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With sockless weather in full swing, we’ve been rediscovering an Iberian alternative to mandals or the usual deck shoe. Welcome to the wonderful world of espadrilles.

A footwear tradition in the Pyrenees—where rugged ventilation is a necessity—espadrilles date back to the 1300s, but recent years have seen them adopted as a unisex shoe by high fashion crowds. While they’re a common sight on the streets of Paris, they’re still catching on stateside. The trick to the canvas wonders is the braided jute rope bottoms, both surprisingly soft and slick enough to keep the shoes from getting too funky over the course of the summer.

Our favorite specimens are these rubber-soled items from Rubber Duck but other sources include this French pair, these striped models, and this version from our old friends at Sperry Top-Sider.

Apparently they’re branching out from deck shoes too.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom