Ahhhh, Indonesia: land of 17,000 islands, constant 80-degree temperatures…and some of the most impressive and best-value handmade boots you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Why Indonesians care so deeply about boots remains a bit of a mystery. The shoemaking tradition passed over from Dutch colonists certainly seems to have had an impact, the ability to easily adventure out into the wilderness must be a factor, and the whole “lots of people in Indonesia ride motorcycles” thing is very real.

But whatever the reason, the boot scene in Indonesia—largely centered in Bandung, the country’s fashion capital in terms of schooling, manufacturing, and overall style influence—is very real. With dozens of makers running small workshops and deploying handwelting techniques for a range of styles, North American and European interest in Indonesian products has grown significantly in the past half-decade.

That interest has driven innovation, in terms of footwear patterns, leather sourcing and usage, and overall construction and finishing quality. And boot lovers get to reap the rewards. It’s basically impossible to find a handmade product at the price Indonesian makers offer anywhere else, and it’s zero stretch to say that some of those makers create some of the most excellent rugged boots in the world, price be damned. (And let’s not forget about Winson, one of the better high-end dress shoe makers you’ll find anywhere).

While we can safely predict you’ll begin to see more ready-to-wear options from makers in the near future, the soul of Indonesian bootmaking has been, currently is, and may forever be made-to-order boots and shoes. Yes you can always just find a photo of their boots and say “make me these!” But then fun is in working with a maker to select leather, pattern, hardware, outsoles, and everything in between.


The Stitchdown Patina Thunderdome: 1 Pair of Boots. 7 Months of Wear. Over $10,000 in Prizes. Learn More Here.


So how does a boot lover sort through them all and figure out what’s best for them? Well, by reading this very story. Then by spending a ton of time with their work. And finally, by getting in touch, and dreaming big.

This story will grow over time. Not every Indonesian bootmaker is present (that would be tough!), but the hope is every meaningful one will be one day. Also, advancements in the Indonesian bootmaking scene happen at an absurdly impressive pace. But for right now, we like to humbly think it’s a fantastic resource to get you started, or if you’re already in deep, to tip you off to a new maker that could be the next big thing.


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A Very Important Indonesian Bootmakers Update: The Stitchdown Shoecast

Onderhoud Handmade Review


alvinos boots

Alvinos

A mom ‘n’ pop brand with only three workers, Alvinos represents perhaps the best pure value play in the entire Indonesian boot scene, with prices as low as $120 (for now, at least). Models include a very solid service boot pattern, an extremely classic Red Wing-esque moc toe (including a tall version), simple engineers and high side-zips, and even some brogued wingtip derbies, most built with local Indonesian leathers—although some imported articles get into the mix as well.

All in all, at the price Alvinos offers, the absolute peak of bootmaking craftsmanship and creativity isn’t what you should be expecting here. But as a maker that lets you dip a toe into the Indonesian MTO waters, at that price, there’s some real appeal to be found.

Price Range: Local leather $120+, imported $145+, veg tan $160+ (shipping included)

Construction Styles: Flat welt, stitchdown, Norwegian

Heel Styles: Block, logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Instagram or Whatsapp

MTM Options: Last adjustments and split sizing

Leather: Local & imported, including some Horween articles

Benzein x Stitchdown Rare Wine Reverse Chamois Chelsea Boot

Benzein

A newer player in the Indonesian market and yet one of the largest, Benzein was started in 2018 but its lead man Adi comes from a generational shoemaking family. We can confidently say that Benzein sits among the upper echelon of Indonesian makers, and its signature model is quite honestly one of the best wholecut Chelsea boots—in terms of pattern, lasts and fit, finishing…everything—that exists anywhere in the world, and is infinitely customizable. Which is borderline insane for $400.

While that Chelsea is the namesake product, Benzein’s range is DEEP: They also do an excellent engineer boot, straightforward but wonderfully executed service and derby boots, an absolutely killer side zip, jodhpurs, chukkas, and derby shoes (with a trademark rivet) that a lot of people have been quite happy with. Oh and their new loafers look great too.

