I only started to appreciate, and I mean really appreciate locally-made shoes when I started working for a Pinoy brand that makes them. I'm writing this just to share my thoughts and what I've learned (and still keep learning) from the experience. :)
It was in the mid-90s when the influx of China footwear killed off a good chunk of the local shoe industry. Fact is, China shoes are cheaper and faster to make. Shoe factories in the Philippines simply can't keep up. It's economics, and everyone just dealt with it as best they could.
However, by mid-2000, things started looking up for local shoemakers. Consumers realized that buying mass-produced, imported shoes (usually) meant a reduction in product quality and an appalling tendency to have exactly the same thing as everyone else. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if you pay dirt cheap for a pair of shoes, you really can't expect much.
But people wanted to expect much. They didn't mind paying more if it meant having something fairly special in terms of quality, comfort, and design. It was around that time when small local brands started popping up to make great shoes at nice prices. They're still more expensive compared to China/ Bangkok/ Korea re-branded shoes, but they are definitely more competitive.