm a bit late with this review. The guy has his workshop just around the corner from where I live and a nice showroom in the city. His workshop doesn't look like anything special, but the guy sure knows his trade. Apart from doing his own custom and RTW shoes, he is also working as a cobbler. I brought my Mantorii shoes over to have him examine the leather and the construction method. 

At the beginning, I wasn't sure if that's a good idea. From experience I know that for example local tailors love to bash online competitors and obviously a reason for that is also  because they perceive them as a threat. The shoemaker was different. He said the shoe was constructed solidly (Goodyear welts) with great attention to the details. He also confirmed it would be no problem to resole the shoe, if necessary. When I told him the price he couldn't believe it and said he was happy not more people knew about it.

Mantorii Review
A well proportioned shoe
The Verdict:
Overall, a very convincing product for a great price. If you want custom shoes without spending +$1000, you should consider giving Mantorii a try. They have to streamline and improve some parts of their shopping experience (show more photos of real shoes, for example) but the product is good and they seem to be a very dedicated team.

What I think helps them a lot, is that their company may be very new, but their shoemaker has been in the business for decades. I am sure that sped up product development and they have the advantage of selling a product that has already proven itself over many years.

I hope they will also expand their collection to boots and other essential footwear such as loafers soon. Would love to get some half-brogue boots for winter, for example.

Mantorii Construction
Great attention to detail
Mantorii Custom Footwear Oxford Cap Toe
10 out of 10
By Lorenz Loidl