Leatherfoot, the newest addition to Yorkville , was born through owner Ideyi Chuku's serious passion for well-made men's shoes. He believes in an exceptional level of quality, and it shows - his impressive stock of footwear brands are unavailable elsewhere in Canada and each shoe is handcrafted with so much T.L.C. that they deserve to sit on museum-like shelving complete with individual spotlights. His philosophy transcends to his service, which is far, far from the snooty connotations of the boutique's high-end neighbourhood.
I took a gander at the wall of radiant oxfords, derbies, and brogues. I have to admit, I felt slightly overwhelmed by all the shapes, sizes, and stains a leather shoe could come in. Arne Peterson, the general manager, walked me through all the brands, letting me know that they carry standard sizing in-store but also offer made-to-order and bespoke services for those who want a customized work of art.
The soft suede driver moccasins by French label La Cordonnerie Anglaise are available in both neutral and punchy hues like taupe and bright red ($310).
Shoes by Saint Crispin's are on the higher end of the spectrum; a pair of oxfords made with one seamless piece of supple calf leather ($1710) caught my eye - though it's in a classic brown tone, the ultra-precise stitching and carefully polished tip make it something I'd never seen before.
If Leatherfoot's wide selection still doesn't satisfy your fancy footwear needs, there are made-to-order options (starting at $765), giving you the freedom to specify the leather, colour, soles, and size to suit your liking. Arne tells me that several times a year they'll host trunk shows, where shoe connoisseurs can see and touch a brand's samples and work directly with the shoemaker to create the perfect piece for them.
They've also got a few other exciting things up their sleeves, including a house brand of leather goods and special events for customers who need a place to take their spiffy shoes for a spin. So, if you're keen on fine footwear even half as much as Ideyi, drop by and swoon. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Photos by Denise McMullin