One of the the tours I was most excited about having during my trip to Seoul was definitely the Seongsu Handmade Shoe Street, and I am glad to say I was not disappointed! The Handmade shoe street, is just what it sounds like. A mini neighborhood under the watch and care of Seongdong-gu that specializes in custom, handmade shoes. In addition to beautifully crafted shoes, you’ll also that the streets are crawling with shops that offer a variety of beautiful leathers, jewels and trinkets to adorn your custom shoes and even your handbags.
One of the coolest parts of the day, was visiting the SUDA café: they specialize in Coffee AND shoes (insert gasp). When you walk in the café, situated under one of Seongdong-gu’s planning offices, you’re greeted with the typical café ambiance with a hint of new-shoe smell. The café was absolutely beautiful and their lemonade was delicious too. Through the patio doors of the café and around the corner, there’s a classroom where craftsmen spend their time with students, teaching them the art of custom shoe making. With some of the craftsmen getting older, it’s important that the techniques be kept alive for future generations.
Now the moment that took the cake for me was when we visited a quaint shoe shop down the street from SUDA café. There, I saw racks of beautiful shoes: loafers, sneakers, heels etc., and I was in for a treat when I was told by my guide that the owner would allow me to pick out a pair of my own—a gift from him to me!! As you can see, I was so grateful and I absolutely love my new shoes! (Talk about a unique souvenir). From that point on I was on cloud 9, and completely enjoyed all there was to see on and around the shoe street. Just take a look