We’ve all heard the old expression - “If the shoe fits, wear it!” Well, nothing compares to the fit of world renowned, well-made Italian shoes. The craft has been around for centuries in Italy, and its humble beginnings have morphed into a worldwide phenomenon. Quality Italian footwear is sought after in every corner of the world, and it’s no wonder. With the time, effort, and quality materials that Italian designers and manufacturers put into their footwear, a world-class product is produced every time. But just how did Italian shoes become so popular, and what exactly goes into making a quality pair of footwear? Let’s take a closer look into the subject and find out why these quality products withstood the test of time.
Shoemakers in Italy have been practicing the craft and honing their methods for centuries. That is a lot of time to get shoe making right. And they have. In Italy, as in many other countries, shoemaking started in villages. Shoes were made by hand by a cordwainer using animal skins and vegetation. There would most likely be one shoemaker for the entire village so as you can imagine; they quickly became an expert. Yet before World War Two, Italian shoemakers were pretty much unknown. It was trailblazers like Guccio Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo that put Italy on the map so to speak. They helped to open up the doors for other innovators with new and unique shapes, styles while still preserving the original element of quality in.
So what exactly makes a quality Italian shoe? In short, the shoemakers and their materials. One of the unique things about Italy is that they have a good selection of shoemakers and shoe factories. If you want bespoke or custom shoes, Italy is the place to go. The highest density of bespoke shoemakers in Europe resides in Italy. The downside? A handcrafted shoe takes much time, and the price for these is very high. The bottom line? Not many people can afford custom made footwear. But don’t despair! There are plenty of well-made Italian shoes that can suit your budget.
The leather used in Italian shoes (both for custom and factory made) makes all the difference. Italian shoemakers are excellent tanners and use Italian leather almost exclusively. In fact, there are entire towns in Italy that tan leathers. Because of this, a lot of Italian-made footwear has hand burnished patina. This means that the shoe will have dark and lighter areas making it more attractive than just an ordinary leather shoe. Italian shoes are known for their elegance, fashion-forward design, and overall impressive style.
Some of the most famous shoe designers come straight out of Italy. Alberto Fermani was founded by the man of the same name in 1960. Bruno Magli is another name you might be familiar with. As well, many other Italian designers have gotten in on the shoe game. Gucci, Prada, Geox and Salvatore Ferragamo are among some of the best shoemakers Italy has ever seen.
No matter which designers you try out for your next pair of Italian shoes, you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget and individual style. Happy shopping!