3 Reasons Why Italian Patina Dress Shoes Cost $867


$867 sounds like a lot of money for a pair of shoes…

So why do some brands like Berluti cost even more than that?

Even at thousands of dollars.

And they are not even bespoke shoes.

Yet why do some “patina” shoes that i saw online cost $99?

There are many reasons why, from the business model to the shoemaking process….

For this article, let’s keep it to just the shoemaking process.

  1. Leather Quality

Calf crust leather before Patina

Calf crust leather before Patina

Leather comes in all different forms and type.

And of course, quality.

To Patina a dress shoe, you require crust leather.

Crust calf is untreated (read as not dyed) leather.

It is natural in color in order to allow for a coloring process.

Good crust calf leather that are fine in pores and allow beautiful patina are not cheap.

They are easily 5 to 10 times more expensive per sq ft compared to cheap “full grain calf leather”.



Patina for shoes basically means hand painting of the leather. 

With the mass marketing and commercialization of men leather shoes,

many shoe brands claim to Patina their shoes, even those as low as $100.

They are not technically wrong

However, not all Patina are made the same.

Like how not all art paintings are the same.

Higher end artistic Patina is usually done on white crust calf leather with a paint brush.

Cheaper Patina are done on leather with a base color already and using a huge sponge.

To create a vibrant color, the Patina artist must apply multiple layers of essential oil, pigments and leather dye.

The variance and nuance in the patina

The variance and nuance in the patina

shoes like these cannot cost $100 for a reason

shoes like these cannot cost $100 for a reason

This is done using various brushes depending on the effect you are looking to achieve.

Some Patina artists even use multiple colors.

As a result, a unique color with variance is created.

For example, our UNO Patine Penny loafers, we use a two different types of paint brush to produce our “brush-stroke” patina

Each pair of Patina shoes would have subtle differences even if it is made by the same artist, using the same dye.

The Patina process can take up to hours for a single pair of shoe.

For example, a Patina artist at our workshop can only paint a maximum of 5 shoes a day.

That is just the painting of the shoe. Not the actual shoe making, nor finishing.

UNO, Patina Penny Loafers in 5 colors

UNO, Patina Penny Loafers in 5 colors

In order to hold multiple layer of dye, higher quality leather with finer pores must be use.

This adds to the cost.

Furthermore, to create a ballroom or mirror shine, each shoe has to be hand polish.

Machine polishing is not able to create such a shine.

We have a dedicated shoe shiner just to hand polish our Patine collection.

Berluti, a luxury shoe brand is well known for their Patina that they even patented the patina process.

Their ready to wear shoes cost from $1000 to 1700.

3.       Bevelled Waist Close Channel Leather Outsole

UNO close channel bevel waist outsole in a hand painted dark maroon color.

UNO close channel bevel waist outsole in a hand painted dark maroon color.


One of the defining characteristics for high end luxury shoes are their outsole.

They are almost always made out of leather.

And leather is always more expensive.

Up to 20 times more expensive compared to a Rubber outsole. 

It is not just the cost of the raw material, but the skilled labour required to craft a sophisticated leather outsole.

For high end luxury shoes, you’ll notice a certain characteristic of the leather outsole.

Bevelled Waist Close Channel Outsole.

Traditionally, the narrow bevelled waist is to prevent mud from sticking to your shoes

And also to hug your insoles better.

In modern times, this characteristic is a showcase of skill, handiwork and quality.

Up until recently, a bevelled waist is only available for bespoke shoes/custom shoes.

This is because the leather outsole waist has to be painstakingly shaved down to craft the curves of the waist.

Furthermore, it is usually done on a close channel outsole. Another hallmark of high end shoes.

A close channel gives a clean elegant outsole and is only available for leather outsole.

The sole is cut to create a little flap of leather that the shoemaker can lift up.

A small flap is cut for the stitching to be done, before sealing the outsole.

A small flap is cut for the stitching to be done, before sealing the outsole.

Once this is cut and lifted up, they then cut the channel and stitch/construct the shoe.

After this, it is closed back down and glue is used to keep it down, thus creating a uniform elegant smooth surface.

In short, a bevelled waist close channel sole requires a skilled craftsman and more time to craft than the standard open stitching leather sole, even though they are the same material.

Furthermore, the outsoles are Patina (hand painted) to give a beautiful color.

For our Patine collection, each outsole is crafted and patina by a skilled craftsman.


These details in a shoe are in addition to constructing the actual shoe and the more expensive materials used.

They are time consuming and can only be done by a skilled craftsman.

Not machine.

Frankly. these methods are extremely inconvenient way to make shoes.

As a result, they are more expensive to make.

But for people who truly care, these finer details and materials are worth the cost.




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