And then, the leather range. It’s extremely possible that no Indonesian maker uses more leathers from a wider range of tanneries than Benzein. And while the list of what’s available with any bootmaker can be fluid, Benzein seems to almost always hold an extensive stock of core leathers (CXL, Maryam horsebutt in the archetypal Toscanello and various other shades, Badalassi veg-tans from Italy), in addition to pricier stuff like shell cordovan and even croc leather.

Price Range: Local leather $195+, imported $400+, shell cordovan $750+, exotics $1350+ (shipping included)

Construction Styles: Flat welt, veldtschoen

Heel Styles: Block, logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Instagram or Whatsapp

MTM Options: Can lower instep; offers various widths

Leather: Various tannages from Conceria Cloe, Horween, Badalassi, C.F. Stead, Shinki, Maryam; local leather; bison leather

daedalus boots

Daedalus

Since 2012, Daedalus has been careful not to fly too close to the sun, crafting largely boots in a range of styles—lace-to-toes, service boots, moc-toes and more—while staying committed to offering an affordable price.

Price Range: Local leather $250+, Imported $325+

Construction Styles: Storm welt, flat welt, veldtschoen

Heel Styles: Block, Cuban

How to Contact: Whatsapp

MTM Options: Split sizing, custom lasts

Leather: Local chrome-tanned & pull-up, Tochigi veg tan, Arnia Italian cowhide, Badalassi, Haas Zermatt calf, calf lining, Shinki leather and shell cordovan

Hade

Hade is the newest brand on this list, having launched in early 2021, so they’re still rolling out styles and options, but are definitely a maker to keep an eye on, not least because of their affordable price-point. They also share the Stitchdown belief that boots should be a man’s best friend. But don’t like, get rid of your dog or anything.

Price Range: Local leather $190+, imported $210+

Construction Styles: Handwelted, Norwegian, veldtschoen

Heel Styles: Block, Logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Whatsapp

MTM Options: Offers different widths

Leather: Sometimes possible to get Shinki, Horween, Badalassi. Otherwise mostly local.

imperium bootmaker indonesia

Imperium

Founded in 2016, Imperium has something of a “do-it-all” mentality, although in recent years they’ve been attempting to streamline their processes and models. At this point, their signature models are the 7-inch Mighty service boot (for which Stitchdown Shoecast co-host actually did a group made to order model), a very clean derby boot they call the Leon, the 8-inch Mustang lace-to-toe superchonk lineman boot, and the pretty darn classy Neo split-toe boot complete with a swooptie (technical term).

While most of Imperium’s work has deployed local Indonesian leather historically, within the last year they’ve gotten access to Horween, C.F. Stead, and Badalassi upper leather, and have deployed them well. All in all, Imperium is a brand that seems to be still finding themselves a bit (hell, they also make double-monk dress shoes alongside some of the beefier lace to toes we’ve seen), but we definitely like the journey they’re on, and the price is right.

Price Range: Local leather $200+, imported $300+, horsebutt $360+

Construction Styles: Handwelted, stitchdown, Norwegian, veldtschoen, flat welt, Blake

Heel Styles: Block, logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Whatsapp or Instagram

MTM Options: Split sizing, last adjustments, custom lasts

Leather: Local leather plus imported leather by request (Horween, C.F. Stead, Badalassi Carlo)

junkard boots

Junkard

So get this one: in 2010, Junkard (important: not JunkYARD) founder and photographer Alex had his camera stolen. He was distraught, and uncertain of what to do next. So like all reasonable people, he decided to start a boot company so he would be able to buy a new one.

Over a decade later, after originally making a more worldwide name for itself producing some of the most affordable shell cordovan boots available anywhere, Junkard is still rolling with a lineup that spans the gamut from rugged to dressy.

Price Range: Local leather $235+, imported $300+, shell cordovan $495+ (shipping included to US)

Construction Styles: Handwelted, stitchdown, Norwegian, flat welt

Heel Styles: Block

How to Contact: Whatsapp

Leather: Rocado shell cordovan, various local leathers, limited Horween

midas bootmaker vanquish_boot

Midas

Indonesian maker Winson’s head man Emil makes some of the most impressive dress shoes, we don’t think it’s a stretch to say, in the entire world. Midas is the basically brand-new, more casual offshoot of that business, with a focus on more rugged boots that still feature Winson’s immaculate patterning, finishing, and just overall feel of “there’s really something special happening here.”

