Footwear: luxury creations with an Italian soul

Making footwear of excellence requires the commitment of specialised companies and professionals, who combine their skills with the capacity for innovation needed to offer the market the right answers. The best in the world are in Italy, thanks to a solid tradition of artisanship in the footwear sector. Italian footwear has always been the most coveted: this is why even international brands “compete” for the skills of companies based in Italy. Almost all the major brands “fly” to our country to ensure they obtain a product that meets their expectations and those of their customers.

Because Italian footwear companies are synonymous with quality in materials, workmanship, and reliability in each of the elaborate steps that make up the process of product design, development and manufacturing. Whether it is fine men’s shoes or super-feminine pump, jewelled sandals or sneakers, loafers, or cuissards, to “Capri” sandals and shoes for the little ones, specific professional skills are involved in the creation of each one, with its own unique aspects. And in Italy there is no shortage of them: the footwear tradition combined with the tanning tradition have in fact allowed the development of well-structured districts.

A world rooted in tradition

Sole factories, die cutting and punching factories, heel factories, welt factories, companies specialised in ornamental applications and modelling studios, manufacturers of weaves and small parts: the world of footwear has its own dictionary. To read it is to understand the importance of each step and, perhaps, to appreciate the end result even more, which is the fruit of the commitment and synergy of different artisans, acquired skills, respected traditions, and sometimes personal intuition that enable the design that fascinates us so much to come to life. A special mention goes to those who make the components that make footwear true works of art.

At the basis of each first-rate product is therefore a world rooted in the great Made in Italy tradition developed in the most important districts of our country. There are seven important districts where footwear of excellence is produced, located mainly in Veneto, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Campania and Apulia. Each with its own production vocation, their common thread is the high quality of the products they make, guaranteed by artisanship, and by a structured supply chain system where all the players involved in the production of the product are concentrated in the same territory.

How to recognise quality footwear

We have seen them; they are beautiful and would go perfectly with the dress we haven’t had the occasion to wear yet. The first approach with footwear is almost always emotional. The first thing to consider when choosing quality footwear is the materials used to make it. If, as the cartoon Ratatouille teaches us, good bread can be recognised by the sound of the crust, the first sensation that must convince us is touch: touching the leather allows us to assess its consistency and quality.

Then we move on to the sole, which must obviously guarantee comfort and stability. On the inside, a breathable leather lining is preferable and, especially in the case of high heels, the insole must be quite soft and comfortable, particularly in the insole area. The finishing touches are also extremely important, if you want to choose quality footwear: in handcrafted footwear some small imperfections are a sign of uniqueness, but essentially there should be no flaws. And then there is the weight: a variable that obviously depends a great deal on the type of shoe, but it is important that it is adequate. Finally, watch out for symmetry, in shapes and heights.

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