It isn’t a surprise that guys who are fastidious about their wardrobe would want to find the perfect Italian shoes to complement it.
Italy has a long and rich history of shoemaking, earning a reputation for producing some of the best leather shoes in the world.
Italy’s global recognition as a shoe lover’s Mecca stems from generations of master craftsmen, whose passion for using the finest leather to handmake timeless, elegant footwear is unparalleled in fashion.
But while the decision to go with Italian leather shoes is a no-brainer, choosing the right pair can be far more difficult:
Which designers are the best? The most expensive? The most affordable? And so on.
To help you put your best foot forward, we’ve composed this list of the best Italian shoe brands on the market today, and broken it down into three categories:
- The Best Affordable Italian Shoe Brands
- The Best Luxury Italian Shoe Brands, and
- The Best Non-Italian Shoe Brands That Use Italian Leather
A (Quick) Note About What Counts as Italian:
When it comes to the “Made in Italy” sticker, things can get a little blurry.
These days, some of the larger fashion houses like Prada and Gucci — while headquartered in Italy — outsource some of their manufacturing and materials to other countries.
But most of the smaller, artisanal brands that dominate this list operate 100% in Italia.
All of them make great shoes, but whether or not you consider them truly “Italian” is up to you.
The (Absolute) Best Italian Mens Shoes Brands
Breaking Down the Best Made in Italy Shoe Brands
The Best Affordable Italian Shoe Brands ↓
Italian footwear label M.Gemi (pronounced em je-mee) prides itself on offering high quality leather goods at reasonable prices, while maintaining a premium standard of craftsmanship and sustainability.
In an effort to preserve a centuries-old craft, their shoes and handbags are sustainably handmade exclusively by Italian artisans across the country.
And if that’s not enough, they offer quick delivery, and free shipping and returns.
This modern Italian shoe label takes sustainability to the next level.
Known for their incredibly comfy handcrafted sneakers (as well as boots and slip-ons), Koio sources leather from ecosystem-restoring and regenerative graze farms in the Swiss Alps and certified sustainable manufacturers in Italy.
While their products are pricier than your average sneaker, they’re more affordable than most luxury Italian footwear and have the quality to boot — pun intended.
Italian brand Scarosso specializes in high-quality shoes of every style, from Oxfords and boots to boat shoes and sandals.
Offering handmade shoes by family-run manufacturers in the Le Marche region (known as Italy’s shoe region), Scarosso takes out the “middle man” in order to deliver premium quality footwear and great value.
Case in point: A classic black loafer from Scarosso will set you back about $350 — a steal compared to the $1000-plus you’ll pay for a similar shoe from a luxury Italian fashion house.
If you’re looking for a quality Italian-made shoe at an affordable price, you’ll love Ace Marks.
Specializing in classic men’s styles but with a contemporary twist, their unique color and material combinations set them apart from the competition.
As per Italian tradition, their shoes are made from premium materials and handcrafted to perfection, so you’re not sacrificing quality.
Founded in 1936 by Bruno Magli and his siblings in a Bologna basement, this brand is now known internally for its luxury shoes and leather goods.
Whether you’re looking for a stylish loafer, an elegant oxford, or a casual sneaker, Bruno Magli has you covered and at mid-range prices.
Their designs are timeless and sophisticated but with a modern twist that gives them that je ne sais quoi (but, you know, more Italian).
Aurélien is a relatively new brand on the Italian fashion scene, but already they’ve made a splash with their high-quality products and moderate prices.
Coining the term “smart luxury”, Aurélien markets themselves as offering the same fine Italian craftsmanship and materials as higher-end luxury brands but “at an elegant price point.”
The shoe collection itself is impressive, with a wide selection of styles available and in various materials, but what really stands out is the variety of rich, colorful designs to choose from.
However it should be noted that not all of their shoes are made in Italy, some are made in Portugal and Spain.
Velasca is a lifestyle brand that makes timeless, high-quality Italian shoes and clothing at moderate prices.
Their M-O is to reject fickle fashion trends and embrace classic styles made for real life.
To keep prices accessible, their men’s shoes are designed and handcrafted in Italy and then sold directly to the consumer through a direct supply chain.
In this case, “accessible” means a price range of about $330-$450 — considerably less than most luxury shoe brands.
The Best Italian Luxury Shoe Brands ↓
Salvatore Ferragamo has long been considered one of the best luxury Italian shoemakers in the world.
Handmaking his first pair of shoes in the early 1900s at a very young age, Salvatore later became known as the “shoemaker to the stars” when his bold designs were sought after by prominent Hollywood actors like Marilyn Monroe, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford.
