The Shoe Snob Blog

April 16, 2018

Tōramally Shoes – Handwelted out of India!

The world is fast changing and it is quite impressive and scary at the same time to be honest. Thanks and to much demise to the industry (i.e. the brands), we now as consumers have the world at our fingertips in just a few clicks. This is great for the consumer. Now more than ever have the choices to get what you want never been more accessible. Even the little mom’s and pop’s shoemakers that only just got computers last year all of the sudden have an e-commerce website. And that goes from Italy to Vietnam and back again. 20 years ago you couldn’t even dream of getting a pair of shoes made out of the little Italian boutique shoemaker shop unless you traveled to Florence or by some crazy chance your local shop actually became a rare stockist of said brand. But now, you grab your phone, you go on Instagram, you find some obscure maker, click on the link to the website and can make a purchase all while sitting on your living room chair watching Netflix and drinking a soda.

The downside to the industry i.e. the actual shoe brands, is that choice is all too prevalent these days which makes brand loyalty nearly a thing of the past and instead what has been replaced by ‘consumer end price’ being the deciding factor in which brand gets the customer’s choice. Those who ship free, pay for your duties and accept free returns, win the game. The only problem is doing this cripples your entire business unless you have 8x margin on them. So here we are. And the more brands that come in, the more choices the customer has, the more the industry suffers. But such is the nature of life and business and everyone has to roll with the punches as only the strong survive in a cutthroat industry.

And that brings me to one of our latest arrivals to the game of shoes. Tōramally. An Indian made, handwelted, dress shoe specializing in patina and classic designs while looking nothing like your typically Indian made shoe (although I am somewhat skeptical about what tanneries the leather comes from as not all Italian leather is top notch nor best for high calibre dress shoes) But in some pictures it looks well enough!

Wanting to prove that Indian made can correlate to ‘well made’, I must say that Tōramally has done a good job at making something above the cut with regards to what we typically see coming out of India in which I won’t try to save face by being kind as what I usually see is a bunch of copycat shoemakers making garbage that is appalling to even see online (just think all of those fake eBay accounts copying everyone’s shoes). But Tōramally rises above this stereotype and is making what would be considered a luxury product and although I have yet to see a pair in person, can see that at least in pictures looks on par with the asking price, which you can see below:

Patina – approx £ 350 and above
Tattooed – approx  £ 430 and above
Hand-painted – approx  £ 500 and above
The patina is like a regular patina, hand done. The tattooed version is literally just that, a tattoo on the shoe made by the tattoo gun. And the hand painted is like drawing done by hand on the shoe directly.
While not yet having their own site you can find them at their Instagram account or their Facebook page or lastly at the website THAT YOU CAN FIND HERE.
And even though I have NEVER been a fan of anything coming out of India to be quite frank, I can say that I am impressed by these. Let’s see if this will become the next trend?
Sincerely,
Justin, ‘The Shoe Snob’

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