Select Page

Introduction – History of the Handcrafted Shoe Trade

As a footwear brand, you may have thought of offering handcrafted shoes. But lack of resources and insufficient knowledge of the custom footwear realm may have stopped you. This is where Kiwi Enterprises comes in. As a family-run company specializing in world-class leather products, we design and create high-quality handcrafted leather shoes and accessories. Our clientele includes the likes of many private labels, organizations, fashion houses, brands, and other retailers worldwide. Whether you are a private fashion label or a retail giant, you can work with us to create custom leather shoes for your catalogue. Thanks to the relentless efforts of our in-house team of designers from France and Italy, we churn out over 300+ new designs every season. So, if you want to add impeccable quality handmade leather shoes to your brand’s catalogue, Kiwi Enterprises can help you turn this vision into reality. But first, let’s take you through the history of the handcrafted shoe trade.

Overview : The history of handcrafted shoes

If there is something that helps humans stand out from other species, it is bipedalism. The term simply implies that we can walk on our two feet, which is a rather unique ability amongst other species. Having evolved over the course of nearly 300,000 years, we have also come a long way in our walking styles. We’ve discovered the need to protect our feet from harsh terrain while walking. It is this requirement that eventually led us to the invention of footwear.

As time passed by, different regions started perceiving footwear differently. The Egyptians preferred handmade leather sandals, the luxury of which was only available to the wealthy class. The creation of such footwear involved adorning it with buckles and even jewels. On the other hand, the Romans liked their sandals (what we know as gladiator sandals today) fitted to their foot. The footwear came up to the knee and had multiple straps on the boot. It was constructed using papyrus leaves or leather. Interestingly, only Roman emperors were allowed to wear such footwear.

Fast forward to the 18th and 19th centuries, we started embracing more practical shoe-making practices. Around this time, more than fifteen techniques were used for handcrafting shoes. Low-rise handmade Italian leather women’s shoes became a trend dictated by Hollywood A-listers and celebrity figures.

But during this time, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, fast fashion had become a thing. As the soldiers in World War I needed shoes promptly, mass production of shoes garnered more attention. With time, people slowly lost interest in custom leather boots and shoes since they took more time to be made.

Handmade shoes in the present times

Today, handmade shoes have started reclaiming their popularity. People prefer to wear custom footwear that matches their needs. They are more drawn towards shoes that complement the unique shape of their feet.

Thanks to companies like Kiwi Enterprises, the time-honoured tradition of custom leather shoes is now accessible to brands like yours. Each piece of footwear we make highlights our extensive knowledge and mastery of the craft, refined over decades. So, if you wish to add handmade men’s leather sandals or generic custom-made shoes to your line of products, choose the expert.

Kiwi Enterprises – Fulfilling all your leather manufacturing needs

With an undying passion for sophistication and style, Kiwi Enterprises has been in the premium leather business for over two decades. We are a family-owned and operated business, bringing you a world-class wholesale and manufacturing platform with endless customization options. We work with the best designers and shoemakers in the business, combining state-of-the-art manufacturing with traditional craftsmanship and attention to detail. From our raw materials to our custom packaging options, we strive to create top-tier leather products that will elevate your brand.