Although Salvatore died in 1960, the company is still run by the Ferragamo family in Florence, with the same dedication to premium Italian craftsmanship, design, and materials.
The point is this: When you pay $1000 for a pair of their shoes, you’re getting quality along with a piece of fashion history.
Italian designer Giorgio Armani likely needs no introduction, especially if you’re an enthusiast of luxury fashion brands.
While the name may make you think of suits and fragrances, Armani also offers a decent range of men’s footwear in a variety of styles.
Whether you’re looking for stylish sneakers or elegant dress shoes, you know you’re getting the impeccable craftsmanship and quality Italian leather synonymous with Armani.
Yet another household name, Gucci is best known for lavish handbags and accessories (and now a film starring Lady Gaga) but they also carry a line of high fashion footwear.
The Florence-based company offers loafers, lace-ups, ankle boots, and more in eye-catching colors and unique styles.
While the average cost of a loafer is around $850-$3,500, you’re paying for the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, and of course, the iconic double-G logo.
If you’re looking for shoes with unique design, this is the brand for you.
Giuseppe Zanotti’s obsession with shoes at a young age propelled him into a lustrous career as a luxury fashion designer.
Anything but traditional, his bold shoe designs combine street fashion with haute couture, often embellished with rhinestones, golden embroidery, and silver studs to create individual works of art.
It’s an excellent option if you want to splurge on something special.
Founded in 1913 as a luggage and leather goods boutique, Prada has become one of the best-known luxury fashion houses in the world.
While the name may be synonymous with the haute couture on the runways of Milan and Paris, Prada also offers a line of men’s shoes that includes everything from sandals to boots.
Prada shoes are made from high-quality materials and tend to be minimalist in style — although you can also find sneakers in bold colors and designs.
Headquartered in Milan, D&G is another household name in high-end fashion but the brand also offers ready-to-wear clothes and shoes.
Here you’ll find everything from designer rubber beach slides (for a cool $300, BTW) to leather lace-ups and loafers.
If statement pieces are your style, you can also find sequin-encrusted derby shoes, animal-print pony hair loafers, rhinestone-studded combat boots, and more.
At Tod’s, you’ll find everything from Chelsea and ankle boots, to loafers, sneakers, and slip-ons, all crafted from quality Italian leather.
But what put Tod’s on the map is their iconic Gommino shoes, a trademark design with pebble-studded soles inspired by the shoes worn by race car drivers in the 1950s.
Whatever your style, Tod’s is a great option for high-end leather footwear.
Luxury menswear brand Zegna is named after its founder Ermenegildo Zegna, who established the company as a high-quality fabric maker in 1910.
Zegna’s footwear collections include contemporary sneakers, classic driving shoes, elegant lace-ups, and stylish ankle boots, all in luxurious suede and calfskins.
This is a great option if you’re looking to invest in staple footwear to complete a polished-yet-casual look.
Antonio Meccariello is considered one of the best Italian shoe designers in the world.
Coveted by shoe aficionados, Meccariello shoes are handmade from premium calf leather, only using the central part of the calfskin in order to make the highest quality shoe.
The website carries a small collection of ready-to-wear products and offers made-to-measure and bespoke services for additional costs.
Heads up: All prices on the website are in Euros so you’ll need to calculate the exchange rate yourself or call your credit card company to find out their exact rates.
Bontoni is another Italian shoe label steeped in Italian culture and history.
Founded by third-generation shoemaker Franco Gazzani, Botoni is one of the last Italian artisans that still partly operates out of their in-house workshop — a small basement — just as their ancestor did nearly a century ago.
Their famous patinas are all colored and finished by hand, ensuring each pair is truly one of a kind.
A single pair of shoes can take months to create, so they produce a limited number each year.
This young brand found instant success after it debuted at Milan Fashion Week in 2016.
Founded by fashion influencers-turned-designers Filippo Fiora and Filippo Cirulli, Edhèn brings a youthful energy to the luxury shoe industry.
Their men’s footwear line focuses heavily on loafers, reviving the traditional style with sleeker, bolder, more modern designs that are guaranteed to be a conversation starter at the office party.
This family-run business operates out of a small workshop in Bologna famed for its high-quality men’s shoes made by master craftsmen.
Their product range features several classic styles like button boots and penny loafers available in both hand-welted and blake stitched construction.
The downside is they’re only available through a few exclusive retailers worldwide, so check their website for locations.
Founded by Renzo Rossetti and his wife, Lisetta, in 1953, this family-run business has always embraced both quality and innovation when it comes to shoemaking.
In fact, it was Renzo himself who introduced the first loafers with tassels in the 1960s, as well as the first shoes intended to be worn without socks (cheers to that!).
