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When heading to Europe, my tastes run to the basic.
Not your Pumpkin Spice latte basic, mind you, more like back to basics. My wanderlust pleasure stems from settling into a busy square near a cathedral around, say, mid-afternoon and having a few drinks outside. It’s usually post-sightseeing, so I’ll order an espresso, then a couple beers. The people-watching never disappoints (especially in a, let’s say, intense, travel year).
It’s been some time since my last big trip, so I relished my return to the Continent during a week-long trip to Spain earlier this month. After spending some quality time at the tomb of Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand (situated beneath the Royal Chapel of Granada), I settled in with a friend at a cafe across the piazza.
Now, in the past, I may not have spent a lot of time thinking about my appearance. But given the circumstances, it felt particularly good to look better. I mean, the 16th-century palaces are doing their part; the least I can do is not fall prey to the American tourist uniform of New Balance 990s and white tube socks.
Leaning into the old country vibe of a Euro holiday, I chose a pair of leather slip-ons from Nisolo to stroll around Espana. We’ve raved about the brand’s All-Weather Andres Boot in the past, but lo and behold, the Alejandro Woven Slip-Ons are also a comfortable and classy no-brainer for your shoe rack.
We love the Nashville-based Nisolo for many reasons. Not only does it work with fair-trade factories in the U.S., Peru, Mexico and Kenya, but it is committed to a zero-percent net carbon neutral business plan. This means the brand pays an extremely rare 100 percent living wages (98 percent of workers currently live in systemic poverty) and bucks the trend of the fashion industry as a whole, which is currently responsible for more yearly emissions than the international aviation and shipping industries combined. Suffice to say, it’s a label we’ve long felt good about supporting and sporting.
Thankfully, Nisolo shoes also happen to be world-class. The Alejandro Woven Slip-Ons are made from vegetable-tanned leather, are easy to break in and feature a slip-free rubber heel, which comes in handy on those tiled European baldosas. And they fit like a glove, so order your usual size and allow that sweet interior leather lining to give you a cushy, no-stress fit.
Though these are primarily warm-weather shoes, they’re so sturdy, you’ll keep them for years. Which means the next time you go full Stanley Tucci and find yourself ogling beautiful architecture, people and culture — this is one way to look and feel the part. Find the slip-ons here in seven different styles–including my choice of Woven Brown. Nisolo is even offering an exclusive 20% off discount on your first order with code INSIDE20. Salud!
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