For shoe devotees/fanatics whatever you wish to call us — we can discover divine shoes anywhere in the world but for those people in the know, there are a few essential (and occasionally lesser-known) areas to include on any itinerary, which are certain to deliver complete shoe nirvana for those true devotees of the sole!
We reveal our collection of the top 10 cities and their shoe precinct secrets that will assist you with your journey of the ‘sole’.
Shoes made in Spain have a five-star standing, which is borne out in the city of Barcelona. Here the leather is of fantastic quality and the rates aren’t outrageous, and on top of that, this calibre tracks across all types of shoes from ballet shoes and flats to nosebleed high wrap heels – Barcelona has got them all.
The key areas within the town’s CBD which will expose the shoe devotee into the biggest array of styles and prices are:
- Rambla Cataluña and Paseo de Gracia
- Uptown Maestro Nicolau, Bori Fontestá,
- Portal Del Angel
- Via Augusta
In another Spanish speaking area, Buenos Aires supplies a massive array of high-quality leather at reasonable rates. The Mecca for this Southern town of men’s and women’s shoes is Calle Murillo – a road with leather stores which also provide extensive tailoring services. Murillo 666 is the most recognized, but there are a massive number within easy walking distance and these enable some aggressive bartering opportunities. For discerning menfolk, Buenos Aires boasts the great Mocasines Guido – an institution since 1952 and a global reputation, has allowed this particular shoe artisan to start three sites throughout the city.
Danish design places and pushes boundaries and its own capital Copenhagen, showcases this across its structure, home wares, women’s shoes and fashion. ILLUM’s Shoe Heaven from the town’s center is the place to visit for any self-respecting shoe enthusiast to access an unbelievable choice of international brands and layout newcomers.
Whilst in Copenhagen make certain to see Storm. Renowned as one of the major lifestyle and fashion shops in Europe, Storm is far more than a retail area. With proprietor Rasmus Storm acting as catalyst and mediator, it’s a conceptual stage where commercial and artistic expressions match and new design concepts are adopted — so in case you would like to tread beyond the box why don’t you explore some of Storm’s shoes at which there’s 1 set where the outsole is inspired by an inner tube of an inflatable tyre.
This Northern Italian town retains the monopoly on handmade footwear, and shoe shopping. In this terrific city full of cobbled streets and alleyways, your Pilgrimage to get a one-of-a-kind, designed for only your foot, Holy Grail kind of shoe will be fulfilled. Stefano Bemer is the place for you to reach this, and he’ll handcraft shoes onsite and then travelling internationally in the event you need any refitting sessions! This is true devotion and reverence for the ‘Sole’.
If you’re travelling through Asian climes in particular Hong Kong, there are loads of bespoke shopping adventures that include some regional influences – a terrific spot to do this is the Fang Fong Projects in Central Hong Kong. Stocking women’s fashion including excellent shoes from local tag Fang Fong, this shop combines contemporary design with tasteful Asian bits. If you’re after some more hip places for your shoe shopping, visit Star Street Precinct in Wanchai and St. Francis Yard.
While London can claim Oxford and Carnaby Streets and Savile Row within its fashion credentials, Regent Street and Jermyn Street provide a slightly more upmarket mid-priced shoe shops that will make certain to pleasure a follower of the ‘Sole’. Jermyn Street is famous for men’s clothing stores and men’s dress shoes and is especially famous for its bespoke shirt manufacturers like Benson & Clegg and shoe stores like John Lobb.
New York and purchasing are obviously synonymous–with all these alternatives, all budgets will find a way to spend way too much, and that’s just on shoes. You can lose hours wandering about hip and groovy SoHo and get a big-name designer shoe deal when you’re there, or see the huge names of Prada and Chanel in their flash Fifth Avenue locations. If you’re on Fifth Avenue, any shoe aficionado must go to the top floor of Saks — their shoe section is so big, it has got its own zip code!
Paris is the home of flagship stores for some of the most renowned fashion labels in the world, the majority of which are situated in the 8th arrondissement. Beyond these namesakes, visit the more hip-happening 3rd arrondissement like Merci for a mixture of high style and quirky shoes; or the narrow, cobblestoned streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés includes a fantastic choice of designer shoe shops well worth a trip.
So to Shop like the natives, be certain you head into the Via del Governo Vecchio– this is Rome’s answer to New York’s Soho. Like its American counterpart, this area is filled with cobblestoned streets with loads of smaller side roads to get lost in and shed a couple of hours in gentle shoe shopping pursuits. In this region is the Via dei Baullari, home to several great shoe stores. The best one is Loco — despite being small, there’s still a fantastic choice of great shoes. Loco stocks funky sneakers, crazy cool boots and stilettos.
As we outlined before, the people of Spain are fairly committed to their sneakers, and when visiting Seville, a shoe fancier should visit Plaza El Salvador. Between the plaza on Calle Sagasta, shoe shops abound! Prices range from 10-200$ (depending on the make and caliber) and there are lots of styles which range from espadrilles to stilettos. Make certain to include the inner city shopping areas of Sierpes and Tetuan in addition to at El Corte Inglés where there’s a fantastic range of smaller, artisan shoe shops with original and exclusive brands that are not too pricey.
Where Not to Wear your Heels
So, we have sourced some lesser known places for you to attain shoe purchase Nirvana, but notice the journey to reach this heightened state of shoe retail Euphoria will need some serious foot slogging. Fortunately, besides Paris and Rome, your sole journey can be completed in more comfortable footwear. A proper sandshoe or walking shoe (no white shoes – highlights your tourist status) is very acceptable, especially in New York where you will Fit in with the local office employees.