Buying designer shoes is a funny one, isn't it? Sure, there's absolutely no better feeling than slipping on a brand-new pair of sparkling Manolos, but there's also the fact that shoes are the one item of clothing we subject to grimy pavements and wet puddles daily. So if you don't fancy spending over £1000 on something that'd threaten to give you a hernia if you scuffed it, you'll be pleased to know there are tons of affordable designer shoe brands on the market.
The Style Stalker
Cool, niche, cult (and budget-friendly) shoe brands are not as hard to come by as they once were. Take South Korean Reike Nen, which has become a choice pick for street style stars, or babouche-producing Zyne, which sells its wares near the £200 mark. Keep scrolling for our roundup of cool new designer shoe brands that won't cost you a month's rent.
The Style Stalker
Seoul-based Reike Nen, founded by Rei Yoon Hongmi in 2010, likes to create what it calls "contemporary refinement." Think classic silhouettes—Mary Janes and kitten heels are among the brand's main output—from the past, mixed with its own ultra-contemporary style. The winning combo (not to mention the all-too-reasonable price tag) has won the affections of the street style set.
Babouche shoes are at the heart of Moroccan brand Zyne. Founded by Zineb Britel, the brand is becoming increasingly popular with our favourite influencers, who are loving the foot-molding comfort that's characteristic of the style. Pairs range from £200 to £300, which is incredibly reasonable considering each pair is handmade (and beaded) by an all-female cooperative in Morocco. If that's not a reason to invest, we don't know what is.
Neous's unofficial mission statement reads something like "shoes that look fancy but won't murder your feet." The brand is the brainchild of Australian Alan Buanne and Vanissa Antonious, and their shoes are like architecture for the feet. Clean lines and abstract silhouettes run through the collection, while their sphere-heeled mules have made quite a name for themselves. Prices vary, but you can still buy their gorgeous designs for under £400. Get involved.
By Far is by no means new on the scene, but its epic range of affordable designer shoes should still be celebrated. The Bulgaria-based brand was founded by three friends—Valentina Bezuhanova, Sabina Gyosheva, and Denitsa Bumbarova—who couldn't find shoes they love, so decided to take the matter into their own hands. "We wanted shoes that are really easy to wear but are also elegant enough for night, too, and not overpowering," they told U.S. Vogue. All manners of stylish flats, heels and boots are on the brand's roster.
Conceived by London-based Turkish designer Dora Teymur while he was still in fashion school in 2012, Dorateymur has fast become a cult favourite. "I was doing mules for every project [at school]. I was obsessed," the designer told Coveteur. "When I did my pilot collection, it was only mules, and many buyers said, 'Oh, mules? We only sell mules to grannies, so we can't.'" The irony, eh? Because now the brand has made its name for its eye-catching mules and loafers. The best part? You can bag a pair for well under 400 quid.
Danish brand Ganni is one of the best-loved brands of the last few years, adored for its Scandi-chic pieces that offer femininity with a welcome touch of edge. But we're here to shout about the designer's shoes today, because maybe they don't always get the recognition they deserve. Cowboy boots, slingbacks and clogs are upon their offering, and they're all very Ganni (yes, we just made that an adjective). In short? Don't forget to browse shoes on your next Ganni trawl.