Friday, October 5, 2012

vigatanes in the sun

by frédérik

I’ve long had my eye on this style of espadrilles called vigatanes, the iconic Catalan shoe that is distinctive to dancers of the Sardane. With laces to wrap around the ankle and open sides, it struck me as a happy and stylish medium between sandal and shoe. Enter Espadrilles Etc., a fun little company based in AIgues, Spain run by the lovely Laura Schumacher. I’m hoping to feature Laura and her store in a future post, so for today I’ll write about my recent acquisition – a birthday gift from my parents – called Tomas.

The shoes arrived very quickly after being ordered, packaged like so:

Removing the package from the bag…

Finally, unwrapping the shoes…

Beyond admiring the shoes themselves, I was surprised that both shoes were symmetrical. There is, as far as I can tell, no distinction between right foot and left foot.

Here’s a closeup of the sole, which is stamped “hand made” in French, and the patterned upper:

They look great, and are well made.

Of course, I eagerly tried them on and…started worrying a bit. It turns out that the pattern from the upper, and the construction involving the lace along the side of the foot, results in a few knots on the inside. My worry was confirmed when I noticed that one of the knots left an indentation in my little toe even after wearing for a few minutes during the test-walk phase.  Great, I thought. Possible blisters. I’m going to have to wear socks with these!

It’s entirely possible that I was being paranoid, especially since I didn’t take them for a real walk. But since I’m not one to believe in suffering for style, I thought of a solution that might actually solve a few problems at one. And that solution was to buy…

Half socks!

By providing a cushioning layer for my toes and the top of my foot, I could mitigate the risk of chafing and blisters without having to entirely sacrifice the barefoot state I prefer. The added benefit of getting the half socks was that I could use them with my wood-soled clogs, for the same chafing-prevention reason.

So how did the shoes wear? Today’s my first day really giving taking the vigatanes through their paces, and I admit I was still a bit wary at first despite the socks. (It was rather weird how fussy I was getting over them.) But the good news is that I’m really enjoying them as much as hoped they would. They look great and, with the half-socks, are proving comfortable. These may just become a cool weather staple when this LA  heat finally goes away. I’m convinced enough to want to buy some more half-socks so I don’t just have the one pair. And I think I may have seen the possible end to my search for a good flat. I’m actually considering getting a nice, standard pair of espadrilles…

Pants pulled up a bit to show off the vigatanes. :)

Note: All pictures taken by me. Please don't copy or reuse without proper credit and a link back this post. Thanks.


Jenny H said...

I wish the pictures don't do these shoes enough justice. They look absolutely stunning in person. And I LOVE the socks! Great find.

Frederik Sisa said...

Aww, thank you, Jenny. I appreciate that!

The photographer should be fired, though. Ahem. :)

I knew of half-socks before, but only recently saw someone wearing them - a woman with clogs. They seemed to work really well for her, so I figured I've give it a try. These are the socks I got, for anyone interested:

Mica said...

Really like these shoes, I like the wrap design and the front and the laces are a great way to make sure they fit comfortably :)

Frederik Sisa said...

Thanks, Mica, as always. Yeah, I love the laces. :)

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