Espadrille shoes, or espadrilles, are a popular and simple flat casual shoe. Originally made in the Pyrenees Mountains, they have been in continuous production across the Mediterranean for over 700 years. They are handmade using materials such as hemp or jute to create strong, lightweight, and flexible soles. In the mid-Twentieth century, espadrilles began to gain popularity in the public eye. Famous names such as Grace Kelly, John F. Kennedy, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso helped turned the once peasant footwear into a popular accessory. New styles of espadrilles have remained true to the original shoes’ traditional designs – but with updated fabrics, colors, and accents.
Authentic espadrilles have a unique construction and “feel.” The foot bed which makes up the structure of the shoe is made of coils of braided natural fibers. The sole is firm but pliable. Your bare feet contact this natural antibacterial fiber which makes for a healthful and relaxing “stride.” It often takes a day or two to get used to this new liberated feeling, but 700 years of history has shown the benefit. You may want to wear your Drilleys inside on a carpeted surface for the first few trials to make sure the fit is right. Both the jute foot bed and the canvas upper will shape to your feet with use so the more you wear them, the more they conform to the unique shape of your foot.
The internal foot bed of your espadrilles is flat. It allows your foot to form to the gentle cushion of the jute padding and simulate a barefoot stroll on a naturally woven carpet. Once you get used to the feel, you will fall in love. If however, you have particularly low arches or just like a traditional “sneaker” feel, Drilleys will accommodate any over-the-counter shoe insert. You can certainly enjoy the style of classic espadrilles with a more traditional shoe liner.
How are Drilleys made?
Each step of construction is done by hand, much as espadrilles have been made for centuries. Jute or Hemp fibers are braided into bundles about ¼ inch by ½ inch. The jute braid is then rolled over a form to create the general shape of your sole. This is compressed with heat, bonded to a thin rubber outsole, and stitched throughout to maintain its form. Separately the canvas uppers are cut from patterns, assembled, and attached to the soles using a variety of machine and hand stitching. Each pair is inspected for quality at both our manufacturing facility and at our offices in Tampa.
Where are Drilleys made?
We have two production facilities. The first is located in Binan, Laguna Philippines. Our plant is woman-owned and has 50 employees that perform different steps in the construction process. Our second production facility is located in the Hangtag Province in Mainland China. This factory has over 200 employees and has been audited and recognized as a reliable and high quality trading partner. Each pair is made to the Drilleys specifications and we stand behind our quality. To see which plant your shoes came from you can find the country of origin listed on the hang tag.