Orderable through their MTO agent House of Agin, Midas’ early signature models include some of the more beautifully upticked lace-to-toe boots you’ll find anywhere, a darned solid service boot and engineer, and the absolutely beautiful Spalla derby boot, which is basically like a White’s Semi-Dress that dropped the “Semi”.

But perhaps the boot that will define Midas is the swooptie-fied Vanquish blucher boot, an aggressive but balanced dress-field boot that with the right configurations has a shot at going head-to-head with the fabled Edward Green Galway, for about 1/5 of the price. No, it’s not the same boot—and it’s not trying to be. But man is it something in its own right.

Price Range: Local $340+, Imported $490+, Horsebutt $490+

Construction Styles: Norwegian, veldtschoen, flatwelt, stairschoen

Heel Styles: Block, logger

How to Contact: House of Agin

MTM Options: Custom Lasts (contact Emil at Winson)

Leather: Local, Badalassi, Horween, Maryam

monroe heritage boots

Monroe Heritage

Since 2018, Monroe heritage has been eschewing a luxury approach to pursue a goal of providing incredibly affordable boots that are still quite well made. Yes, Monroe lacks a truly distinctive model. But they do a pretty darn solid job taking traditional patterns (their monkey boot is our favorite over here) and combining them with largely affordable leathers (traditionally local Indonesian stuff but in recent months, also Horween and Badalassi) and Dr. Sole outsoles to create a product that we see as a very appealing entry-level boot for those interested in dipping a toe into the world of Indonesian bootmaking.

Oh and they can turn MTO boots around in like a month. Which is insane.

Price Range: Local leather $200+

Construction Styles: Handwelted, Norwegian, veldtschoen

Heel Styles: Block, logger

How to Contact: Whatsapp

Leather: Typically Malayan/Italian/Brazilian leathers; also has access to US and other imported “name” tannery leather

Onderhoud Handmade x Stitchdown Lineman Boot

Onderhoud Handmade

While it’s hard to definitively say who the “best” Indonesian maker is—a question that’s dependent on so many factors, style perhaps being foremost—any short list would most certainly have to include Onderhoud.

Run by Rizky Afnan and a couple of apprentices, Onderhoud’s production is limited, while the demand is very high, and with good reason. Because of that, for the most part outside of this particular Stitchdown collaboration, Rizky runs lotteries on his Instagram page that offer winners the ability to work with him to build the MTO boot they’ve been dreaming of. Can you just DM him asking to order? Of course! Will it work? Almost definitely not. Not because Rizky doesn’t care, but because that lottery system is in place for a good reason. Which is important to know.

In terms of styles, Onderhoud’s service boot is about as perfect as it gets, and his engineers are similarly wonderful, but his LCV01 lineman boot is in many ways what the brand was built around. Muscled and brutally beautiful, it’s the type of boot that can be imitated but never truly copied. The derbies (and LCV01 lows, which were Ben’s first pair) and monkey boots are beyond excellent as well.

Price Range: Local leather: $320+, imported: $485+, shell cordovan $700+

Construction Styles: Storm welt, flat welt, double row flat welt, Norwegian (including chainstitch), veldtschoen

Heel Styles: Block, woodsman

How to Contact: Instagram (but you must enter and win a lottery draw on IG to be able to order)

MTM Options: None; does not do split sizing or adjustments

Leather: Maryam horsebutt, Shinki hikaku shell cordovan, Horween shell cordovan, Cloe shell cordovan, Badalassi Carlo Minerva

perdeum boots

Per Deum

Emerging from leather bag making in 2012, Perdeum has slowly transitioned into a footwear brand with an wide range in some ways—in terms of shoes they swing from a very nice-looking penny loafer to a brogued cap-toe oxford with double-row stitchdown construction (ok!)—and a focused outlook in terms of boots. Largely you’ll see two of the archetypal Indonesian patterns, moc toe and service boot, with a few deviations here and there. Another definite contender in the “I’m dipping my toe into this scene and am looking for value” game.

