Most people are already familiar with the fact that the major Japanese brands make shoes. I own shoes from Innocent World, Metamorphose and Angelic Pretty and while I do really like them, they aren’t the most comfortable or durable shoes out there and they do cost a pretty penny. So, here are some of my favorite places that sell lolita or loliable shoes that either stand up to a little bit more wear and tear, or are at a much better price point.
Empty Wardrobe is a Chinese brand, their weibo account was started in December of 2015 and their taobao shop was opened in November of 2015. So they are relatively new, as far as brands go. I really like their shoes because they use a lot of interesting / whimsical elements like charms, butterfly wing heel molds and leather punches in the shapes of butterfly wings. This makes their designs stand out a lot compared to many of the other designs on the market. The prices are good as well. The shoes above are only 240 Yuan, which is about $38 USD. They are very generous with bows and accessories with the shoes, as well. Sizing seems to range between 34 and 41, with some things cutting off at 39 or 40 (Chinese sizes).
Cotton Candy Feet is a brand from Brazil, which appears to have started in 2015. They offer really cool finishes like holographic and glitter, and a pretty wide array of sizes: from EU 34 to 44 (that’s roughly a range of 22cm to 27cm). They offer a number of lovely, well balanced designs, and a lot of colors. Prices range from $54 – $94 USD. I don’t personally own any of their shoes (but I’ve been eyeing them up!), but my girlfriend does. A couple years ago, they were offering to make smaller or larger sizes if they had enough people who wanted a certain size, so she ordered a bunch of colors in her (very small) size. For durability, she really likes PU ones with the embedded glitter. While the glittery ones like the ones pictured above get a lot of attention, the material is a bit more delicate and can crack with wear. Cotton Candy feet also makes bags and wallets!
Dream V is a Japanese brand established as a toy and household goods shop in May 1998. In July 2005 they branched out into clothing, and now they focus on clothing, offering a handful of house brands. They sell trendy, cute clothing aimed at Japanese teens and young adults. Because they are sort of trend-chasing, they only sometimes have lolita or loliable shoes, but they do usually have a few pairs. Think sort of like a Japanese Street Fashion focused version of Forever 21. Their sizing is pretty limited; many shoes only come in 23cm-24.5cm, which is pretty standard for Japanese companies. However, pricing can be really affordable. Shoes range between 1490 yen (about $14 USD) on the lower end for something like a pair of basic ballet flats, and 7990 yen (about $75 USD) on the high end for a pair of platforms that are clear on the bottom and full of silk flowers. Most of their lolita shoes are in the $20-$40 range. They also sell a lot of really great add-ons like poofball shoe clips, and straps to make any pair of (black) heels into mary-janes. Their shoes are seasonal and sell out, so if you see something you like, don’t wait too long!
To Alice is a Chinese brand that has been operating on taobao since January, 2011. They periodically release shoes, but don’t really keep them in stock on taobao. When they do release shoes, they are typically a decent price, and cute, so it’s worth keeping an eye out. If you see something you like, order right away, because it won’t stick around. Sizing is limited.
F.i.n.t. is a Japanese otome shop with a number of house brands. Established in May 1, 1984 as Mellow, they later changed their name to Free International Corporation, or F.i.n.t., in September 1996. Because their style is primarily vintage / otome, their shoes tend to be pretty simple and classic. They do occasionally toss in an off-the-wall color option like teal or mustard, so if you need a weird color to match a classic piece, they are a good place to check out. Sizing is limited; they only offer standard Japanese S/M/L. Prices range between 6,000 yen and 9,500 yen (~$56 – $90 USD). However, because they are a normal retail shop with normal retail seasons, they frequently have end of season clearance sales. They also have an outlet section which often has good sales!
My favorite shoes are a collaboration between Vivienne Westwood (inventor of the rocking horse shoe) and Melissa. Melissa is a brand located in Brazil that makes shoes out of a special ecco-friendly plastic material that smells like bubblegum. The shoes are very durable and while they still aren’t cheap, the collaboration pieces are a bit more affordable than buying straight from Vivienne Westwood’s normal shoe collections.
American Duchess (webshop)
American Duchess is an american shoe brand that makes 16th – 20th century historical shoes, including shoes that are Victorian inspired for wear with lolita. The designers / owners originally ran a historical costuming blog, but branched out into making shoes in 2010. American Duchess uses high quality materials like satin and calf leather. Sizing ranges from US lady’s 6 – 11. Prices range from about $120 USD to $199 USD. While the prices are a bit higher than many of the other brands above (with the exception of some of the Melissa shoes), the higher material quality, and the attention to historical detail makes them absolutely worth the money. The Colette Boots (pictured above) are striking for a classic or gothic look! I don’t own any of their shoes yet personally, but I know quite a few people who do
What is your favorite place to buy shoes to wear with lolita?