Manual Alpargateria – for espadrilles!

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Although this shop may look like a tourist trap since it appears in the odd guide, this is actually a shop all the locals go to buy their alpargatas, or espadrilles as they are known in English. Manual Alpargatera is the only espadrille workshop still remaining in Barcelona, and has been there since 1940.

For those that are unsure of what espadrilles are, they are shoes made with a natural vegetal fiber (hemp, jute) sole, and a cotton or linen upper. These are the typical in Catalunya, mostly due to the warm weather, and although they were originally known to be the poor workman shoe, today they are remade and redesigned by haute couture brands like Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent!

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Even though espadrilles are not the prettiest shoe on the market, they are very practical, very reasonably priced, and I have yet to meet someone who has achy feet or blisters with their new espadrilles. Manual provides shoes for the Catalan police’s holiday dress, and has provided espadrilles for the Pope Johannes Paulus II, as well as people like Jack Nicholsonn, Michael Douglas, Jane Moreau, Penelope Cruz, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore, Salvador Dalí, and countless others.

The fun thing about Manual Alpargatera is that you almost feel like you are in a market, you get a number when you come in and when your number comes up you are hurried to pick and size and style. And even though the decor isn´t the most modern, it has an element of charm to it, there is a wall as you come in on the left that from floor to ceiling is covered in cubby holes filled with different sized and coloured espadrilles. What was originally meant to be a practical storage space has turned into the icon of the shop.

Hope the shoe fits!

x Claudia

A few notes:

Opening times:   Monday – Friday 9:30-13:30 16:30 – 20:00, Saturday 10 – 13:30 16:30 – 20:00 Sunday closed

Tel 0034 933 01 01 72


Comments (1)

November 13, 2016

Claudia, no puedo creer que nacida y ciudadana de Barcelona jamás haya visto esta tienda en la calle Avinyó! iré a verla pronto! …es bonito que sobrevivan estas tiendas tan arraigadas a nuestra cultura. Felicidades por tus posts! S

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