Price Range: Local leather $150+, imported $250+, shell cordovan $350+

Construction Styles: Flat welt, stitchdown, Norwegian, storm welt, Veldtschoen, Blake

Heel Styles: Block

How to Contact: Whatsapp or Instagram

Leather (all local): Pull-up, crazy horse, suede, veg-tanned

Prof barnets monkey boot

Prof Barnets

Oh, the Prof! The man they call Haris started Prof Barnets with the goal of buying a pair of expensive English boots he fell in love with while away at college. He never did get them, but he did create a pretty darn lovable shoemaking operation.

Now the Prof can push things—his Hell Boy boots are pretty much one of the wilder patterns you’ll ever see, and I’m not sure these could be made by anyone but Haris—but his recent efforts have seen him trending towards at least periodically offering something a little more…tame. His Sleek Toe LTT boots above, made with local grain leather, are some of the better looking lace-to-toe boots we’ve seen in a while. Engineers, tall service boots, and plenty of all-around chonk are what you should expect. And they’re honestly very nicely put together.

Price Range: Local $185+, Imported $355+, Shell $815+

Construction Styles: Storm welt, flat welt

Heel Styles: Block, logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Whatsapp

Leather: Local leather in basically any color, Maryam horsehide, Law Tanning shrunken bison, Cloe horsebutt, Horween CXL, Tochigi, Badalassi Carlo

renav derby shoe

Renav Goods Co.

Started in 2016, Renav makes a mean service boot, but their main impact on the scene has come in shoe form, with their simple derby pattern that has been GMTO’d to the moon over the last year-plus. Legitimately impressive construction and finishing and an absolutely insane leather list—which ranges from Law Tanning bison, to a host of Horween articles including shell cordovan, to Maryam, C.F. Stead, Cloe, and even Japan’s Shinki Hikaku here and there—are what Renav is all about.

Price Range: Local leather $235+, imported $395+, horsebutt $400+, shell cordovan $700+, exotics $1150+

Construction Styles: Norwegian, storm welt, veldtschoen, flat welt

Heel Styles: Block, logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Instagram

MTM Options: Split sizing, last modifications, custom lasts, will even accept a customer’s personal last

Leather: Law Tanning bison, Horween chamois + shell cordovan, Cloe horsebutt, Shinki Hikaku horsebutt, Maryam horsebutt, C.F. Stead kudu

Sagara Cordmaster

Sagara

It’s completely possible this story wouldn’t exist if Sagara founder Bagus Satrio didn’t start making boots a decade ago. A trained footwear designer also obsessed with vintage military clothing (and music of all kinds; check out this fantastic interview with Bagus here to really get to know him), Bagus and Sagara have had infinite influence on the Indonesian boot scene. But the beauty of the brand remains in its uniqueness—and certainly the level of quality product it insists on putting out.

The perfect example is Sagara’s Cordmaster, one of the tightest monkey boot patterns you’ll find anywhere, but also an open box of creativity especially with how good it looks with a contrasting toe, or lineman’s patch, or backstay. Their Trailmaster is hands down the coolest, most hyper-aggressive-but-it-works hiker patterns in the world. Their military-officer-shoe-inspired derby is timeless but adaptable to be something that it wasn’t originally, and even their longwings have a unique flair to them.

All in all, it’s very hard to find a Sagara product that doesn’t just jump out at you and say “nobody else could’ve made this exact shoe.” And when you’re someone who’s looking for artistry in terms of looks as well as construction, isn’t that the whole point?

Oh and don’t forget you can get 10% off any Sagara purchase as a member of the Stitchdown Premium community!

Price Range: Imported leather $380+

Construction Styles: Storm welt, flat welt, Norwegian

Heel Styles: Block

How to Contact: Email

MTM Options: Split sizing, Last adjustments

Leather: Local chrome and veg, Badalassi, Horween, Cloe

santalum boots

Santalum

Santalum is another OG maker in the space, and one that seems like it gets overlooked with all the newer exciting brands emerging. That shouldn’t be the case. While Sagara’s namesake is making a wholly unique product, Santalum’s approach is: we’re going to make some killer straightforward boot patterns, sometimes use incredibly interesting leathers, and they’re just going to be done RIGHT.

