The term 'Italian shoes' conjures an image of superb craftsmanship, style and quality. Italian footwear designers are among the most acclaimed in the world – Salvatore Ferragamo, Bruno Magli, Cesare Paciotti, Rene Caovilla and Sergio Rossi.
Designer Italian shoes are available in several varieties, including full-length boots, slip-ons, mid-calf boots, sandals, loafers and wedges. When selecting Italian shoes, make sure you avoid the cheap imitations that many merchants try to pass off as authentic.
Italian shoe manufacturers use traditional methods of shoe-making and tanning, with an emphasis on quality materials for the lining and the uppers, both of which are hand sewn. Although handcrafted shoes generally come with a higher price tag than machine-made shoes produced on a larger scale, strong competition from handcrafted shoe manufacturers in Asia has forced the Italians to lower their costs while maintaining quality.
Italian men's shoes come in a range of styles, from Oxford shoes and boots to traditional lace-ups, all featuring quality leather in a variety of shades. The prices range from $330 to $560. Here are a few suggestions:
Popular Italian shoes for women include soft Italian leather boots with side buttons and a short zip, costing around the $150 mark. The boots are available in three colors: tobacco, brown and black.
- Brunori's Italian ankle strap boots are classic boots with elastic gore insets. They're made from genuine leather and offer style, quality and fine craftsmanship. When ordering these boots, be aware that the sizes run large. Select a size smaller than your regular size for a good fitting. Prices are around the $480 mark.
- For casual wear, try the handmade Pakerson Today, which are available in beige and tan.
- For exclusive handmade Italian shoes, try Forzieri brown cap toe dress shoes. These combine excellent traditional craftsmanship with new original designs. They are suitable for business meetings and occasions requiring a stylish appearance. Priced at around $500.
Pump shoes in black patent leather are another popular choice. The price range is around $160.
It's a good idea to take your time when shopping for Italian shoes. You'll pay a premium price, so make sure they fit well and that they'll work with a number of outfits. This way, they'll be a sound investment as well as adding some extra pizazz to your wardrobe.