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Classic and stylish closed toe espadrilles for women

Updated on August 7, 2013

Closed espadrilles for women

Aerosoles Women's Solitaire Slip-On Loafer
Aerosoles Women's Solitaire Slip-On Loafer

comfrotable and fashionable closed espadrilles by Aerosoles.

Naturalizer Women's Sarah Espadrille
Naturalizer Women's Sarah Espadrille

A little cute flat espadrille available in different colors like turquoise, blue and purple espadrilles

Sugar Women's Coconut Espadrille
Sugar Women's Coconut Espadrille

Textile and canvas closed toe espadrilles with a rubber sole. Vegetarian friendly shoes. cheap but stylish espadrilles

Ivanka Trump Women's Payton Flat
Ivanka Trump Women's Payton Flat

Popular closed toe espadrille. Ivanka Trump started in 2010 but is already the hottest thing in fashion. The modern looking slip-on shoes are comfortable espadrilles, well made with a funky design.


French espadrilles with a closed toe.

In the beginning espadrilles started of very simple. Although the shoe is known under a French name, espadrille, it's name originates from the Catalan word espardenya. Catalan is the language spoken around Barcelona and espardenya means : shoes made from esparto.

Esparto is a type of grass which is used in Spain for making baskets, saddlebags for the horses, ceilings of houses and shoes. As you can see esparto was a very handy and wildly used material. It's still used for many things, but with the coming of the age of plastics the art of making things out of esparto became obsolete. A sad thing.

Modern espadrilles are made of canvas, jute and many other materials and have a rubber or synthetic sole. If your a vegetarian or vegan you are most of the time safe with espadrilles but some brands do make espadrilles with leather.

Espadrilles with closed toe.

Naturalizer Women's Sailor Espadrille
Naturalizer Women's Sailor Espadrille

Comfortable flat closed toe espadrille.


What is an espadrille shoe?

There are three different types of summer shoes made of grass/ esparto.

The Esparteñas - these shoes are completely made of esparto. The sole, heel and nose of the shoe are made from grass.
The Alpargatos only have a esparto sole. The rest of the shoe design is made of fabric.
And the Albarcas have a sole of rubber (often car tire) but the inside is made of grass/esparto..

A bit complicated but these variation inspired shoe designers to many new shoe designs. The French espadrilles probably come from the Esparteñas,The shoe became verry popular in the beginning of the 20th century. The jetset and artists of the Rivéra discovered these"beach shoes" and the got a new name in France : Espadrille

Nowadays the espadrille is not entirely made out of esparto anymore. Often the upper part of the shoe is made of canvas and esparto is replaced by jute or canvas.

The attraction of these Mediterranean shoes are in its simplicity and country side look and feel. Espadrilles have a Holiday and sunny weather feel, that's why I love them I guess. They are easy step in step out shoes and not to expensive.

The Espadrille became a chic "disposal shoe" and in the 50's an alternative for the sandal in the US.

Classic espadrilles with closed toes.

closed toe espadrilles for women
closed toe espadrilles for women | Source

How espadrilles are made originally with esparto.

How espadrilles where made.

The craft of making espadrilles is an old one. It's amazing but the craft of making espadrilles goes back more then a 4000 years. Although espadrilles where once shoes for the common country folk, nowadays the sympathetic shoewear is changed into fashion espadrilles. Designer espadrilles can be bought in many styles and colors. But the original espadrilles are hard to find.

The shoes where mainly worn in the Basque Country and Catalonia. Shoes used by farmers and peasants.They were worn both by men and women alike. Instead of the esparto grass, the soles are now made of made of jute rope or braid, which is more eco friendly then other materials like synthetics or rubber.

Although most shoes are eco-friendly and vegan friendly the variety of espadrille shoes is great and some have leather bits and pieces.

As you can see in the Video, making shoes the old fashioned way is hard labor.

But bit by bit the lore and knowledge is forgotten. Machine made shoes are cheaper and produced massively. In Spain though there are still some places where you can find hand made espadrilles, made of the best esparto (type of grass.)

Esparto products made by Trendza Design


Esparto the grass used for the original espadrille.

Esparto (needle grass) is a type of grass used in the southern part of Spain for many things. Although the knowledge of weaving and sewing esparto dies out, there are still some people who make the original baskets and flask holders of esparto.

But some are going futher then the traditional items and designs. One small designer group in Chelva, Spain is specialized in esparto. Trendza Design brings back new life in the old tradition of making objects out of esparto. Bottle Covers, bags, bowls and other original gifts handmade in Spain are for sale on there website.

It's interesting to see that the old craftsmanship, almost forgotten is taken up again and used in a modern way. And not only in Spain platting grass has got a second revival. In Japan and the UK too there is a huge plaiting community.

Learning to plait esparto. The grass where espadrilles are made off

Where are espadrilles made off ?
Where are espadrilles made off ? | Source

Do you prefere flat cotton shoes or espadrilles with wedge ?

Do you like flat cotton shoes or espadrilles with wedge ?

See results

Flat espadrilles or espadrilles with wedge ?

Although the original Spanish espadrilles where flat and with a closed toe, designers easily made the step to platform or wedge espadrilles. The traditional espadrilles come from Rioja in Spain, they are hand woven and are sold to France and Canada.

There have been two major influence by the film industry which made the espadrille a highly fashionable shoe. In 1948 movie Lauren Bacall wore high laced ankle espadrilles in the movie Key Largo. It was a huge hit and ankle-laced espadrilles became the shoes to wear in the summer.

In the 80's the same thing happened. But now it was the espadrilles for male who were in fashion. Thanks to Don Johnson, who as Sonny Crockett wore espadrilles in the Miami Vice series. But luckily it was not a temporarily fashion hype.

This year a espadrille shoe was sold for $500 in a luxury store in New York.

Province La Rioja, Spain.

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