Are you tired of sneakers that can’t withstand the elements and start to fall apart in less than a year? South Korea is notorious for being one of the most fashionable countries on the globe – especially when it comes to sneakers. Many Korean brands make their sneakers domestically and use some of the best materials on the market. Although you might pay a bit more for specific brands, you’ll get a lot of use out of your new Korean sneakers.
We reviewed over 50 Korean sneaker brands and found that the most popular include Fila, Excelsior, and AGE. These brands have a global reputation for creating comfortable and fashionable sneakers at reasonable prices. If you’re in North America or Europe, you can buy these sneakers online or at a local retail store (depending on the brand). We also came up with seven other must-know brands (ten in total).
Do you want to learn more about Korean sneaker brands? Keep reading, and don’t forget to check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Korean Sneaker Brands
Many people don’t realize that Fila is a South Korean company, though it originated from Piedmont, Italy. The company’s headquarters sit in South Korea’s bustling capital city, Seoul. The brand has a mission to provide “innovative quality products” through “research and development.”
Fila has sneakers for all genders and ages, including high tops, low tops, mid-tops, and slides. The brand’s shoes come in vibrant colors, such as metallic silver and gold.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be in South Korea to buy Fila shoes. The company sells its vast catalog of products online and in retail chains, including Footlocker, Kohls, and Journeys. Fila also sells limited-edition shoes that are perfect for avid collectors. Fila shoes cost around $50 to $150 plus, depending on the model.
Excelsior is a relatively new brand with a flagship line of products called the Bolt Collection. The brand aims to produce “bold” and “masculine” shoes with an attractive design. Excelsior goes above and beyond to find the best manufacturers in South Korea to create its high-quality and durable canvas shoes.
You can purchase both high-and low-top Excelsior shoes in various colors – mustard, red, olive green, and turquoise, to name a few. The low-top shoes only cost $70, and the high-top shoes cost $79. Excelsior also has smaller shoe collections, including Bolt Plus, Boltman, and Skid.
The next brand on our list is AGE – a global sneaker brand with a home base in Seoul, South Korea. AGE is a distinctive brand in that transforms perspectives into designs. The company has a massive selection of sleek sneakers, including low-cut and high-cut sneakers with fashionable designs. Canadian and American shoppers can enjoy free shipping from Seoul! AGE displays prices in KRW, so you’ll need to convert to USD before purchasing shoes. The average pair of AGE shoes is around $80 to $100.
AGE shoes are notorious for being sleek yet highly voguish, and you can easily see the Korean influence. Unfortunately, you can only buy AGE at a handful of locations in-person – the company’s flagship store in Mapo-gu, Seoul, a few department stores in Gyeonggi-do, and a limited number of stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe. However, the brand allows you to return products within 14 days of purchase.
Based out of Busan, Chiswick is a famous sneaker brand that closely resembles Converse and New Balance (with a Korean twist). According to the company’s website, the founder got his inspiration from the Village of Chiswick in England. The brand makes its shoes with a palate of soft colors – beige, light gray, and tan, to name a few. Chiswick currently only sells low-top shoes inspired by “retro culture.” Unlike Fila and AGE, these shoes are a bit more challenging to find if you’re outside of South Korea. You can purchase a pair of shoes from Chiswick’s online store, but you may need to use a Korean packaging forwarding service.
The next brand on our list is Anderrson Bell – a company founded by a creative director who wanted to blend the culture of South Korea and Scandinavia. Anderrson Bell’s goal is to display various customs, not just South Korea and Northern Europe. The company has a small yet unique collection of derby shoes, sneakers, and boots for men and women.
Moreover, Anderrson Bell makes all its products in South Korea.
Many Anderrson Bell’s shoes feature top-tier cow leather with an Eva and rubber outsole. Given the high-quality materials, the brand’s shoes cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. And although you won’t find Anderrson Bell shoes in North American retail stores, you can buy them directly from the brand’s website and pay an international shipping fee.
