Why Are John Lobb Shoes So Expensive? 10 rEASONS WHY

John Lobb shoes are expensive because they are meticulously handcrafted in England using the finest materials and time-honored techniques that increase labor and material costs. The brand's legacy, prestige, and limited availability also drive up prices for discerning patrons who value quality craftsmanship and exclusivity.

John Lobb is a luxury British shoe brand that has been handcrafting exquisite footwear since 1866. Their shoes are renowned for their impeccable craftsmanship and timeless elegance, but also come with an equally impressive price tag.

John Lobb’s most basic Oxford or derby shoes start at around $1300, going all the way up to $3000 or more for unique, bespoke pairs. This begs the question – why are John Lobb shoes so expensive compared to regular designer or high street shoes.

Top 10 Reasons Why John Lobb Shoes Are So Expensive

1. Handcrafted in England

Unlike most luxury brands that outsource production to factories in China or Italy, every pair of John Lobb shoes is meticulously handcrafted in their Northampton workshop by skilled artisans. This level of artisanal production significantly increases labor costs but also results in better quality.

2. Finest Materials

From the leather hide to the lining, John Lobb uses only the finest materials sourced ethically from around the world. Box calf, pebble grain and suede leather from France, patina-able Cordovan shells from Chicago, soft lambskin linings – every material is carefully chosen for quality, durability and aesthetics.

3. Bespoke Service

John Lobb offers a bespoke shoe service for clients looking for full customization – personalized lasts, exclusive materials, unique designs and details. Naturally, the labor costs for creating made-to-order shoes results in exceptionally high pricing.

4. Antique Last Collection

John Lobb’s antique last collection uses original lasts and patterns from the 1800s. These rare lasts must be painstakingly restored and each pair crafted meticulously to preserve the aesthetic. The rarity and work involved makes these shoes even more expensive.

5. Goodyear Welted Construction

The signature John Lobb shoes feature a Goodyear welted construction which is time-consuming but allows for re-soling and longevity. It requires an additional strip of leather to stitch the sole – driving up material and labor costs.

6. Hand Lasting & Finishing

In a labor-intensive process called hand-lasting, craftsmen mold and shape the upper leather carefully over the last by hand. The soles are also hand-stitched and edges painted by hand – processes that demand skilled artisans and more time.

7. Exclusive Retail Experience

John Lobb offers bespoke consultations, fittings, personalized lasts and services to enhance the luxury retail experience. The costs of operating flagship stores, customer service and aftercare also add to the pricing.

8. Limited Availability

John Lobb produces a rather small, limited number of handcrafted shoes annually. Their atelier can only make 5,000 to 7,000 pairs a year total. The scarcity and exclusivity of each design adds value.

9. Brand Heritage & Legacy

With over 150 years of shoemaking heritage, John Lobb is one of the most venerable luxury footwear brands. Its long legacy and history lend an heirloom, collectible appeal to the shoes.

10. Celebrity Clientele

From royalty, politicians and Hollywood celebrities to savvy businessmen – John Lobb’s elite clientele are willing to pay top dollar for the quality and status symbol. The brand’s aspirational appeal allows premium pricing.

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