A vast majority of shoes crafted and worn in Singapore fits in the pre-made shoes category. Typically, pre-made shoes are factory-made in standard sizes and presented to buyers in finished condition. Prospective owners have very little to no control in the manufacturing process and the shoes fall in a wide range of quality standards depending on manufacturer reputation. On the contrary, custom made shoes refer to any shoes that have been designed or tweaked according to the exact measurements and style options of prospective owners. When the term custom made is used, it often refers to either made-to-measure shoes or bespoke shoes.
Made-to-Measure Shoes vs. Bespoke Shoes
Made-to-measure shoes are crafted to order by adjusting a pre-existing pattern. Often, a new pattern is not created but rather pre-existing pieces (patterns) that match what is needed are collected and assembled into the desired product. The pre-set patterns are scaled down or up based on the user’s foot measurements. In contrast, bespoke shoes are made from scratch after a potential owner gives an order for the shoes to be crafted from a pattern that has been drafted directly by the shoe owner. In fact, bespoke is used to describe shoes that are entirely handcrafted according to specific measurements using a personalized design. The most obvious difference between made-to-measure and bespoke shoes is that those who opt for the latter have more control and involvement in the process than those who go for the former. Besides, bespoke shoes are made using higher quality construction, fit more perfectly and cost more than made-to-measure shoes.
Differences between Custom made Shoes and Pre-Made Shoes
True custom made shoes from Singapore are crafted to suit the specific needs, tastes and sensibilities of prospective users. This means that custom shoes must be made from scratch or tweaked according to the owner’s foot length and width, preferred style and color and to accommodate any severe foot abnormalities, such as congenital foot deformities. Hence, the shoes fit the feet like gloves, offering amazingly perfect fit from day one. Besides, there is no need to break in custom shoes. On the contrary, pre-made shoes are crafted according to the industry’s standard foot sizes and are aimed at individuals with uniformly proportional feet. And whereas pre-made shoes can offer good fit, over 60% of people must usually break them in before they can enjoy the necessary comfort while over 38% of people experience foot pain when they wear pre-made shoes.
Custom made shoes are absolutely unique. No two different pairs of custom made shoes can be similar because they are handcrafted according to individual tastes and preferences. To create a pair of custom made shoes in Singapore, the shoemaker will receive style and design ideas from the shoe owner, take the customer’s foot measurements and craft the shoes according to the specific dimensions. And while the shoemaker may offer necessary advice and suggestions, the shoe owner plays a critical role in making decisions about how the shoe should be crafted. As a result, custom made shoes are a reflection of the owner’s personality and lifestyle. On the contrary, pre-made shoes are crafted according to standard sizes and with no to very little involvement of the shoe owner in the production process.
Custom made shoes are either fully or partially handcrafted, requiring more time to be completed than pre-made shoes. A lot of man hours are needed when constructing custom made shoes, right from the measuring of the foot, creating lasts (hand-carved wooden sculptures of the feet that are used as models in the shoe-crafting process), and building shoe prototypes to creating the final shoe. In fact, ordering these shoes requires a lot of patience and the desire to become involved in all stages of the design and construction as a pair typically takes 3-9 months to create. In contrast, most of the steps for crafting pre-made shoes are standardized and automated (machine-based), allowing for production of shoes in bulk while reducing the cost of production. And because of the greater attention to detail and degree of effort required in manufacturing custom made shoes, they are usually more expensive than pre-made shoes.
Moreover, there is generally a compelling reason for buying custom made shoes apart from fulfilling the need to protect the feet. For instance, many people order custom shoes because they have foot deformities, painful foot conditions, want to pamper themselves with something more unique and expressive, or they want shoes that are made of a rare material, color or design. In fact, the feeling of exclusivity that comes with custom made shoes from Singapore is a major reason why some people are willing to pay extra money to have their shoes customized. On the other hand, pre-made shoes are often purchased for the basic reason of protecting the feet.