Kolca doesn’t have a considerable presence outside South Korea, but it’s still super popular amongst locals. The brand is from Gangnam-gu and sells everything – handbags, clothing, jewelry, and sneakers, of course. Kolca is unique in that it sells shoes made by various Korean designers, including JIL Y. and Shadow Move.
Kolca’s sneakers range from $35 to $90, but other shoes that the company sells cost up to $250. You’ll see a large selection of low-top sneakers with retro colors. The various designers typically make their shoes in South Korea. Although you won’t find Kolca products in North America and Europe, the company offers worldwide shipping for an additional charge.
Shoopen is one of the top fashion brands in South Korea that sells sneakers, bags, accessories, and more. The brand often partners with cartoon creators, making their products an excellent choice for children.
Shoopen sells low-top sneakers that boast a retro design like many of the brands on our list. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to purchase Shoopen products outside of the United States. The Shoopen brand mainly targets South Korea and sells its products in a few other Asian countries, such as Malaysia. Compared to most Korean sneaker brands, Shoopen products are relatively affordable, with the average pair costing between $25 to $50.
Established in Seoul, ABC Mark is a longstanding department store with numerous locations throughout South Korea. The company sells products under its brand and carries shoes by Nike, Adidas, and others.
In fact, ABC Mart likely has one of the most extensive selections of sneakers in the country, including shoes for men, women, kids, and infants. However, the store’s website is challenging to navigate if you don’t know Korean. If you want a pair of shoes from ABC Mart, your best bet is to visit an in-person store to buy them.
Domba is another brand that sells simplistic and retro low-cut sneakers. Domba’s goal is to produce comfortable shoes and minimize foot fatigue. The brand’s owner started the company in California, and thus, there’s noticeable American influence in the brand’s designs.
Many of the brand’s shoes also have thick outsoles that give them a distinctive look popular in South Korea. Domba’s products are relatively inexpensive compared to other Korean shoe brands, starting at $20. Best of all, you can easily purchase Domba shoes outside the United States through the brand’s website.
Aland is the last company to make our list – a multi-brand store that sells men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, hats, and sneakers. This company is unique because it sells products made by over 700 Korean designers! The self-dubbed “concept store” has roots dating back to 2006 in Seoul’s premier shopping neighborhood, Myeong-dong. The brand currently has 19 retail stores and sells products online.
Moreover, the company has a store in Brooklyn, New York, and East Rutherford, New Jersey, making their products more accessible. And because Aland collaborates with so many different designers, its shoe inventory is constantly changing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to learn more about Korean sneaker brands? Take a look at the most frequently asked questions:
How Much Do Korean Sneakers Cost?
Korean sneakers cost as little as $25 to $1,000 and more, depending on the brand and materials.
What Is the Cheapest Korean Sneaker Brand?
You can find some of the cheapest sneakers at Shoopen – one of Korea’s leading fashion brands. The price for a pair of sneakers starts at $25.
Can You Buy Korean Sneakers in the United States?
Yes, many Korean sneaker brands ship their products to the United States. A handful of brands, such as Aland, have retail stores in the United States.
How Much Does Shipping from South Korea Cost?
You can expect to pay at least $50 – $100 for shipping if you buy a pair of shoes from South Korea. Note: the exact cost depends on the weight of the shoes and mail carrier.
What Is the Most Popular Korean Sneaker Brand?
The most popular Korean sneaker brands include Fila, Excelsior, and AGE.
From pants to sneakers, there’s no doubt that fashion plays a significant role in Korean culture. Although Korean sneaker brands have similarities, each has its own unique design elements. Some of the most popular Korean sneaker brands include Fila, Excelsior, and AGE, along with all the other brands on our list. Albeit some brands don’t sell their products in North America, some brands have established stores outside of South Korea. If you buy a pair of Korean sneakers, we’re confident that you’ll be impressed with the level of quality and comfortability.