Today, led by the family’s second generation, the label continues to offer traditional styles like loafers and lace-ups, as well as casual wear like sneakers and desert boots.
In 2006, after working in his father’s factory for 25 years learning the Italian art of luxury shoemaking, Gianvito Rossi launched his own line of high-end shoes.
While the label is best known for its high-fashion women’s shoes, you’ll also find a line of men’s casual and formal footwear.
It’s worth mentioning that in 2019, the company made a commitment to sustainability and is actively working to reduce its global impact.
Run by fourth-generation family members, Lemargo’s mission is to combine traditional craftsmanship with innovative shoemaking.
They use the highest-quality leather and special polishing techniques to enhance the shoes’ color and vibrancy while maintaining a vintage look.
This well-known Italian shoe label’s first factory was a small workshop in the cellar of the family home in 1936.
While the company of 80 employees uses machines at some levels of production, it still relies on ancient techniques and the technical skills of its shoemakers to produce elegant shoes of excellent quality.
They even continue to use leather soles in some of their styles (as opposed to a rubber sole), for added comfort and breathability.
Naples-based company honors the art of traditional shoemaking by handmaking their men’s footwear from start to finish (machines are banned).
While they have a ready-to-wear line, they also offer made-to-order and bespoke services allowing you to design your own one-of-a-kind pair to compliment your unique style.
Each pair takes up to 30 days to make, but good things come to those who wait.
Santoni is another family-run luxury footwear label nested in Italy’s Marche Region.
Known for their iconic double buckle, dramatic color contrasts, and wide range of materials, styles, and shapes, you could literally spend hours browsing their catalog or designing your own bespoke creation.
With their unique interpretations of traditional designs, this brand has everything you need to elevate your personal style.
Stefano Bemer’s obsession with the precision and art of luxury shoemaking has helped his brand become internationally recognized for its elegance and quality.
A decade after his passing, the company continues to handmake bespoke and ready-to-wear men’s footwear of the highest quality in classic Italian styles.
And every pair comes in individual wool dust bags and a wooden box for proper storage.
The Best Non-Italian Shoe Brands That Use Italian Leather ↓
Before we get to it, a quick disclaimer:
Each of the brands below claims to use at least some Italian-sourced leather in their products, but it was surprisingly difficult to verify those claims.
So just take it with a grain of salt and enjoy.
Using high-quality leather sourced from Italy and Argentina, this company makes handcrafted men’s shoes out of a small, ethical workshop in Columbia.
Here you’ll find timeless styles as opposed to trendy ones, built using traditional methods that ensure perfection and longevity.
Plus, their prices are reasonable so you can find your favorite pair without breaking the bank.
Imagine if dress shoes and sneakers had a baby and you’ve just summed up American brand Wolf & Shepherd.
Founded by former Division I track and field athletes, this brand’s unique designs blend traditional craftsmanship with the technology of sports footwear to create the perfect balance of comfort and style.
If you appreciate a celeb endorsement, their ambassadors include pro athletes Steve Nash and Rob Gronkowski (need we say more?).
Another company based in the United States, Marc Nolan offers comfortable, stylish footwear at affordable prices.
Their sneakers, loafers, and boots are made from high-quality materials with a leather lining for extra comfort.
But it’s the modern design that sets them apart: With eye-catching color combos and mixed textures and materials, you can find the perfect pair to fit your sense of style.
Founded in 1850, Johnston & Murphy is one of America’s oldest shoe companies.
Their claim to fame is they’ve custom-designed shoes for almost every US president since Fillmore, including Lincoln, and Obama.
They offer a wide range of styles in genuine leather and premium quality suede, however, only a few specific styles are crafted in Italy with Italian leather (check out their website for details).
This unique company operates out of a sustainable and ethical workshop in Guatemala (of which you can take a virtual tour on their website).
Their made-to-order shoes are handcrafted and shipped free within 10 days to customers in the United States.
Because they don’t use middlemen or factories, Adelante can afford to pay their craftsman well while also offering affordable prices — it’s a win-win.
This Wisconsin-based company has been making premium men’s footwear since 1922.
Prioritizing quality over speed or quantity, they use a 212-step process to create each and every pair, including hand-selecting the leather and using the labor-intensive bench welt method.
We like that they go the extra mile by offering extended sizes and widths, as well as recrafting and customization services.
Perlie is a brand-new company that claims to make the “most comfortable dress shoes and boots in the world”.
They took everything you love about a comfy pair of sneakers — soft cushioning, a breathable insole, premium leather lining, etc. — and made it look like a luxury dress shoe.
But while the idea may be revolutionary, they still use traditional methods of construction to ensure quality and durability.
More Resources ↓
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