Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Abarca Sandal

Recently, there's been a new pair of comfortable summer shoes rivaling my beloved Toms. Just as Toms do, they go well with slightly sporty summer clothing, but they look even better with dresses than my Toms, and they play the perfect companion to Earthy linen dresses.

This provincial style sandal is perfect for breezy summer wear, and somehow looks modern when paired with simple silhouettes -- even in the city.

From the owner of GiBlack, who sells this style, I learned that they are based on a Spanish design worn by fishermen in the Mediterranean. Her website describes them this way:

"The Abarca is a footwear from the Island of Menorca, a Mediterranean Inspiration of beautiful colors. A cousin to the "alpargata", the Abarca was originally a shoe used for comfort on the fields. But the Abarca has evolved and been adapted to modern [international] living while keeping its legacy of comfort."

Giuliana told me that her shoes have been designed with a hidden elastic in the slingback so that the leather does not stretch out, and that they also have a rubber sole, making them easy to wear on NYC streets. Made in Spain, they are beautiful and easy shoes to wear for all sorts of travels, from the grocery store to abroad, and are so comfortable that they have even made me break my usual ban of back-less and slingback footwear. The leather is so very soft!

While I went for a classic shade of brown, the black and white versions are very chic, and are exactly in line with the minimalist footwear currently being shown in the windows of Theory and Helmut Lang.

image from GiBlack

Plus, the leather on all of these shoes is beautiful, and at $75-$90, they are a great flat sandal to add to one's collection now while we still have weeks of very hot days ahead. What color do you like best?

Update: After wearing them for a while now, I would suggest sizing down a half size. The straps at the back have not stretched, but because the whole shoe is made of such soft leather, there has been more give than I usually find in leather shoes. Also, if they start out tight, they shouldn't be painful because the wide, soft, rounded strap at the back is unlikely to cause blisters.

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