La Manual Alpargatera

Sandals for the Pope and Penelope Cruz

Spanish shoes are famous world-wide, so lots of visitors to Barcelona might fancy a bit of shoe shopping while they’re here. Perhaps you’d like to walk in the shoes – almost literally – of some of Hollywood’s finest. Well then, it’s time to go to La Manual Alpargatera. This traditional shoe shop is right off Carrer Ferran in the Gothic Quarter, just a minute or two away from Las Ramblas. It was the first place in the world to make fashion, espadrille-style, sandals. In 1943, when they first opened up, sandals weren’t really considered stylish footwear. Since then, things have definitely changed. Today, shoe-lovers from all over the world have come to buy a pair of their famous handmade espadrilles.
They’ve translated their brochure into over 40 different versions. If you don’t speak one of those 40 languages, they’ll do a version for you. But it’s not just everyday visitors who come to shop. La Manual Alpargatera has plied its wares to stars like Penélope Cruz, Jack Nicholson, Julianne Moore and Tyra Banks. They’ve hosted other noteworthy customers like Pope John Paul II, Salvador Dalí, the Queen of Sweden, and Jean-Paul Gaultier. Who would have thought the Pope, Dalí, and Penélope Cruz shared the same taste in shoes? Prices start from a pair of €10 for a pair of basic espadrilles. Looking for the rest of your outfit? Read more on where to shop in the city.

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