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The History of Italian Shoes & Shoemaking

by Jose Real |

Who doesn’t love shoes? We have a pair for every occasion, and we never regret buying good shoes. The joy of shoe shopping doubles when it’s Italian shoes in the picture! Italian shoes have gained global recognition for the shoes’ quality, comfort, and style. From celebrities to commoners, everyone longs to own at least one pair of Italian shoes in their shoe collection. But how many of us know the history of shoemaking in Italy? Today’s topic addresses this question and discusses in detail how handcrafted Italian leather shoes got so popular.

Traditional shoemaking in Italy started in the 18th century when a group of cordwainers, aka cobblers or shoemakers, joined together to create handcrafted leather shoes. They would take the measurements of a person’s feet and create an impression to help them design and craft the shoe. The impression was created from a piece of maple or ash wooden log by carving and trimming. That’s how the shoemaking journey started.

The History of Italian Shoes in The 18th Century

In the 18th century, both men and women worked together in a shop as masters, journeymen, and apprentices. As the shoemaking process was hectic, they used to split up the task into different sections to speed up the process. It took an entire day to complete a set of shoes! Shoemakers used to make a range of footwear items such as men’s shoes, boots, sandals, moccasins, etc., from materials like leather, rubber, jute, plastic, etc. Out of all the materials, leather was used more commonly.

The shoemaking business flourished in the 18th and early 19th centuries as the world started grasping the concept of footwear. The history of Italian shoemaking also revolved around the same era. However, trading was affected after the when the industrial era started. But that didn’t stop Italy from making handmade, high-quality, comfortable shoes. In fact, Italy is the only country that still makes classic leather shoes using manual labor and customizes them as per customer’s requests. 

Shoemaking came down from generation to generation. Modern Italian shoemakers inherited the skills and art of shoemaking from their ancestors. So it won’t be surprising to find that luxury shoes still have that ancestral touch. Luxury designer shoes simply carry out the ancestral occupation with a modern concept, and they are appreciated. 

Italian craftsmen use high-quality leather by obtaining animal skin from the tannery. While other materials, including plastics, rubber, etc., are being used to make exceptional shoes these days, leather shoes still occupy ample space in people’s hearts. This is because leather shoes made from high-quality leather look and feel like a luxury. Not only the looks but the durability of leather shoes have superior compared to other materials. Italians are also skilled in dying natural leather using organic products; as a result, you see rich and vibrant shades in the shoes. And because of the excellent craftsmanship and quality materials, Italian shoes tend to fall in the higher-priced spectrum.

Why Are Italian Shoes Special?

Italian shoes are made simple with a minimalistic approach. The shoes don’t look overpowering or overstyled with tonnes of features and patterns. As a result, you get shoes with exquisite and practical designs that create a perfect balance with your outfit. If you are wearing sparkly and embellished clothes, teaming them with a pair of Italian shoes will complete the look without making you look too loud.

Why Are Italian Shoes Special - high quality comfortable shoes - Jose Real Shoes

While talking about comfort is too ordinary and boring, it’s also the most crucial factor when choosing footwear. All the money is wasted if you don’t feel comfortable in your shoes. Italian shoes are famous for providing both comfort and luxury. Handmade shoes are constructed with utmost care; therefore, they last a lifetime compared to factory-made ones. Moreover, the shoemakers are in the business for a long time and hence are pretty skilled and educate on which styles, materials, and stitches bring comfort.

Nobody can match up the sense of style and fashion like the Italians. This makes sense why the world’s topmost clothing and footwear brands like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, etc., all originated from Italy. You can’t beat the sense of style Italians have! They follow fashion trends like religion, introducing new flavors every season with their new technology and materials. With Italian shoes, you are getting reliability, style statement, and practicality. Everything good footwear should be composed of.

How To Choose A Good Pair Of Italian Shoes

To ensure that you are buying good quality shoes, here are some things to look at:

Smell: Italian shoe manufacturers don’t usually use dyes or formaldehyde so that shoes don’t smell bad. In Italy, wrong smelling shoes are considered cheap because the manufacturer uses too many chemicals that strip away the leather’s natural texture. 

Leather: The leather should feel smooth and supple when you try them on. Inferior quality leather will feel harsh on the skin and will lack a natural luster. Plus, if you don’t feel the shoe is durable enough, you probably are dealing with a low-quality leather shoe.

Seams: Look at the seams carefully; the seams should be perfect without any protruding or loose threads. The stitches should be clean and not crooked or knotted. 

Final Words

Italian crafters are keen on making a pair of simple yet elegant footwear. Something that can give you comfort and lasts for a lifetime. Buying a pair of high-quality Italian shoes is an investment, actually, as they last for a very long time without looking battered or damaged even after rough usage. Probably that’s why these shoes are always in fashion because fashion trends may change, but style doesn’t. If you love Italian shoes too, we are having Italian men’s shoes online sale on our website, and we love you to join us.