If you think of high-end summer footwear, you might immediately picture sandals or sliders. Shoes that can be easily slipped on and off at the beach, bar or pool. But there is another option, one that is more versatile and stylish than the others.
Espadrilles are a timeless summer staple. They are simple in design, and can be worn with anything from swim shorts to tailored trousers. What are espadrilles? When should they be worn and which brands are best? This will be answered in the article.
What are Espadrilles?
The classic espadrille design is virtually unchanged over the centuries. The earliest forms of the shoe can be traced back to 2000 BC. It is believed that the Basque Country and Spain’s Catalan regions were the first to make them.
The word “espadrille” is actually derived from the Catalan term “espardenya”, which means “esparto grass”, which is used traditionally to make its signature soles. Although originally worn by manual workers and peasants, espadrilles have become a fashionable summertime staple.
The perception of these shoes has changed dramatically over the years, with some of the most fashionable people in the world adopting them, including John F Kennedy, Pablo Picasso, and Yves Saint Laurent. There are also many luxury brands that have adopted the silhouette to create warm-weather collections. Combine a canvas upper and a flat-bottomed, esparto rop sole to create a slip-on shoe suitable for hot climates.
What is the Best Time to Wear Espadrilles?
The obvious answer is to go to the pool or beach. Espadrilles make a great pair of swim shorts and are an elegant alternative to flip flops or sandals. They are tough and durable, and can withstand any punishment.
They are more comfortable than most beach shoes and can be worn anywhere, including when you’re bar-hopping or walking around town. For a unique look, pair yours with tailored swimwear, chino shorts, or terry-towelling shirt, and tortoiseshell sunglasses.
The Best Men’s Espadrille Brands
Aurelien has mastered the art of elevating everyday items into luxury wardrobe staples. Its range of espadrilles shows this: Using the classic esparto sole, it allows for a variety of takes, including sleek Belgian loafers and one-piece slip-ons as well as leather woven sandals.
It is made from the best materials and designed to last.
The Resort Co
The Resort Co is a specialist in suede espadrilles. It claims to be the ultimate summer shoe. We would agree with that statement, especially when we consider the one-piece suede uppers as well as hand-stitched, jute soles. These shoes are made in Basque Country and have a rich heritage and authenticity that is rare among its competitors.
This brand is known for its smart casual designs and easy-to-wear colours, which range from olive green to sand.
Mulo was founded in 2012 with the simple aim of reinventing the humble, but still iconic, espadrille. Mulo’s founder wore it while sailing around the globe. Mulo’s signature espadrilles are durable enough to wear on the beach, but sophisticated enough to pair with light summer clothing.
The canvas upper is now made with Italian suede. While the sidewall of the classic canvas has a linen braid sidewall that mimics the traditional Esparto rope sole design, an extra layer of rubber adds grip to the design. This makes it more shoe-like.
Riviera’s unique mesh espadrilles are a specialty. Their classic French designs look great by the pool, as well as on days away.
They are inspired by mid-century resortwear and feature two-piece uppers made from breathable cotton mesh fabric. Leather-lined insoles provide all-day comfort.
Castaner is the place to go for authentic espadrilles that are still made in the same way as they were long ago. Castaner was established in 1927 and has been working with local artisans ever since to create traditional espadrilles with esparto-rope soles.
In fact, the brand collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent on a pair in the 70s. For a timeless two-piece canvas design, look to the ‘Pablo model. Or, opt for the more modern Jaime T model, which has a seamless upper and distinctive pull tab.
Scarosso, an Italian brand, has developed a variety of espadrille designs, from driving shoes to penny loafers. They are made from luxurious suede in Italy and can be worn with tailored or swim-shorts.
You’ll find a variety of shades, from olive green to camo to tobacco and beige, in the colour palette.
Anderson & Sheppard
Anderson & Sheppard is more than an espadrille brand. It’s a world-renowned tailoring house and bastion of elegance. The haberdashery shop on London’s Clifford Street is a well-known place for exquisitely-made shoes and accessories. Its espadrilles are a popular fixture in the spring and summer.
They are made in Spain with soft suede uppers and a traditional rope sole.