Esquire (USA)

THE SHORT STO­RIES

- By DAVID BUR­TON Footwear · Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · France · Spain · Espadrilles · Shoes · Marisa Tomei

An easy­go­ing shoe that works hard all sum­mer; en­ter­ing the golden age of the TV re­watch and the YouTube con­cert; bags that can carry it all; an in­ter­view with Marisa Tomei, mas­ter of play­ing the care­free yet com­plex side­kick; can a mus­tache make you feel bet­ter?; Esquire’s 2020 Du­bi­ous Achieve­ment Awards; what the pandemic has taught us about why we love restau­rants.

THE ES­PADRILLE IS THE MOST EGAL­I­TAR­ian sum­mer shoe. It es­chews elitism, and it doesn’t dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween tax brack­ets, much less gen­ders. It doesn’t even dis­crim­i­nate be­tween your left and right feet. (Re­ally; with old-school ver­sions, you can switch it up.)

You can buy es­padrilles in fancy bou­tiques and on­line, but these are quintessen­tially sim­ple shoes, and best when you don’t muck about with them. In their na­tive Basque and Cata­lan re­gions (strad­dling the bor­der of France and Spain) and all of south­ern France—where I stock up—you can pick them up for a song at su­per­mar­kets and gas sta­tions. But for me, the Côte d’Azur is their true stomp­ing (or maybe shuf­fling) ground. They’re ideal for lolling about at home or hit­ting the mar­ket or the beach, yet iron­i­cally—for some­thing tra­di­tion­ally made of braided rope and can­vas—es­padrilles are not for sail­ing. A lot of wa­ter is the death of them, though a lit­tle does help the fit­ting process, as the rope soles will swell and mold bet­ter to your feet. Still, their nat­u­ral habi­tat is heat and dust.

I pre­fer mine in marine-striped cot­ton rather than plain, and be­cause these are idlers’ shoes, I al­ways wear them with the backs folded flat un­der my heels like mules. Es­padrilles are by na­ture work-shy, and yet, para­dox­i­cally, they are ef­fi­cient mul­ti­taskers. In the sum­mer, they do an ad­mirable job of be­ing all-day slip­pers (per­fect with all-day pa­ja­mas), they make a great non­slip al­ter­na­tive to flip-flops, and they won’t over­heat in the sun. Dressed up a bit, they even dou­ble as loafers—as long as your an­kles have seen enough sun. Which re­minds me: No socks, please.

 ??  ?? SUEDE ES­PADRILLES ($495) AND PONY-HAIR ES­PADRILLES ($650) BY GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI.
SUEDE ES­PADRILLES ($495) AND PONY-HAIR ES­PADRILLES ($650) BY GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI.

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