iShoe by iTailor Review - Custom shoes for just $129

Thursday, August 1, 2013

iTailor iShoe Review Coupon
Ever since Mantorii stopped taking orders at the end of June, I have been on the lookout for other companies doing custom shoes online. I stumbled across iShoe by iTailor (the names, I know...) on their Facebook website. iTailor is part of a bigger company, doing mainly uniforms for the hospitality industry and iTailor is their online MTM spin-off.

I have to be honest, I never tried iTailor before, because their style doesn't appeal to me. Yes, it's incredibly affordable with shirts from $20 and you can customise it all to your wishes, but it's not for me. 

It's for some reason not easy to find on their main website, but iTailor does shoes as well - for an unbelievable €99 ($129 I think) a pair plus shipping. They have a fully functional configurator that lets you choose first from different options such as derby, oxfords, monks, loafers and more. In the next steps you can select your upper and sole leather (or other sole options), different style such as broguing and stitching - you can even mix and match the upper leather and create a unique shoe for yourself. I could swear I had an option to select the toe style, but I can't find it anymore. 

Your give them your size by measuring the length and width of your feet and by supplying them with your standard shoe size. I assume they will then determine the best size for your fit, I am sure for the price they won't create or adapt a last for you. Photos can be checked on iTailor's Facebook stream.

iTailor iShoe Review Coupon

As you can see, their are some very strange designs. iTailor doesn't give their users many guidelines on style, but they give you a ton of customisation options to play with. The results are very ugly in 90% of the cases in my personal opinion because people tend to think a shoe made of 5 different leather colours makes them unique and stand out of the crowd - I'm sure it does, but I'm not sure if in a positive way. To each their own and I don't want to be overly judgemental now.

What makes a good shoe?

In my opinion it's fit, price, construction, design (last used, product design) and leather quality - not necessarily in that order, but those are the main factors for me. Let's see how how iTailor's $129 shoes perform. 

The Good

The fit is great on my pair. Not too tight, not to loose - really nothing to complain here, these shoes fit like a glove. The price is if course great too, it's hard to argue with €99/$129. There is basically no online or offline competition for a customisable shoe at this price. There are also no scratches on the leather, no chemical stains - all done very nicely and neatly. Shape is classic with a rounded toe.

The Bad

The shoes just don't feel all that great. I know, I shouldn't be too critical for a $129 shoe, but I just feel better spending $200-$300 on a proper shoe. The design is a bit akward, for example I didn't manage to find the option to place a medallion on my toe. You can select several heel designs, but you can't really see what it is you are changing on the website. Many of the basic designs you can select from look a bit outdated, similar to what I see many people wearing here in Asia. In a nutshell - and I am aware this may sound harsh - the product lacks a bit in style and class. 

The shoes are also clearly glued - not a surprise, considering the price point, but just as with fused suits, glued shoes are just not a sign of good quality. 

iTailor iShoe Review Coupon

The Ugly

My main problem with the shoes is the leather quality. It is bad, it feels absolutely like plastic. I'm sure it's leather as they claim, but there is nothing "premium" about it. It's a heavily corrected and polished leather. I tried applying some polish to give it a darker shade, but there is no polish that would stick to these shoes - it just rubs off the leather as if you'd apply it on plastic. This of course also means that the shoes won't break in nicely and will have a lifeless and artificial look. 

iTailor iShoe Shoe Review Coupon


For just $129 (plus shipping) iTailor offers you to fully customise your shoe - possibilities are almost unlimited. At this price, the concept it without competition. Furthermore, the shoes just fit very well. On the negative side, significant improvements are needed regarding leather quality (feels like plastic) and construction (shoes are glued). The overall product lacks style. A good choice if you are looking for a very special shoe and you are aware of the constraints. I recommend to choose another brand if you are looking for a classic and durable pair suitable for business. 


Lorenz Loidl said...

That's quite unfortunate, I wonder if some of those could be solved by having a premium (extra $50 or so) and having an option for sewn construction, that being said it'll probably never happen for iTailor in such a way. That being said there is a gab in the market so hopefully another company...hell even indochino or BL or Dragon Inside may come and fill it. The one obvious thing is that it can't be a Mantorii level because clearly there wasn't enough demand for that, but there's some room in there for sure...say $199/ 3 pairs for $500.

I found out about their top coats and I will be buying one for winter, I just can't find a burgandy one anywhere else, at least it seems that iTailor gets the fit in so deal with quality that goes in hand with their price.

Million thanks for giving them a try and writting the review though, keep it up!

Lorenz Loidl said...

I agree there is a market between the $129 from iTailor and the $299 from Mantorii. No doubt there will be a suitable offer from a company soon, curious who will have the first competitive product. I worked with the Mantorii guys as they happen to be in Saigon and I think they had a great product.

Lorenz Loidl said...

Too bad, the leather does look indeed terrible. Worse than Aldo or Steve Madden actually. I do agree with you as you can design a funky shoe, for whatever special occasion you made need it.

The best value for shoes right now is Meermin, but sizing can still be an issue, and duties/customs for people outside the EU.

Lorenz Loidl said...

Meermin looks great, so does Ed Et Al I think.
Would like to give them both a try.

Lorenz Loidl said...

I have never been tempted by their shoes because of the glued construction and poor leather, but I do recommend the shirts. I had two made and they are excellent. Fit was perfect (but for this you must have your measures right, mine were tested and tuned on several previous MTO shirts) material is very good to excellent considering the price, and the finish is great too - side gussets, etc. Contrast fabrics are free unlike most other MTO's. The only issue is the long delivery - it took almost 7 weeks for each of my shirts to be delivered, but you know about this upfront. Other online MTO places have more fabrics as well, but not at these prices.

Lorenz Loidl said...

Indochino and all of the other guys like Blank Label or Black Lapel manufacture in China. Most of their fabrics come from there, not from Italy or France. There is no such a thing as premium. itailor manufactures in Thailand and they own their factory but the quality isn't there and the after sales support, they are not a big company, I am afraid you get what you pay for. I have been following They are a new company based out of somewhere in Asia I think but they manufacture mostly in Thailand, their quality is noticeably better and the price is around the same. The service though is where I can see the difference and if you are going to buy online this is a must, let alone buying tailor. I would just start with something small like a shirt and see what impression you get. The Unbiased Opinionator

Lorenz Loidl said...

Nice photo session. i think the guy looks really sophisticated in with his shoes. Also i like the shirt and overhemden op maat from him. the brides dress perfectly matches her future husbands clothes. Really like this.

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