For the longest time I have not considered buying locally made shoes. It was because I thought they were of poor quality, almost always square-toed and overly styled to the point that they looked ugly. However, last week I found a brand with their new line of classic shoes and the perfect pair that proved my preconceptions wrong.

As I was looking through one of the major department stores the other day I chanced upon Bristol Shoes’ new line – the Designer Collection. Bristol Shoes is just one of the many brands of shoes that are made in Marikina City, Philippines. I took an instant liking to this new line because it featured only shoes with a classic look. They had Oxford and monkstrap shoes. Some of the shoes were made of burgundy or whiskey-colored leathers. They are very beautiful when seen up-close under good lighting conditions.

Last Saturday I headed over to the Shoe Gallery at the Riverbanks Center in Marikina City. I heard that Bristol Shoes are supposedly sold at outlet prices there. Unfortunately, I found out that they were not sold at outlet prices. All was not lost, however, as it was a sale period and they had a 20% discount on all of their shoes. I picked up a pair of black Montgomery shoes for only PHP 2,064 instead of the regular price of PHP 2,580. The Montgomery is Bristol Shoes’ model of elegant and classic cap toe Oxford shoes that has a leather sole.

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The first thing I noticed upon putting on this pair of shoes is that you can’t just ease in your feet like most mass-produced shoes. You definitely need a shoe horn as the quarter is well-formed to keep your foot in place. The leather they used is of very good quality. It is not too hard nor too soft, does not easily crease and flexes well. They put an adequate amount of soft but firm foam inside to make whole day use as comfortable as possible. It could use a little more foam at the rear of the insole to make it a little less tiring when walking or standing a lot. The stitching on the uppers are neatly done. Looking at the sole of the shoe you will see that it has been stitched as well. And don’t forget the fact that this was all done by hand. The quality is just amazing.

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If you’re looking for classic, high-quality, handmade shoes at an affordable price, look no further and check out Bristol Shoes’ Designer Collection.

Bristol Shoes is available at all major department stores in the Philippines. They are also available at the Shoe Gallery located in Riverbanks Center, Marikina City.