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3 Alternative & Affordable Shoe Brands You Need to Know

When it comes to footwear, sometimes it's refreshing to step away from the mainstream and explore lesser-known brands that offer exceptional quality and style. In this blog post, we'll introduce...

When it comes to footwear, sometimes it's refreshing to step away from the mainstream and explore lesser-known brands that offer exceptional quality and style. In this blog post, we'll introduce you to three alternative shoe brands that deserve your attention: Ace Marks, Cobbler Union, and Jack Erwin. 

From high quality dress sneakers or casual loafers options to handmade classic shoes designs, these brands offer unique and stylish footwear that is sure to make a statement. Get ready to explore a whole new world of footwear and discover your new favorite shoe brand.

Top 3 Alternative & Affordable Shoe Brands 

These brands bring a unique blend of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and value to the world of shoes. Let's dive in and discover what makes them stand out.

  1. Ace Marks 

  2. Cobbler Union

  3. Jack Erwin


Manufacturing Location

Type of Construction

Price Range

Ace Marks

Italy - Portugal - Brazil

Blake Stitch

$190 - $350

Cobbler Union

Spain - Portugal

Goodyear Welt

$250 - $550

Jack Erwin

Portugal - Spain

Cemented Construction

$150 - $320

Alternative 1: Ace Marks Shoes - Handcrafted in Italy

Ace Marks is a shoe company that has gained recognition for its commitment to Italian craftsmanship and innovation. Founded in 2012 by Paul Farago, Ace Marks specializes in handcrafted dress shoes for men. They have built a reputation for producing high-quality footwear known for its impeccable construction, attention to detail, and timeless designs.

Check Ace Marks Italian Handcrafted Shoes  

italian oxford dress shoe

Italian Black Oxford Shoe


italian monkstrap dress shoe

Italian Brandy Antique Monkstrap



Ace Marks primarily utilizes the Blake stitch construction method in their shoe production. The Blake stitch is a popular technique in shoemaking known for its flexibility, sleek appearance, and efficient construction process.

handmade italian shoes

Alternative italian shoe brand

When it comes to materials, Ace Marks uses only the finest full-grain, hand-painted calfskin leather sourced from renowned Italian tanneries. The use of high-quality materials ensures that their shoes not only look exquisite but also age gracefully, developing a rich patina over time. Each pair of Ace Marks shoes is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans who pay close attention to every detail, from the stitching to the finishing touches.

handcrafted italian shoe

¿Where to buy affordable italian shoes?

Ace Marks offers a range of classic styles, including Oxfords, monkstraops, brogues, and loafers. Their shoes are known for their versatility, making them suitable for both formal occasions and everyday wear. In addition to their commitment to sustainability, Ace Marks is also dedicated to providing exceptional customer service, ensuring that customers have a positive experience from purchase to delivery. 

acemarks italian dress shoes
Ace Marks recently introduced an innovative addition to their lineup: travel shoes that are foldable and ultralight. This new development demonstrates their commitment to combining style and practicality to meet the needs of modern travelers.

The travel shoes by Ace Marks are designed with convenience in mind. They are crafted using lightweight materials and feature a foldable design that allows them to be compactly packed, making them ideal for travel or on-the-go use. The foldable feature ensures that these shoes take up minimal space in your luggage or bag, enabling you to bring them along without adding unnecessary bulk.

The ultralight nature of these shoes makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods and reduces fatigue during long journeys. Ace Marks focuses on selecting materials that are not only lightweight but also durable, ensuring that the shoes maintain their quality and integrity even with frequent folding and unfolding.

Affordable italian shoe brand

Overall, Ace Marks is a shoe brand that combines Italian craftsmanship, innovation, and timeless designs. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and the environment sets them apart, making them a notable alternative choice in the world of footwear. Price: $190 - $350

Alternative 2: Cobbler Union - Handcrafted in Spain

Cobbler Union is a luxury shoe brand that epitomizes traditional shoemaking techniques. Founded in Spain, their shoes are handmade by skilled artisans using premium materials. Each pair is meticulously crafted, paying close attention to every detail, from the stitching to the finishing touches. Cobbler Union offers a wide range of styles, from classic Oxford shoes to stylish loafers, ensuring there's a perfect pair for every discerning gentleman. With a focus on quality, comfort, and elegance, Cobbler Union delivers footwear that stands the test of time. Price: $475 - $550

cobbler union shoes

Alternative 3: Jack Erwin Shoes - Handcrafted in Spain

Jack Erwin is a brand that focuses on combining classic designs with modern sensibilities. Founded with the belief that style shouldn't be compromised by affordability, Jack Erwin offers good quality shoes at reasonable prices. From versatile dress shoes to casual sneakers, their collection covers a wide spectrum of styles. Jack Erwin sources their materials from renowned tanneries and employs skilled artisans to ensure their shoes are comfortable, durable, and stylish. With their commitment to quality and affordability, Jack Erwin is a brand worth considering for those seeking accessible luxury.

Why Choose Alternative Shoe Brands?

  1. Unique Style: Alternative shoe brands often bring a fresh and unique perspective to footwear design. They tend to offer distinctive styles that deviate from the mass-produced, cookie-cutter designs commonly found in mainstream brands. If you're looking to make a fashion statement or stand out from the crowd, alternative brands can provide you with more unique and individualistic options.
  2. Quality Craftsmanship: Many alternative shoe brands prioritize quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. They often employ skilled artisans who use traditional shoemaking techniques and premium materials. This commitment to craftsmanship can result in shoes that are not only visually appealing but also built to last, ensuring durability and long-term value.
  3. Limited Production: Alternative brands often have smaller production runs compared to large-scale manufacturers. This limited production allows for more focus on quality control and ensures that each pair of shoes receives individual attention during the manufacturing process. Consequently, you may find that alternative brands offer a higher level of craftsmanship and attention to detail in their products.
  4. Sustainable Practices: In recent years, alternative shoe brands have emerged with a focus on sustainability. Many of these brands prioritize ethical sourcing of materials, utilize environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, or offer innovative recycling programs. By choosing alternative brands that align with your sustainability values, you can contribute to reducing the environmental impact of your footwear choices
  5. Supporting Independent Businesses: Opting for alternative shoe brands often means supporting independent businesses and designers. By purchasing from these brands, you can help sustain a diverse and competitive marketplace. Your support can also empower small-scale entrepreneurs and artisans who bring passion and creativity to their craft.
  6. Value for Money: While alternative shoe brands can range in price, they often provide excellent value for the quality and craftsmanship they offer. Investing in a pair of shoes from an alternative brand can be a worthwhile decision, as the combination of superior materials, skilled craftsmanship, and attention to detail can result in shoes that outlast and outperform mass-produced alternatives.


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