Sandals for Days

It turns out that foot models exist for a reason. As do photographers. I am obviously neither. But the sandals aren’t bad, are they? They are all leather and were handmade to order, then picked up a few days later for song.  And I’m going to sing you my secret.

If you know your New York leather goods, you know Jutta Neuman.  Her studio and storefront have been open in the West Village since the mid-90s. She specializes in handcrafted sandals with a chunky, boho feel. The nailed leather footbeds are a great touch. The average price ($280) suggests that these will last you a very long time.

Down there on the lower right is the picture that my lovely friend Daniele took to her guy in Puerto Vallarta the last time she visited Mexico. Daniele had seen similar sandals in real life on a stylish party guest, and remembering the leather crafters in her vacation home town, had some made up for the two of us. Are they an exact match? No. Are they the same super duper high quality, with a nailed footbed and harness-grade leather? No. Did I completely satisfy my craving for Jutta Neuman’s? No. Did they cost less than 1/10 as much? Si. Si. Si.

This was our first effort at custom shoe production, and I think that next time we’ll refine these with some material upgrades and more exact specifications. If you’re ever planning a trip to Mexico, do yourself a favor and bring along a few pictures of your favorite sandals.  With a little bit of forethought, vacation sandals can go well beyond huraches.