What comes to mind when you hear “Mediterranean footwear”? I think of vibrant color, pom-poms, sandals, and beach inspired. Hunting for new brands that have an innovative, signature product that they have pride in is one of my hobbies. Instagram brought me to Abanibi, a shoe brand that is defining the production of footwear.
Car tires do not come to mind when you think of any kind footwear. Abanibi uses car tires as the sole of their shoes, sustainable leather, and they are all handmade. I have worn a shoe in a similar design before, and I have always gotten blisters on the tops of my toes from the rough material. These have the softest leather, and mold to your feet. You can see the contours of my pinky toe and the top of my foot in the image above.
One of my worries was that the back strap wouldn’t hug my ankle. When I put these shoes one, they fit like a glove. My feet tend to hurt at the end of the day from constantly moving on set as a stylist or model. I walked all around San Francisco with these on my feet, and I had no pain or blister issues.
Abanibi’s mission statement was what first caught my eye: “Abanibi proposes rediscovering the traditional values, diving into timelessness and standing up for the durability and sustainability of our goods.” Our products- clothing or otherwise- today have the lowest lasting time or number of uses to them than ever before. Quality has been thrown out the window in some cases. I am so appreciative of Abanibi’s efforts to revive the importance and pride behind producing goods that will last.
I feel ten times better both physically and mentally when I wear these sandals. I know they effect the people that hand make them, they have a positive impact on the environment, and they are a timeless design. They have multiple colors on their website. I may have to get the white ones next!
They are such a simple and playful design that these shoes go with everything! I paired it with this beautiful vintage silk and sequin top. It adds a bit of elegance to the look. All of the sequins, the flower design, and the beaded neckline and sleeve holes are sewn on separately. This piece is of couture quality, but I got it at the Treasure Island Flea Market in San Francisco for $40! The jeans I am wearing are from Citizens of Humanity bought through Amour Vert. Sunglasses are from Forever 21.
All photography by Allison Sowle.