Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Cost of Custom Shoes

Sometimes people complain about the cost of buying custom fit moccasins.  The average price is around $300 for just a plain brown pair of lowtops. 

Doing it yourself is very rewarding, but for only one pair of shoes it is not any cheaper.  From October to June, I have spent $212.36 on tools, and $372.62 on materials.  Now I've gotten a lot more than one pair of shoes out of it, but I bought my leather by the hide, so that first pair has a pretty saggering cost, with dimminishing costs of each following pair.  If you look at just the tools and the materials for my first pair of shoes, that's $155 plus the hours of labor to make them.  I was however able to use those same tools and materials on an additional pair of shoes and two resoling jobs, and I still have a bunch left.

If you're handy, and you want more than one pair of minimal shoes (maybe boots, sandals, running shoes and dress shoes...) then I encourage you to go ahead and try making them yourself.  I estimate if I use all the leather I have on hand it will end up being less than $70 per pair of shoes, about what I would have paid for decent sneakers previously.  If you've got a supply of scrap leather near you, you can probably make out even better. 

If you're not handy, or only want one pair of custom fitted minimal shoes, you might take a second look at the price tag and consider how much healthy feet, knees, and hips would mean to you, and take the plunge.