Category: Shoe Making

Handmade Mary Janes vs Machine Made Mary Janes: The Distinction

Mary Janes are a popular type of shoe brand and like most shoe brands you can also find Handmade Mary Janes in select stores and online boutiques. The distinction is handmade shoes and machine made is one that’s often talked about. Handmade Mary Janes are usually more expensive than machine-made or mass produced mary janes because of the time, care, and quality that is put into them. Below we discuss the distinction between handmade mary janes and machine-made ones and other shoes too.

Quality Materials

Handmade mary jane shoes are generally of better quality than the ones made with machines. Most machine-made shoes are mass produced and they are made with cheap leather and cheap materials. These materials tend to crack, split and break off over time. With handmade shoes you don’t have to worry about these as they are crafted with high-quality materials and each part is sewn, stitched, and crafted with great care and skill. Handmade may janes usually last for years.

The Sole

The sole of a shoe is one of the most important parts. Due to the process of making handmade shoes, the sole is usually very sturdy, strong and finely crafted to fit perfectly. With mass produced shoes, soles are made with a one size fits all mechanism and it doesn’t always work well for all shoes.

Time and Effort of Craftsmen

More time and effort goes into making handmade shoes. They are usually made in a workshop by craftsmen who have a lot of experience in crafting shoes. These craftsmen take more time and work on each shoe with great detail and intentionality. Machine made shoes are made in factories and are mass produced. Little time is spent on each individual shoe and some might even have defects. The time and effort put into making handmade shoes is what makes them more durable and gives them superior quality. Handmade shoes are constructed carefully with immense attention to detail by the craftsmen ensuring every pair of shoe produced is a quality pair.

More Breathability

Handmade shoes are usually more breathable than factory-made shoes. This is because of the process of making handmade shoes involves letting the shoes to sit and so their shape is formed. Factory made shoes are not as breathable because they are made in a hurry. Instead of letting the shoes to sit and form their shape, factories use commercial stiffeners to speed up the process. This makes the shoes not as comfortable as they can be. The design process of handmade shoes focuses the shoe having sufficient inner space and inner flexibility and these make the shoes more breathable.


Setbacks of Handmade Mary Janes



Judging from what we already talked about, it is obvious that making handmade mary janes or any handmade shoe takes time. The process takes longer and when you take into account the fact that workers have to rest at some point it takes even more time. So if you’re a shoe company focused on selling only handmade shoes, your time to market is going to be a lot longer than usual. Making a large number of shoes – each by hand –   will be very time-consuming. This, of course, presents itself as a problem for companies who want to produce a larger quantity of shoes. Some shoe companies after they start selling their shoe products receive a high demand for more shoes and so they have to move their manufacturing process to a bigger factory. For companies that sell only handmade shoes, this can be a bit of a problem. There is no way to rush or speed up the process of making shoes by hand so the only option would be to hire more workers and craftsmen and this leads to an increased cost of production. Here comes one of the reasons for the second point below.



Handmade shoes are without a doubt, more expensive than mass-produced factory shoes. There are many factors that contribute to the high cost of handmade shoes. First off, better quality materials are used to make the shoes, the shoes are made by professional craftsmen who come at high prices, and a lot of time is put into making these shoes. The increased time means higher operating cost, more man-hours and a longer “time to market”. All these add up to making the shoes more expensive than mass-produced shoes. There’s always a price for good quality. The high cost of handmade shoes should not come as a surprise to those who prefer to use them. It is up to the customer to decide if the cost they are paying is worth the quality of the shoe. Deciding on cost also has to do with why the customer wants the shoe. For example, kids grow out of their shoes really quickly so buy a really expensive shoe could be maybe a waste of money. Except it’s a school shoe that would be used a lot or maybe the parents plan to use it for younger siblings. It all depends on personal preferences.