Guest Post: Spanish Steps

March 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

This guest post comes from my good friend Rubén here in Dallas featuring his suede pair from across the pond. Read about his Spanish beauties and decide if you’ve also fallen under their spell. Added bonus: he gives us some lovely Spanish shoe designers to check out for ourselves. Longing to do a guest post of your own? Send over to sara@pairdiem.com.

Spanish suede and stripes

 

Whenever I travel, I try to bring back something that the country I am visiting makes particularly well. In Spain, that tends to be shoes. In Spain, there are a variety of well-made, stylish shoes that are accessible to the common man. In other words, you can find a great pair of kicks that look good, last long, and won’t set you back more than you care to spend.

The province of Alicante in Spain – specifically the cities of Elche and Elda – has long been the Mecca of Spanish Footwear. Known for designers such as Pedro Garcia, Chie Mihara, and Stuart Weitzman –it also produces countless local brands of very wearable footwear. So on a recent trip to Valencia, I scoured the small local shoe stores looking for something that would catch my eye.

With men’s shoes, it’s all about reinventing the classics – finding a look that is timeless enough to last, yet different enough to stand out. It’s about subtle design details. So when I came across these brown suede oxfords, it was the flax-colored accents, the stitching, rope laces, and two-tone heel that made them impossible to walk away from. Mind you, I never fancied myself a suede-shoe kind of guy – but there was something about these shoes that communicated an understated casual comfort and instantly filled a niche I never knew existed.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: May 2009

Circumstances: I was in Valencia for work and set aside some time to cruise the shopping districts along Calle Jorge Juan, Calle de Don Juan de Austria, and my personal favorite Calle de San Vicente Mártir. I checked out various stores, and these shoes really caught my eye. As I continued to browse about town, these stuck in my mind and I eventually went back for them. I had trouble deciding between this version and a similar, slightly more formal version with a sleeker profile, so I ended up getting that pair for my pops – so I could borrow them if necessary. They set me back 75 euros which is about 100 USD.

Worn with: Plaid button-down oxford, charcoal grey merino sweater, straight fit jeans, stripey socks.

Compliment Meter: Decent response from the women-folk, occasional comment from the men-folk.

Comfort: Valencia is a very walkable town, so I definitely put a few miles on these right away. They were as comfortable as they looked right from the start.

Thoughts: “The shoe is a product that leaves nobody indifferent”. ~ Blas Agulló, Biviel Shoes

For the ladies, here are a few shoe designers from Alicante that are worth checking out:

www.magrit.es, www.puralopez.com, www.pacogil.com, www.saranavarro.com, www.chiemihara.com,

www.pedrogarcia.com, www.juanantoniolopez.com, www.audley.com, www.biviel.com, www.calzadosvidorreta.es

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