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…
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.
|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.