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: