Before we went to our first road-trip to Italy, one of the topics that we researched were: “What should we buy for a souvenir from different Italian regions”? The main recommendations for Amalfi coast were: ceramics from Vietri sul Mare, products made from lemons in Amalfi and handmade leather bags and sandals from Positano.
We stayed in Amalfi coast only for a few nights and we really had to choose which places to visit. If I have to be honest, then one of the reasons why we planned a day-trip to Positano was that I had to have those Positano handmade sandals! 🙂 Positano is outstanding for its famous cobblers, who will create the hand-made sandals. Sandals will be fitted exactly for your feet while you wait in the shop.
There are several shoemakers in Positano and it could be quite difficult to choose one. Based on the best reviews in Tripadvisor, I narrowed my choice down to 2 shops- Artigianato Rallo and Nana Positano.
These shoe stores are like shopaholic heaven. All walls are covered with shoes from floor to ceiling. There are so many different kinds of colours and styles, that it can make your head to get dizzy.
At first, we checked in to Nana’s store. For our taste, the shoe selection there was a little too sparkly. They also had a few pairs of more modest sandals, but they were not too eager to sell them. Their main selling argument is also that they use Swarowsky crystals. You can check some examples from their sandals from their homepage: https://www.nanapositano.it/s-a-n-d-a-l-s/. So if you like sparkly sandals with crystals, then Nana’s store may be the right choice for you.
Since I didn’t find the right shoes for myself from Nana’s store, we went to Artigianato Rallo. They also have the website: http://www.artigianatorallo.com/. They have a much bigger selection of designs in their store, than on the homepage. I found their style to fit better with my taste. Their sandals are more modest than in Nana’s, but you can add some zing with colours or interesting design solutions. Their only minus was that I personally would have loved to have a bigger selection of high-heeled sandals.
I picked myself yellow leather straps, with small heel soles. These shoes cost 65€. The prize can vary a little depending on a sole and straps.
Positano handmade sandal making process
You don’t need to book time or anything to get the Positano handmade sandals. We just walked into the shop and chose the straps and soles I liked. The actual shoe fitting and making process took around 10 minutes and went very quickly. I spent most of the time to decide which shoes I want.
At first, you can choose the shoe sole design. Mainly you can choose the heel height, you can not choose the sole width, at least at the time we visited Artigianato Rallo.
Then you can pick the sandal straps you like. You can pick the desired design and colour of the straps but all designs do not fit all soles. Most straps are made of genuine leather in Artigianato Rallo.
And finally, the cobbler will fit the sandal for your leg. They will choose the exact spot where to attach the strap, so it would be the most comfortable for your leg. If the straps are too loose or too tight, they can make the adjustments. After that, the shoemaker will nail the straps with the sole, using little nails.
Are they worth it?
I bought myself those handmade sandals from Positano because there were such a big amount of reviews, that said they are “the best sandals ever”. I think 98% of the reviews that I read, said that those sandals are their most comfortable shoewear ever. There were also quite many people who said that those sandals are their only shoewear ever, that had never rubbed their feet.
Well, I was not that lucky. I got the biggest blister that I have ever had, on the first day I wore them. But to be fair, most of the shoes will rub my feet at the beginning. Later I have also got some small blisters from those sandals, so I wouldn’t say that they are my most comfortable sandals. They are good for short walks. And visually they still look very good, almost as new. But I wouldn’t wear them for longer walks.
Maybe I should have bought a different design, that would had fitted me better. Or maybe I just have weird feet 🙂 But for me, those sandals were not worth the money I spent. But I am not completely disappointed with them. There is even a possibility, that I will buy different style hand-made sandals for testing, on the next time when I will go to Positano.
PS: These shoes don’t mind a little rain, but when they will get too much water, the soles will be swollen up and the nails will get rusty.1