Mexico‘s long-honored shoe-making tradition has seen new crop of designers take the helm of late, with colorful creations and outlandish styles perfect for a night out in Mexico City or a safari through the urban landscapes of Guadalajara and Monterrey.
Here’s our pick of the best.
Besides having the funnest name for a fashion brand ever, Guadalajara’s Golden Ponies have a whimsical, sometimes funky, sometimes fierce collection of women’s shoes. They offer two small, seasonal collections a year along with their permanent collections.
Adriana Rivera Torres
We also love what Adriana Rivera Torres is doing with color combinations, especially her mint and pink tie loafers that look good enough to eat, and a pair of fuchsia and gold flats that dazzle the eye.
Mi-tu creates soft, romantic flats with ribbons and suede or wingtips and saddle shoes that will make you feel like a bebopper from the 1950s. They are based out of Leon, Guanajuato, by far Mexico’s number one location for leather shoes and boots.
Shoes are a statement about who we are, so why not make that statement loud and proud? We like Minhk for their use of animal skins, patterns and accessories – fur covered sandal anyone? All their shoes are handmade in Mexico and designed by Natali Sznajderman.
The women’s shoe brand Mila Milu is all about strappy, chunky clogs and sandals that make heads turn. Based out of Guadalajara, they offer everything from leather fringing to multi-colored sparkle and pop.
Looking for tradition with a twist? Gallitos reinterprets the Huarache-style sandal popular in Mexico’s countryside, bringing it to a younger, urban population. Based in Leon, Guanajuato they are remaking this tradition to meet modern footwear desires.
With a history that dates back to the 1960s, Panam has been putting Mexicans in snazzy tennis shoes for decades. For anyone with a tennis shoe fetish (yes, please!) Panam has a massive selection of colors and patterns, all hecho en Mexico.
Rabia is another must for hitting the streets or jumping on a skateboard, with fun, urban tennis and classic slip-ons with hipster-cool designs or an eighties-distressed gold or silver hightop edition.
These chic designs are upscale enough to wear to the office, but have the soul (or sole) of a tennis shoe with their smart-casual vibe that also keep your feet comfortable.
For high quality boots and leather shoes look no further than Unmarked. Their wildest creation is the new Cloth Slide, made using molded natural cork for the sole and a fabric strap reminiscent of the hand cloths ubiquitous in every Mexican home.
A longtime figure in the shoe world, Maria Montiel is an independent designer from Chihuahua making Instagram-worthy leather sandals and flats versatile enough to be your go-to shoe everyday.
Dedicated to footwear with a purpose, Oni Originals sources ecologically friendly materials for their variety of embroidered tennis shoes and they work with Mexican artisans for the detail work. You can feel good buying from them and good on your feet.
The leather workshop Taller Nu is the lovechild of designers Olga Olivares and Pilar Obeso and located in Mexico City. While their shoe selection is limited, what they make catches the eye and the imagination with artisan dyeing techniques and unusual leatherwork that gives their designs an extra punch you never saw coming.