Moccasins, slip-ons and sneakers featuring a rope sole for men too

[On cover: Doucal’s SS2020]

Not only have rope soles contaminated women’s footwear, they’ve also become a must have for men this summer. Beyond traditional espadrilles, they’ve become an integral component of more structured shoes too, with suede or mixed material uppers, quashing once and for all the conviction that shoes featuring rope are “poor”.

Originally this may have been the case, when, in the 14th century, they were commonly worn by farmers in the Occitan and Catalan Pyrenees. The Catalan word espardenya was used to describe shoes made of esparto, a strong Mediterranean grass that was used to make the rope. The woven construction, once made by hand, was subsequently industrialised to produce soles and welts for decorative details. Moccasins, slip-ons and sneakers have therefore become urban footwear to be worn around the city, on holiday, or anywhere you want to walk in total comfort.