The Difference Between Handmade and Factory-made Shoes

Date Posted: 9 October 2017 

There’s nothing quite like handmade: it stands out from the bland sameness that a mass-produced item made in a factory has. An artisan’s skill truly shines in a finely crafted item, as opposed to something assembled on a conveyer belt. And so it is with our espadrilles, handmade shoes which are the results of painstaking craftsmanship by Spanish artisans. Our espadrilles are truly one of a kind, and we think you’ll agree the instant you slip these comfortable, high-quality shoes onto your feet.

Espadrilles are a special sort of shoe, with a massive amount of history and tradition behind them. Although they’re fashion-forward and trendy, they’ve been a part of Mediterranean footwear for centuries! We’ll take a look at just how espadrilles are made, give you a peek into the history of these special sandals, where you can purchase them, and a quick overview of a few different types of espadrilles.

How Are Espadrilles Made?

Historically, espadrilles have been made in the regions surrounding the Pyrenees Mountains...the Basque regions in France and Spain, as well as Catalonia and Occitania. The history of crafting these sandals has been around for hundreds of years at the very least...some shops in the Basque country have been handcrafting these shoes for over a hundred years or more. The traditional form of the espadrille have canvas uppers, with both the toe and the heel cut out of one piece and stitched to the sole around the edges. Sometimes, there are laces tied around the ankle to secure the shoes, but in modern forms this is less common. 

The soles are made of natural fiber, originally an esparto rope sole but now often made from jute rope or braiding. Since espadrilles are markedly more complicated for a craftsman to make than a simpler form of sandal, the soles are an important feature that sets them apart. The braids are formed into a sole and pressed with heat, completed with stitching to secure the rope pattern. Modern espadrilles have a sturdy, non-slip sole attached to the bottom of the rope sole. This not only increases comfort and safety but makes the shoe last much longer with greatly increased durability. Unless it is a traditional flat-heeled shoe, medium or high heels are added for various versions of the shoe. Then, uppers (which can range from leather straps, to canvas wrappings, or even more exotic styles) are attached to the soles to form the final shoe.

Where to Purchase

Of course, it’s always nice to be able to walk into a shop somewhere in Catalonia or the Basque country and buy a pair of espadrilles locally. However, for those of us that are in Australia for the time being, there’s still a way to purchase them in time for summer. You don’t have to head to Europe before summer: you can order them online!

At Natural Shoe we carry a range of handmade espadrilles targeted towards fashion-forward women that want the most comfortable yet stylish footwear options for everyday use. We carry low-heeled, medium-heeled, and high-heeled shoes just for you. 

The traditional low-heeled espadrille is a favorite of many, and we have dozens of varieties that you might like to browse. Handmade by artisans in Spain, we’re sure that these casual flats will be a delightful pick for the fashion conscious wearer. 

For a slightly higher heel, yet one that’s still low enough to be worn comfortable and provide excellent support for your feet, we recommend looking through our range of medium-heeled espadrilles. These shoes are medium-height wedges and are easy to wear. Check out them all at our medium heel espadrille page.

Our high-heeled espadrilles are elegant and available in a wide range of colors for the woman who wants to be stylish while still wearing an incredibly comfortable shoe. We've got an entire range of high heeled espadrilles that we think you'll love to look through!

Hopefully that look into the history, tradition, manufacture, and overview of styles was helpful in your search for the perfect pair of espadrilles. We think you’ll love these shoes, and we’re excited to help you find just what you’re looking for! And best of all: we offer free shipping throughout Australia and New Zealand!

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