Answering the pricing question: Where on Earth do I get my prices from?

One of two things happens when I tell people what our prices are:

  1. Their eyes get really big and they and they immediately check out of the conversation.
  2. Their eyes get really big and they want to know more and typically even sit for measurements right away.

Our pricing is unique in the shoe world. There are a few companies with prices similar to ours, but just a few.

Our prices are low when you compare them to the pricing of famous companies like Bontoni (Starting at $800) or Berluti (Starting at $2000).

However, our prices are high when you compare our prices to those of Wolverine 1000 mile (starting at $260), Redwing Heritage (starting at $225), Allen Edmunds (starting at $200), or Cole Haan (starting at $230).

I have a profound respect for all of the companies listed above, and our footwear and pricing are nothing like them. I believe we are blazing new trail in the boot and shoe world.

Imagine if Redwing Heritage were suddenly to offer hand-lasted, made-to-order, semi-custom boots for individual clients. You know, offer some color options in the stitching or on the sole, and maybe even let you choose the sole type. What do you think the pricing would look like for such personalized service and products?

Similarly, imagine if Bontoni, known for their custom footwear, were to offer a simple, yet stunningly designed shoe that would only be offered in a couple of colors, and it was the only shoe they offered and therefore could produce them more easily in small batches. What do you think the pricing would look like once they’ve simplified their process and options?

I believe the pricing of both above examples would look a lot like Standard Handmade’s pricing! To which I have worked diligently on for fairness and responsibility, for both parties involved - company and clientele.

What I offer is exactly that middle ground between ready-made shoes and full-custom shoes. I can offer custom quality at a more competitive price because I offer the same three leather colors, meaning I don’t have to constantly find new leather – or buy a whole hide of bright purple that only one client wants. I keep only the material on hand for the few designs that I offer and therefore my overhead is low.

My low overhead and simple options translate to competitive pricing for the same quality and attention to detail as you’d get with a pair of fully-custom shoes.

As a side note, I do offer fully-custom shoes (you can email me if interested). That was what I did in the days before there was Standard Handmade.

But having just a few options also solves another task. It makes it easier for you to choose. If I offered the Premiere Oxford for example, with an option for wingtips, or cap toe, six different brogue patterns, textured leather, smooth leather, exotic leather such as python, elephant, and ostrich, as well as stitching colors, what would you choose? There would be so many options that it would be difficult to choose anything at all. And since it would be impossible for me to make a model of every possible combination of options – you’d have to blindly choose your options. What if they don’t pan out as well as you hoped?

I feel fortunate to be living in this time where there is a demand for personalized products and services. I get the privilege to do what I love: make traditionally constructed footwear with modern design. I get to be the artist and the technician, the designer and the maker.

Most of all I get to offer transparency in my company. I would actually sell more shoes if my prices were higher. That’s a fact. Why? Because there is already an established market for prices exceeding $1000. I would also sell more if I priced my footwear below $300. The problem is, I can’t do that unless I outsource the making to Spain or somewhere similar. That’s what most companies do. I get it, but it is in direct conflict with my convictions. My next post will be about those convictions.

Thank you for reading. I hope that this post helps to clear up your concerns about whether my prices are too high or too low.

For more info, email me at chad.kimball@standardhandmade.com

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