Three men's shoe designers you need to know
Reinterpreting shoe styles of the 1920s and '50s, O'Keeffe (okeeffe-shoes.com) offers fresh men's footwear that is the brainchild of owner Maud O'Keeffe. The London-based shoemaker, who founded the company in 2011, prioritises the longevity of the shoe and the comfort of the wearer, ensuring that each handmade pair features a patented Goodyear construction and a lovingly worn look and feel.
These washed-leather hiking boots, $US1035 (about $A1380); available at Mr. Porter (mrporter.com), take after ski boots O'Keeffe's great-grandfather wore and require 6 weeks to make at the company's workshop in Le Marche, Italy.
The minimalist shoes made by Feit (feitdirect.com) have garnered a cult following since 2005, when the Australian brothers Tull and Josh Price started the New York–based company. Created as an alternative to mass-produced sneakers, the footwear styles are made in limited quantities and handcrafted from supple leathers that have been tanned with ingredients from bark, fruit, and other natural sources.
The breathable leather helps eliminate odours, making it all the more likely that Feit shoes — including these low- and high-top sneakers, $US600 and $US660 (about $A800 and $A880), respectively — will be worn as intended: without socks.
A True Classic
Tradition remains at the heart of Bettanin & Venturi 1856 (bettaninshoes.com), an Italian brand founded in its namesake year. The company — recently revitalised by a capital infusion — is no longer owned by the Bettanins, but family members are still very much involved, and their focus on artisanship continues.
Take, for example, the company's latest classically designed, hand-welted men's shoes, which are made in its Verona atelier. Distinguishing each shoe are such timeless details as the oak-bark-tanned sole and the unique patina on this calf-leather brogued oxford, $US1015 (about $A1350), a style that can also be made to order in a range of Italian leathers from suede to scotch grain.