There are a few technical things about our shoes that makes them special:
Two terms to know first:
Vegetable Tanned Leather – The hand woven upper is made with high quality, full grain, vegetable tanned leathers. Vegetable tanning uses vegetable extracts instead of heavy metals and toxins, a method that is ecologically friendly. The leather created from this ancient process is a skin that is firm, soft, subtle and burnishes to a luxurious finish that looks better with use. We call our leather PURA CABRA which means "pure goat" in Spanish, our stamp is a guarantee of the noble origins of our leathers.
a field of goats and a shepard in kommeswaram Ambur, India where our leather is tanned.
Hand Woven on the Lasts – The weaving of the shoe over the LAST’s shape in a tubular way creates an upper that once removed from the LAST maintains the shape and contours completely to the foot. Most woven shoes or huarache type shoes are woven flat, off the last and then pulled over the last and cemented and nailed to the sole. Although this process is far faster and less expensive than the hand weaving of the shoe on the last, the shape isn’t maintained after the LAST is pulled from inside the shoe and the fit and look is diminished.
fast and agile hands beautiful saris, bracelets and necklace
Unlined Construction – The entire shoe is without a lining, the naked woven leather is allowed to breath and move with the motion of the entire foot without restriction. The sock lining (where the bottom of the foot steps) is a vegetable tanned leather without dyes that remains soft and absorbent with a high quality foam padding underneath.
Slip Lasted - the shoes are “slip lasted” like a tubular moccasin, the LAST is slipped into the tubular upper, eliminating the need for an innersole or metal shank reinforcement and enabling the shoe to be folded in half yet snap back to its original shape. The shoe is light yet strong.
Italian Sole – The sole leather is a full grain vegetable tanned leather finished in one of Italy’s premier sole manufacturing plants. The soles remain strong and flexible maintaining their shape while molding to and moving with the motion of your foot.
Bologna Sole Stitch – This is a process of stitching the sole to the upper with a McKay stitching machine, fusing them together with a heavy, industrial thread, thus enabling unrestricted movement of your foot. The shoe is amazingly flexible and light, burnishing with age like a well worn pair of jeans. Our ‘Bologna’ construction, stitching the upper onto the sole, significantly reduces the need for wasteful reinforcing materials, solvents and toxic glues.
Finished in New York City – The artisan, woven uppers are made in Chennai, India bringing income to otherwise poor families while continuing an indigenous craft using local materials and modern designs. The authentic, leather soles are made in Italy, shipped to New York and the shoes are hand crafted, finished and shipped to you from a small factory in the heart of Manhattan. Doing this enables us to lower the shipping, inventory, duty and importing costs allowing us to give you more product for the price. Whenever possible we’ll reduce our carbon footprint, employ our neighbors, help our local economy; we do these things not only because it's the responsible thing to do but it’s also good business and I get to ride my bike to the factory every day...thanks for your interest in giraffe WALK shoes.