Carmina – The Review
I have always loved and respected Carmina shoes and what they do as a company. While I don’t think that Spanish shoemaking as a whole is the best in the world, I definitely don’t think that it deserves its reputation for inferiority either (Spanish shoemaking, not Carmina), particularly because of the actual good shoemakers that are out there making brilliant shoes, Carmina being among the best, if not THE BEST. I make my own shoes in Spain, that is no secret, and while many doubters and naysayers may think that this idea gives me a hidden agenda, well you can believe me if you want, but it doesn’t. What is important to me is that recognition is given where it is due. And Carmina definitely deserves recognition for what they do.
I love English and Italian shoemaking and I will say that G&G are probably my favorites, but what I feel that has happened in the day we live in now is this idea of “Made in England” and “Made in Italy” not longer hold the weight that it used to but people are still blinded by the illusion of it (just like people thinking that the major designer brands make the “best” quality products) and thus make assumptions and decisions based on that blindness. Made in Spain or Made in Romania or even Vietnam (believe it or not) can mean the same thing. Making shoes is no longer comes from the pride of one’s country to be the best, but rather the pride of certain individuals (no matter what race their are) and ensuring that their factories are making the best shoes they can.
Saint Crispins shoes for example are extremely well constructed but made in a country that I am sure many people will turn their noses up to. And NOBODY in the world can deny their quality. If they did it would simply have to do with their origin as there could be no other reason. This is the problem that I am trying to stop. Because good things can be made anywhere, even China, the Amazon or your backyard garage. It’s about the passion of the people, not the reputation of the country. And Carmina, for me, has been the driving factor of this idea as the Albaladejo family has been making good shoes for a very long time, but in reality have not received their proper due. So here I am to tell you that Carmina makes among the finest shoes in the world, for a steal of a price.
In reality there is nothing that I can say about the quality of the shoe that is negative. The shoes were perfect and well presented. The only thing that for me was a bit off, and maybe it was because I did end up getting a size that was a bit too small, was the fact that the heel felt a bit low. Based on that, I felt that if I would have taken the 7, which would have fit better in my forefoot, would have made my feel pop out for not gripping it properly. But other than that, everything was flawless and it is impressive to see what they can offer for only €325, a pricepoint that just might make them the most undervalued shoe in the world. For me they are worth the price (being in comparison with the industry) of a £600 shoe. I would almost be willing to say that they are on the level of Edward Green, but maybe in reality just shy of them. Either way, I am impressed with their level of craftsmanship and definitely feel that if not to recognize Spain, one (if not all) should at least recognize Carmina as one of the greats of the industry.
By the way, if you will be in NYC on April 3rd or 4th, Carmina will be doing their first trunk show at the new ArmouryNYC. So if you have yet to see their shoes in person and you are in NYC during those dates, that would be your chance!