Treasure trolling today at WINS (Bowness) turned up an almost new, pair of two-tone blue Blundstone-like booties with a lot of mystique. No size on them (darn it, they don’t quite fit so am guessing they’re Women’s size 10, narrow to average width), nothing on them indicating what they’re made of and a brand name (Beautiful Shoes) albeit charming, offered no clue.
But this name and the “Made in Cambodia” on the insole led my Googling to discover these are custom made leather booties from arguably the most popular, family-owned and operated custom shoe-making shop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Here, over 20 staff produce on average, 50 pairs of shoes/boots a day – mostly for foreigners. So popular are they that, other family members have since opened up custom shoe-making shops very nearby.
Beautiful Shoes... now looking for feet to fit them. I suspect they originally cost about $50... offers?
Beautiful shoes customers can choose from around 100 different colours
The shops make anything from baby shoes ($10) to knee-high leather
boots ($70). Price depends on the desired size, but a pair of Western-
sized men's shoes normally costs $30 for a pair with a rubber sole and
$35 for a pair with a leather sole.
Prices at other shops are similar, and most shops also make custom-
made belts ranging from $10 to $20 depending on size and choice of
A pair of shoes takes about two weeks to make depending on the
difficulty of the design.
"If you bring your own picture, we have a look together, and we talk
to the workers in the back, and they tell us if they can do it or
not," said Keo Ryno, adding, that the shop can do 90 percent of the
styles requested by customers.