1 Soludos leather platform espadrilles | $90 (made in China)
2 Alexander Wang Rian espadrille sneakers | $425 at Nordstrom (made in Spain)
3 Loeffler Randall Manon espadrille | $225 at Loeffler Randall
4 Zero Maria Cornejo Zole espadrille sneakers | $350 – 20% off at Shopbop (made in Spain)
5 Ximena Espadrilles | $48 by Espadrilles, Etc. (made in Spain)
6 Vince Robin Espadrilles | $225 – 15% off at Shopbop (made in Spain)
7 Isabel Marant canvas espadrilles | $155 (made in Spain) – I saw these in person, the print is very compelling
This spring/summer I thought I’d add a pair of espadrilles (traditionally made with jute, which is a heavy-duty natural fiber) to my shoe wardrobe. I’d prefer a shoe-style pair, not a high-heel pair; just a simple pair of espadrilles. But my experience with espadrilles has been less than great over the years.
My last pair was a high-heel pair my Castaner, red, peep-toe (if you can believe it) and I hardly ever wore them. Prior to that, in my “youth” I had various other pairs of simple flat espadrilles that I wore until they fell apart, literally, the jute came unstitched and the shoe unraveled.
I also found the unlined jute to be very uncomfortable and hot on the soles of my feet. AND, with the simple espadrilles anyway, getting them wet basically ruined them. So, I’m not overly excited about another pair, but I do LOVE the look for warm weather, and am really tempted by the new sneaker-style pairs.
Of course, there are inexpensive pairs, and very expensive pairs, for every different style and taste, and depending on your budget. I would go for a pair that’s made in Spain, because that’s where espadrilles originated and were traditionally made. Not that it’s guaranteed that they’re all produced in an ethical or sustainable way, but perhaps they are made in facilities that employ people who are skilled at making espadrilles, and on a smaller scale.
Espadrilles have been made in Pyrennean Catalonia (Spain- France) and the Occitania region since the 14th century at least, and there are shops in the Basque country (Spain) still in existence that have been making espadrilles for over a century. The oldest, most primitive form of espadrilles dates as far back as 4000 years ago. Traditional espadrilles have a canvas upper with the toe and vamp cut in one piece and seamed to the rope sole at the sides. Often they have laces at the throat that are wrapped around the ankle to hold the shoes securely in place.
In fact, what usually happens in cases like this is that one or two factories produce all the espadrilles that are “made in Spain” and simply place a different brand’s label on them. I don’t know for sure that this is true, but I know it happens with clogs in the US; Sven makes a couple different clog brands, including No6.
Espadrilles can also be a great vegan shoe option, since they’re traditionally made with canvas uppers.
Do you wear espadrilles in spring/summer? What style do you prefer? Will you buy a pair this year?
Castaner | made in Spain
Espadrilles Etc | still made in Spain, very affordable
Vince espadrilles are made in Spain, as are quite a few other “designer” brands.
Even more of my favorite espadrille options:
Have you heard of Sabah shoes? They seem like they would be totally in your wheel house. Espadrille-ish, but not exactly. Super comfortable! I have my eye on the half and half, tan and black, for spring.
(Can I post a link here? Not sure if you allow that…) At any rate, check them out!
Grechen Reiter says
no, i hadn’t heard of those, but i like them, a lot, and i love the pictures of the men who make the shoes! i’d been looking at vayarta leather slip-ons, which are similar, but wasn’t sure i wanted another loafer…
Ah, I had so many pairs of espadrilles in my preppy youth. However, in my (still mostly preppy) middle age, I just cannot wear shoes without arch support. I can’t wear a plain ballerina flat, or any of the espadrilles I wore even 10 years ago. Last summer I got rid of the cutest pair of leopard wedge espadrilles (sperry) – too high, not comfortable enough to bear through for any length of time 🙁 Suppose I could try some with a supportive insole added, but that just seems hot for summer….
I’ve had my eye on those for awhile, Cola. They have a great Instagram feed! They are pricey, however, but the leather looks like “buttah” 😉
I’m usually a canvas espadrilles girl, and my last pair was Soludos stripes. (Of course!)
Espadrilles look so casual and summery, but always feel scratchy and itchy.
It’s like walking on little cut pieces of straw.
And for some reason they’re surprisingly heavy.
I think I’ll stick to my Birkenstocks.
I’ve got my eye on leopard-print espadrilles. I like the idea of them, but sometimes, there is serious “itch/scratchy” factor when it comes to these. In theory, I’d love to own some just to kick around in that are easy to slip on/off.
I ordered different styles last summer from Toms and from Soludos. Toms wasn’t quite right (though I love their canvas slip on) and Soludos the sizing was all over the place and fit quite narrow for my slightly-wide foot. I’ve tried some of the Sam Edelman espadrilles in stores and they seem on point with style and modern sizing.
Great roundup of pics!
Grechen Reiter says
yes, espadrilles seem to always look a lot cooler than they are to wear.
i did try, and actually buy, the platform sam edelman espadrilles (i sized down 1/2 size FYI) but as i was wearing them around the house, i noticed that one of the stitches that secures the suede to the platform was unraveling, so i took them back and decided not to re-buy. they were cute though…