18 Under-the-radar shoe brands you should pay attention to

18 Under-the-radar shoe brands you should pay attention to

Happy feet

Text: Pravin Nair Joan Kong

Image: Labucq
Image: Loq
Image: Gray Matters

Shoe lovers, rejoice! Here are more footwear brands to shop from

Renowned luxury footwear brands such as Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, and Giuseppe Zanotti are iconic, but if you call yourself a shoe lover, you’d know that there's a sea of up-and-coming footwear brands out there that are worthy of a mention too. These labels' charm doesn't only lie in its aesthetics—their pieces also come with a reasonable price tag. What more could you ask for?

Below, 18 indie shoe brands—and their best-selling designs—you should totally explore:


Founded in 2013, Buscemi obtained its name after its creator, Jon Buscemi, who founded the brand with the intent on having the most elegant sneakers in the market. Influenced by street style, craftsmanship and art, Buscemi was birthed to allow consumers at large to interact with new styles that shy away from trends. 

Check Out: Veloce Mix in Beige, a crafted shoe showcasing elements of futurism. 

Shop the brand here.


Independent Stockholm brand Eytys is the epitome of putting forth creative pursuits drawn from the environment around it. Eventually offering to ready-to-wear items, the brand began curating unisex footwear in clashing proportions and contrasts in design. 

Check out: The Doja S-O sneakers. Monochromatic perseveres.

Shop the brand here.


Hailing from the dreamy islands of Hawaii, Olukai was founded to realise both durability and comfort in all of its footwear. Be it flip flops or a pair of sneakers, Olukai engineers sustainable footwear pieces that are practical in any climate and situation. 

Check out: The Tuahine men's sandals that are constructed with leather and durable in both land and water.

Shop the brand here.

Axel Arigato

Founded in Sweden, Axel Arigato is the love child of four creators who created a luxury clothing label (with an emphasis on sneakers) to be accessible to the masses. 

Check out: The Genesis sneakers, composed out of recycled ocean plastic and polyester. 

Shop the brand here.


Loq is derived from the surnames of its co-founders Keren Longkumer and Valerie Quant, who met while studying footwear design in Los Angeles back in 2011. The duo went on to launch the brand in 2015, with an aim to redefine classics for the modern day women.

Check out: The Ara sandals that have a Grecian twist.

Shop the brand here.

ATP Atelier

ATP stands for “All Tomorrow’s Parties”. While the brand is based in Stockholm, its shoes are handcrafted in Italy. The result? Footwear that are equal parts minimal and striking.

Check out: The Pittuini cutout heels that are über chic.

Shop the brand here.

Malone Souliers

London-based footwear brand Malone Souliers takes your classic favourites and give them an artisanal update. Five years after its debut, the luxury footwear label introduced its men’s line in 2019 which employs the same aesthetic.

Check out: The Maisie mules that are made using a zero-waste approach this SS21.

Shop the brand here.

Gray Matters

Gray Matters’ shoes may look minimal at first glance, but take a closer look and you’ll notice the sculptural details that lend them that distinctive character.

Check out: The Mildred Piccolo that stands out in a sea of flats and the Egg mules featuring egg-shaped heels.

Shop the brand here.


Founded by stylist Vanessa Antonius and designer Alan Buanne in 2017, the brand may only be four years old, but it's well-loved for its understated yet feminine shoe designs.

Check out: The Proxima heels featuring one of the trendiest silhouettes this season.

Shop the brand here.


Designed in Berlin and handmade in Italy, Aeydē’s shoes are made to last you through the seasons. Instead of blindly chasing trends, its founders—Luisa Krogmann and Constantin Langholz-Baikousis—focus on timeless silhouettes that are perfect for the modern wardrobe.

Check out: The versatility of the popular Moa flats know no bounds.

Shop the brand here.

Nicole Saldaña

Before venturing out on her own, Nicole Saldaña honed her skills at Tory Sport, Kenzo, and Opening Ceremony. At her namesake label, her shoes exude that ‘90s teen spirit, and they’re often injected with a touch of playfulness, be it floral embroideries or delicate bows.

Check out: Its best-selling piece—the Fabiana Mary Janes that come with cute bow details.

Shop the brand here.


One of the newest labels on our list, Nodaleto was created in 2019 by Julia Toledano, the daughter of the chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, Sidney Nodaleto. The brand's known for its instantly recognisable chunky heels.

Check out: The Mary Jane-inspired Bulla Babies radiate that retro yet modern appeal.

Shop the brand here.

St. Agni

Australian label St. Agni was founded in Byron Bay by husband and wife duo Lara & Matt Fells. Their vision? To create functional, refined, and quality pieces based on their “less is more” philosophy.

Check out: The Oliver Thong that makes going out in slippers that bit more chic.

Shop the brand here.

Suzanne Rae

Suzanne Rae’s designs are inspired by and made for “the progressive and modern woman”. Her shoe collections are a mix of vintage and bold designs that will elevate the simplest of looks.

Check out: The Reseau smoking loafers in mesh.

Shop the brand here.

Emme Parsons

Emme Parsons is a Los Angeles-based brand that creates minimalist sandals with a sense of elegance and ease. Its creative ethos lies in Eloquent Utilitarianism—a belief that “pure design should be unobtrusive yet emotional”.

Check out: The Simone sandals that are a reiteration of the brand’s bestselling Chris silhouette.

Shop the brand here.


Labucq is the brainchild of Lauren Bucquet, who’s formerly the footwear and accessories director at Rag & Bone. Its designs perfectly combine vintage and modern details, resulting in striking, chunky silhouettes that will spice up one’s shoe closet.

Check out: The Kitty loafers, which are also one of their most popular designs. Style tip: Wear it with bright ankle socks!

Shop the brand here.

Intentionally Blank

Founded in Los Angeles in 2014, Intentionally Blank’s only…intention? “To create the pieces that help you fill “____________s” in your personal style mantra,” according to creative director Ty McBride.

Check out: The PG Moo boots in cow print that feature a trendy square-toe.

Shop the brand here.


Born in Galicia, Spain, and based in London, designer Laura Villasenin unites her Spanish heritage with a modern sentiment. Most of the brand’s designs feature a distinctive crochet technique.

Check out: The Stephanie sandals that truly showcase Miista’s charm.

Shop the brand here.


Having grown up in a family of traditional Turkish footwear artisans and designers, Havva’s co-founders Havva Mustafa and her brother Ali aim to fuse what they’ve learned since young with edgy streetwear culture. The brand has a solid celebrity clientele which includes Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Scherzinger, and more.

Check out: The Sportmaxx boot that has a sporty finish, thanks to the double-tongue and the reflective strip at the back of the heel.

Shop the brand here.