Step into Comfort and Style: Your Complete Guide to Espadrilles


Colorful espadrilles handmade by Kingdom of Wow

Welcome to the world of espadrilles! These stylish yet comfortable shoes have a rich history originating in Spain and France. Known for their lightweight design and naturally breathable materials like canvas and jute rope, espadrilles are perfect casual wear in warm weather. Whether you’re at the beach, strolling through the city, or simply enjoying a casual day out, espadrilles are easy go-to summer shoe for men and women. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about this classic Mediterranean styled footwear, from choosing the right pair for you to how to care for them.

What are espadrilles and why do people wear them?

Espadrilles are casual, lightweight shoes traditionally made from canvas or cotton fabric with a flexible sole, usually crafted from esparto rope or braided jute. Originally made and worn by Spanish peasants from as early as the 14th century, the espadrille became more popular in 1930s when worn by the likes of fashion designer, Coco Chanel and surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. 

Today this once-humble footwear is a fashion icon, appealing to those who value style and function. An easy summer staple, their carefree yet chic look makes a versatile addition to any wardrobe suitable for most summery occasions.  

How to choose the right style of espadrille?

Espadrilles come in an array of colors and designs making them extremely versatile when creating the perfect outfit. Whether you like playing with bold fun colors or a simple pair of black espadrilles is more your style, espadrilles are an easy go-to, a staple for any capsule summer wardrobe. Espadrille designs vary for men and women, unsurprisingly there are more style choices for women. 

Women’s espadrilles styles include:

  • Flats or ballet flats: are perfect for the office or worn with shorts or skirts.

  • Wedges: are an excellent choice for giving summery maxi dresses a bit of a lift.

Men’s espadrilles come in three styles:

  • Slip-ons, mules and sneakers: all perfect with a pair of jeans or chinos for a casual summer look.

Styling your espadrilles: Can I wear espadrilles with socks?

Socks or no socks: espadrilles are usually worn without socks to preserve their casual feel, but thin no-show socks can be worn, if preferred for comfort. No socks is best for espadrilles made from 100% natural and breathable materials. 

Can I wear espadrilles with jeans?

Absolutely! Espadrilles look great with jeans, offering a casual, yet stylish look, perfect for many occasions. Whether you choose classic espadrilles or trendier lace-ups, espadrilles can add a touch of casual sophistication to your outfit. Here are some great styling tips:

  • Classic look: wear with slim or straight-leg jeans for a timeless look.

  • Casual chic: combine with rolled-up jeans and a crisp shirt for a relaxed, yet styled look.

  • Summer vibe: match with denim shorts or skirts for effortless summer style.
Espadrilles at the catwalk at New York Fashion Week

Catwalk at New York Fashion Week. Couture espadrilles by Kingdom of Wow. Denimwear by Deadly Denim

Seasonal wear: Can I wear my espadrilles all-year-round?

Espadrilles are best suited for warm weather, typically from late spring to early fall. They’re best worn in summer but can be versatile in milder climates:

  • Warm weather wear: ideal for summer and late spring when not raining.

  • Milder climates: can be worn in cooler months with appropriate outfits.

Getting the perfect fit: Should espadrilles be tight or loose?

When selecting a pair of espadrilles, it’s important to have a snug fit that’s not overly tight. Espadrilles made from natural materials will stretch and mold to your feet over time, so a comfortable snug fit to start will provide you with the best experience. Here’s a quick guide on sizing:

  • Snug fit: espadrilles should hug your feet comfortably without causing discomfort.

  • Stretching over time: expect the natural materials to give slightly with wear and adapt to your foot shape.

  • If they’re too big: consider a smaller size wherever possible or use insoles or heel grips to improve the fit.

A good fit for all: Are espadrilles good for wide feet?

Many espadrille brands offer options accommodate wider feet. It’s essential to:

  • Check brand and style: choose styles known for a wider fit or those with adjustable features, such as lace-up espadrilles.

  • Try before you buy: ensure a comfortable fit by trying them on or checking brand measuring instructions before purchasing online. Remember not all brand sizing is the same. 

Comfort and support: Are espadrilles comfortable for walking?

Thanks to their flexible and breathable design, espadrilles are generally comfortable for walking short distances. However, they may not provide the same level of support as specialized walking shoes for extensive walking. Here’s what you should know:

  • Comfortable walking: espadrilles are ideal for short strolls and casual outings.

  • Support consideration: if planning extensive walking or if you’re on your feet all day consider additional support or alternate footwear.

How do I break in my espadrilles?

Like most new footwear, espadrilles might need a little breaking in to achieve the best possible comfort. Here’s a simple process:

  • Break in slowly: start by wearing your espadrilles for short periods around the house.

  • Adjust the fit: if they’re too big, use insoles or heel grips to improve the fit.

  • Gradual stretching: remember the natural fibers will adapt to your feet over time, ensuring a more personalized fit.

  • Support for sensitive areas: all feet are different so breaking in new shoes can be a different experience for everyone. Use medical paper tape when breaking in new footwear which can help in more sensitive areas as your feet get use to new shoes.

Care tips: Guide to keeping your espadrilles in tip-top condition

Can I get my espadrilles wet? 

Espadrilles are typically made from natural materials that can be easily damaged if exposed to excessive moisture. So, it’s best to keep them dry. Here’s how to care for them:

  • Avoid muddy and rainy conditions: keep your espadrilles as dry as possible to maintain their shape and durability. If there is a chance of a sudden downpour, consider choosing different footwear for the occasion.

  • Caught in summer rain: let your espadrilles air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, be patient, avoiding direct sunlight and any heat sources which could fade or shrink your espadrilles. To maintain their shape while they dry, you can fill them with paper towels or use a shoe tree.  

How to clean my espadrilles?

Let them dry naturally, then remove excess dirt gently with a clean toothbrush or soft brush, then clean with a damp cloth using a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Rinse with a clean cloth and dry naturally. Do not machine wash or submerge your espadrilles in water as this could damage or warp the jute rope soles.


Espadrilles are more than just a footwear choice; they’re the must-have summer shoe for carefree style and comfort. Whether you’re exploring a new city, lounging by the pool, or enjoying a chilled day out, espadrilles offer a perfect balance of function and fashion. Choose from classic styles or modern lace-up designs, and don’t forget to follow our care tips to keep your espadrilles looking their best.