My husband knew very little about Portugal when we first met. He’s still working on the language, but has learned a great deal about the country over the last few years and has become a huge fan. He now knows that Portugal is very good at doing certain things – one of which is making shoes. Portugal’s shoes are now second best and second most expensive in the world (Italian shoes are still in first – for now).
When he wants to buy shoes other than sneakers, he shops in Portugal. His favorite shoe brand is Carlos Santos. When asked what’s so special about them, he said, “They’re just a well-made shoe. They look great and fit perfectly.” I guess this is why he owns two pairs. The first pair he bought is a classic black dress shoe – a staple item in a man’s wardrobe – which he wears with suits for work or formal occasions. The gray ones are a little quirkier; he wears them with jeans, khakis and (when he switches the light laces for black ones) suits.
Carlos Santos’ factory is located in northern Portugal, in an industrial town called São João da Madeira. São João da Madeira is known for its high quality shoes and hats but is also home to other industries, such as pencils and plastics. I’ll be writing more about this town in upcoming blogs – but now, back to shoes.
Carlos Santos shoes can only be found in four stores in Portugal, as they mostly sell abroad, due to their international reputation. So if you like these photos, but have already used up your vacation days for the year, this is fabulous news!
You’re probably wondering, “why do these shoes look so good?” It’s because they are mostly hand-made. Machines are only used as a complementary means of crafting them, which is pretty rare these days. Because of the excellent quality, the shoes will last a very long time if you take care of them by going to a skilled shoeshiner, cobbler, and keep them in shoe trees when not in use.
“They’re just a well-made shoe. They look great and fit perfectly.”
In all honesty, I’m a little concerned that his Carlos Santos shoe collection is only just starting and he will start bringing home new shoes… What worries me isn’t the money he’ll spend on these quality shoes, it’s that his shoe collection will one day be prettier than mine.