Price Range: Local leather $285+

Construction Styles: Veldtschoen, storm welt, flat welt

Heel Styles: Logger, block

How to Contact: WhatsApp or email

MTM Options: Last adjustments, personal lasts

Leather: Local leather, C.F. Stead calf & kudu, SB Foot roughout, Horween, Badadlassi Carlo, Cloe horsebutt & shell cordovan, Shinki Hikaku shell cordovan

Tahura boots

Tahura

We love a lace-to-toe boot over here at Stitchdown, and Tahura is absolutely a player in that game, although the service boots above prove they can do much more, and much sleeker. Officially started in 2016, although with a leader who’s been in the footwear game since 2010, Tahura is perhaps most notable for its outsole stitching, which features some of the highest (and most precise) stitches-per-inch of any Indonesian makers—and they do it by hand. Oh and then there’s the double-welt construction, which is pretty much one of a kind in Indonesian and largely the world.

While Tahura has yet to break through as one of the top in-demand makers in Indonesia for US and European customers, we absolutely expect that to change in the coming years.

Price Range: Local leather $280+, imported $350+, horsebutt $400+, shell cordovan $600+ (shipping included)

Construction Styles: Storm welt, Norwegian, veldtschoen, flat welt

Heel Styles: Block, logger, Cuban

How to Contact: Instagram or Whatsapp

MTM Options: Cloe, Maryam, Horween, Siege (local). Can often fulfill special leather requests.

txture mariana

Txture

As Ben likes to say, “Txture only ever goes for it.” It’s completely possible that the brand—one of Indonesia’s largest in terms of workshop size—has never made a “normal” shoe or boot, ever. Even the ones that do seem that way almost infallibly have a little something extra.

They’re perhaps most famous stateside for their Mariana, a take on a duck boot with a intricately stitched vamp and Vibram ripple sole, but don’t sleep on their Sanity lace-to-toe, Fes split-toe, or their longwing boot (basically an exercise in impossible design they’ve pulled off as well as anyone else…we’re pretty sure they still will make them for you).

Oh and their Instagram page is basically pure mystic poetry. 1000% worth the follow, and not just because of the boots.

Ed Note: We’re still trying to get the Price Range, Construction, Heel Styles, etc info from Txture, and will update when we do.

How to Contact: WhatsApp, email

Winson shoemaker balmoral boots

Winson

While there exists extremely valid debate over who is the king of the Indonesian boot scene, you’ll have a tough time finding someone to argue that anyone but Winson is the finest Indonesian dress shoe maker. Really, Winson makes some of the most beautiful high-end dress shoes you will ever see, replete with fiddleback waists, impeccable finishing, and abundant creativity nestled within the bounds of formal shoe tradition.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Winson is how its owner Emil has cracked the code of doing remote bespoke: essentially, doing measurements without ever seeing a customer in person, sending test shoes back and forth, and ending with an excellent final product at an exceptional price. Is it the same as true, in person bespoke? Of course not, nothing is. But from everything we’ve heard the results are miles beyond ready to wear shoes—and just having the ability to get pretty darn close is game-changing.

Price Range: Imported leather $460+, remote bespoke $1800+

Construction Styles: Handwelt, Norwegian, Flatwelt

Heel Styles: Block

How to Contact: Email

MTM Options: Custom lasts

Leather: Can source almost anything (it’s Emil’s side business). Local leather is available for trial shoes, otherwise imported stuff only, including Ilcea, Annonay, Horween


MORE INDONESIAN BOOT COVERAGE

Getting to Know Sagara Bootmaker’s Bagus Satrio Through Our Shared Love of Music

How To Do Made-To-Order Footwear From Indonesia and China the Right Way

A Very Important Indonesian Bootmakers Update: The Stitchdown Shoecast

Onderhoud Handmade Review