Review: iShoes

iTailor is a “online bespoke” company that provides MTM shirts, suits, and now shoes, iShoes. If you are unfamiliar with the process, you take (preferably someone else, like your tailor) your own measurements and insert them into the online the form with hopes of a perfect fitting piece. I had done a review of an iTailor shirt in the past, and the fit came out awesome. I think shirts definitely are a lower risk when it comes to online MTM services (as I have just found out with a jacket – but that review is for another day), but MTO shoes were definitely interesting, and I jumped at the chance when iTailor said they would send me a pair.

It doesn’t seem ideal to do MTM through online for most (especially the #menswear crowd), but I still find it to be an intriguing idea – that’s why I am always open to doing these reviews no matter the company’s rep. iTailor is probably the most affordable when it comes to online MTM, and obviously there are some sacrifices with such a low price tag. But, being “better than expected” is always a pleasant surprise, and that has been the case with the iTailor shirt and now with the iShoes.

It is a fun idea to be able to customize your own pair of shoes with an almost endless amount of options to choose from. The 3D design system iTailor uses is simple to use, and makes the process a breeze. I went with a pair of brown “premium” leather monks. It is tough to get a good feel of what the leather was going to look like, so I went through a bunch of photos on their facebook page to try and avoid the overly plastic/shiny look that seemed to be a problem for some other customers. For the monks, you can choose the style of the straps, which was a nice touch because other similar sites don’t allow you to do this. Another option I liked was being able to choose which type of toe you wanted – I went with a chiseled toe, which is something I have been wanting to add to my shoe rotation. After designing the vamp is when you get the more “custom” options with bright linings and colored soles. I was tempted to go with a red lining or a blue sole, but its not really my style – so I avoided that. I did add the monogram on the inside of the shoe, and on the bottom with my name because “why not”? iShoes also offers a blake stitch for an added fee – I did this to my pair, as well.

The shoes start at $119 – so there are obviously some cons at that price. The leather is a corrected leather, which gives off the plastic look. I haven’t decided if I want to wear them out to try and shake this off, or to do some manual labor with an attempt to de-shine and give them some burnishing. (Thoughts?..) The construction was decently solid, but still lacking – the blake stitch is a nice touch though and an obvious upgrade to a glued sole.

With the bad comes the good (or vice versa?). The main thing you want to strive for with MTM is the “perfect fit”, and the iShoes fit pretty damn good. The measurement system is easy and the shoes came out fitting beautifully. The options for designing the vamp, and the smaller details such as the side stitching and buckle style were huge +s. Although the leather was corrected, it still felt a lot better than I was expecting, which was a nice surprise after reading some of the reviews. I think iTailor has been listening to the consumers and trying to improve on some of the flaws. If they stepped up their leather quality, it would definitely take them up a notch.

Overall, better than expected. Its not a Santoni MTO shoe or something that will last you 20 years, but for an incredible price you get the MTO experience and a solid shoe at that price point. These shoes might not be for the menswear connoisseurs, but for the guy (or girl) who is on a budget and wants the MTO experience, or has odd feet – or just someone who wants a crazy customization that doesn’t exist, iShoes could be what you need. iTailor has surprised me each time out with their service, and the fit has been great. That’s what you’re looking for in these companies, and iShoes fit the bill.

Double Monks from iShoes.

  • james

    The shoes I got are not leather, but a horribly looking synthetic material, making one look ridiculous at a distance closer than 200m.
    I asked them to send me the leather shoes I had ordered and paid for instead. No answer yet..

    • J

      Hey James,

      Thanks for the comment. The leather on mine were heavily corrected, as well, which may be that synthetic look you’re speaking of – that is unless they did actually send you the wrong pair. I did some DIY “de-shining” to try and mask it a little.

      I do agree that its not the best leather, as I said, but its more of the idea of a “bespoke” shoe that your paying for rather than the quality, in my honest opinion.

      -J