Carl & OAK Has Affordable Custom-Made Leather Shoes For Your Footwear Needs
For most folks, shoe shopping is a relatively straightforward affair — you walk into a store, pick out something you like, try it on, and buy it if you like it.
However, some people may have more particular needs due to common foot issues, such as bunions or uneven sizes. Hence, there may be better ways to go than getting their kicks straight off the rack.
This is where custom-made footwear comes in. Before you sweat nervously over the potential damage to your bank account, let us introduce you to homegrown brand Carl & OAK.
From under S$600, you’ll be able to get your hands on your very own bespoke leather shoes.
Psst… keep reading till the end to find out how you can win a gift voucher that you can use to score your next made-to-measure pair.
Custom-made shoes can address all kinds of problems
Carl & OAK started as a retail store at One Raffles Place in 2014, selling shoes, bags, and other leather goods to cater to the CBD office crowd.
Before long, they began noticing a growing market for men’s bespoke leather shoes. Of course, many custom-made shoe services were already available in Singapore, but they were often expensive and cost thousands of dollars.
To offer their bespoke shoes at much more affordable rates, Carl & OAK shuttered its physical store in 2018.
It transitioned into a mobile business, visiting customers in their homes or at dedicated locations to conduct fittings.
This helped them to save on rental fees and other expenses that would typically come with having a brick-and-mortar store.
They enjoyed brisk business for a couple of years. And then Covid-19 hit, causing a steep drop in shoe demand since people were mostly working from home.
Carl & OAK sets up base in Star Vista
Fortunately, while the pandemic killed many similar companies, Carl & OAK not only survived but grew in the post-Covid era. Founder Carl Huang attributed their success to prudent cost management and strategic investment in digital marketing.
Still, they realised that running a mobile business had its limitations, such as being unable to show customers their full range of shoes.
Logistically, it was also a nightmare since there would usually be up to three visits: the measuring, the first fitting, and the second fitting.
Considering their customers’ feedback about the inconvenience, Carl & OAK eventually decided to set up shop in a fixed location. And so, they partnered with ladies’ shoe brand Lucca Vudor and now conduct all their fittings at the Star Vista outlet.
How a shoe-fitting works
Here’s an overview of the whole process: After you make an appointment, head down to the shop to check out the range of shoes, which includes Oxfords, loafers, boots, sandals, boat shoes, sneakers, and many more.
But first, do note that Carl & OAK recommends heading down in the early afternoon as feet tend to swell throughout the day.
Customers are also advised to wash their feet – of course – and bring their own socks and any insoles they usually wear for a more accurate fitting.
There, you can select your preferred colour — they have over a hundred stylish selections — and other details such as the pattern and type of leather.
You can go as minimalist and classic as you like or dare to try something more flashy. It’s totally up to you.
For an extra personalised touch, you can even have your initials engraved on your shoes, so you know they truly belong to you. Plus, it’ll look super cool.
Once you’re happy, the staff will process your order, and your brand new shoes will be ready in about two to three weeks. So be sure to plan if you need them by a certain date.
In rare cases where there are issues with the fit of the shoe, the staff will gladly help to make an adjustment and arrange for a second fitting.
Win S$500 gift vouchers from Carl & OAK for your first bespoke pair
As mentioned, ordering custom-made leather shoes can easily set you back a four-figure sum.
But at Carl & OAK, prices start from a reasonable S$598 — don’t forget, everything is bespoke and constructed from genuine cowhide leather and other high-quality materials by expert shoemakers in Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, and Shanghai.
If you fancy getting yourself a pair but need a little extra financial help, Carl & OAK is giving away three gift vouchers worth S$500 each to go towards your purchase.
To participate, simply like, share, and tag three friends in their Instagram post here from now till 20 Nov. The brand will announce the winners on 1 Dec.
Once you have a rough idea of what kind of shoe you want, you can start planning your trip to the store:
Lucca Vudor Outlet Store
Address: 1 Vista Exchange Green, #01-25A, Singapore 138617
Opening hours: 11am – 9pm daily
Nearest MRT station: Buona Vista
Those across the Causeway would also be glad to know that Carl & OAK now offers their bespoke services in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well. Here’s how you can get there:
Lucca Vudor, The Atria
Address: The Atria G-15 Kuala Lumpur, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 10.30am – 9.15pm (Mon – Sat), 10.30am – 9pm (Sun)
Appointments are necessary for fittings in both Singapore and Malaysia and can be made via WhatsApp at +65 9349 6934.
You may also contact them for a complimentary measurement and consultation session before deciding if you want to take the plunge into the world of bespoke footwear.
Walk with a spring in your step
The classic tale of Cinderella proves how one’s life can change with a pair of beautiful bespoke shoes.
Sure, you may not have a fairy godmother, but you have the next best thing: a local business that can stitch up the footwear of your dreams.
Our feet work so hard to support us — literally — every single day, so it’s time we all took good care of them. You’ll feel much better too, and may even find yourself walking with a new spring in your step.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Carl & OAK.
Featured image by MS News. Photography by Shawn Low.
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