The first signs of summer have certainly peeked out from behind the relatively mild winter just passed. The summer months and beyond, depending upon which latitude you call home, are ideal for flip flops and casual shoes. While I have settled on my flip flop of choice, perpetually Havaianas, I am still on the look out for the perfect pair of mens Espadrilles, women’s are typically no problem, but men, whole different story.
Espadrilles, for those who might not know, are the traditional rope soled shoes that are common in the European Mediterranean region and also very popular in Argentina and Uruguay. Attempting to trace the history of the espadrille would be virtually pointless, the oldest shoe ever found was made of a sagebrush twine was discovered in Oregon and dates back at least 10,000 years. To put that in to further perspective, humans crossed over the Bering Strait maybe 20,000 years ago. Twisted rope and cord goes back 30,000 years. One can make the assumption, although there is ZERO archeological evidence that rope may very well have been used for shoes for a very, very long time. The more “modern” espadrille goes back to the 1400’s and originated probably in Spain or France… ish.
The best espadrilles I ever owned I bought in Buenos Aires for a couple of bucks. They were the traditional gaucho style, sewn rope and canvas topper, they lasted a surprisingly long time, a couple of years, considering their simple construction.
The second best pair of espadrilles I ever owned were the exact opposite, $400 from Ferragamo’s, the canvas was printed palms and a tiger. Pretty sweet. These were more towards the fancy flip flop, with a rubber sole, with decorative rope wound around. Not really espadrilles, but an espadrille style.
The Ferragamo’s don’t exist any more and I’m not hopping on a plane back to Buenos Aires just for a $10 pair of shoes. So I gotta look elsewhere. Much the way I’ve been on the search for the perfect blue suit, I am on the search for the best espadrille.