Custom-made shoes to please even the most macho of men

Custom-made shoes to please even the most macho of men

There is a reason why colonial governors, Sammy Davis Jr. and Henry Kissinger all had their tootsies measured and gloved at these custom shoe stores
custom-made shoes
Over 100 pairs of shoes are made each year at Kow Hoo, all meticulously hand-crafted using original wooden lasts for each customer.

These three custom shoe makers have shod tycoons, colonial governors, secretaries of state and countless celebrities.

Join the ranks and walk in style.

1. Kow Hoo

Sammy Davis Jr. actually had shoes made at Kow Hoo and shop manager Kitty Wong told us he had 5-inch heels put on all of them.

Kow Hoo first opened in 1928 on Hennessy Road in Wan Chai. International celebs flying through Hong Kong at the time bought some of the finest custom-made shoes in Asia at this store, at a fraction of the price of their European or American counterparts.

Now occupying a cramped space in Prince’s Building, Kow Hoo still produces over 100 pairs of shoes a year by their lone 85 year-old shoemaker, all meticulously hand-crafted using original wooden lasts for each customer.

About HK$5000 per pair Kow Hoo Shoes. Shop 241, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Rd, Central, tel +852 2523 0849

2. The Mayer Shoe Co.

The Mayer Shoe Co. has made shoes for many famous men in Hong Kong, including former colonial governors, local tycoons and visiting dignitaries such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Dating back to 1965, it takes the 11 shoemakers in the employ of this Hong Kong institution a scant week, from first measurement to finished product, to create a pair of custom-made shoes that fit like a glove -- or rather, a sock.

About $4000 per pair

Mayer Shoe Co. M-3 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Arcades, Connaught Rd Central, tel +852 2524 3317

3. Tassels

When the elevator doors open in front of Tassels, the smell of leather and polish fills the air, assuring would be customers this is the right place for a gentlemen's pair of shoes.

Inside the shop, the atmosphere is worlds away from the teeming streets of Central outside, giving exactly the right sort of unhurried atmosphere conducive to buying a fine pair of custom-made shoes.

While most of the shoes are available off-the-shelf, the shop provides a made-to-order service. Staff fastidiously take down customers' measurements, which are then rushed off to the factories of Ludwig Reiter in Austria, Royal Shoes in the UK or Alden in the United States.

About $5000 per pair

Tassels. 2/F On Lan St., Central, tel +852 2789 9911

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