With the spring advancing, all kinds of fun shoes are making their appearance. Because of April and May showers boots haven’t really gone away yet, but here and there I’m catching glimpses of lighter, sunnier footwear. (Of course, some people are already wearing flip-flops, but they are a hardened crowd that can switch from winter to summer in a flash. Sort of like our Canadian weather does sometimes).
I got a real hankering for sneakers lately. Spain is an avid sneaker manufacturer and I’ve been watching three Spanish companies that make sneakers and other sporty foot wear for a while. I call them the three Ms: Munich X, Maians, and Mustang.
Sneakers rule the casual world – they are fashionably sporty, effortlessly unisex, and they go with most summer and spring looks. It’s not surprising that two of the Ms – Munich X and Maians are from Barcelona, Spain’s most cosmopolitan city and the go-to place for the latest in young urban fashion.
Photo: courtesy Condé Nast Traveller website.
Munich X has been around for a long time and has a really strong brand identity. The design revolves around the company’s signature sign: the X. The sports lines include soccer, golf, handball, and kickboxing for for adults and kids. There is also an accessories line, with sports and fashion collections. And then there is the actual fashion line where they get really creative with the sneakers.
All of them are decidedly high-end and it’s all about the Munich X experience. Check out the company’s concept stores in Barcelona:
As for the sneakers themselves, they are great no two ways about it.
I focused on the fashion line – that’s sporty enough for me, but the sports sneakers are also designed with a lot of flair and color/material variations are almost limitless.
Here are some really pretty SS2014 models from their website:
Average price for the sports models is about 100EU and fashion models are more expensive. Sports sneakers can be purchased from the Munich X official web shop, which ships worldwide. Fashion sneakers seem to only be available in actual stores. So you if you are heading to Barcelona, drop by one of the shops featured above!
Moving on to slightly more laid back and casual: Maians, designed in Barcelona and manufactured in Arnedo, La Rioja. According to the company’s website, Maians is the home of the original Spanish plimsoll.
Plimsolls were invented in England as athletic and beach shoe and you wouldn’t find many people in Europe who have not worn them at one point or another. Sounds simple, but simplicity is exactly what the Spanish are after. Dreamy and pragmatic at the same time, they love making every day objects into a thing of beauty.
Inspiration comes from the environment: “Maians” take their name from a former island, now a peninsula that houses a very laid-back neighborhood of Barcelona called “La Barceloneta”. The uniquely Mediterranean life style of La Barceloneta gives the humble plimsoll its casual chic air.
The price point is lower than Munich X: it ranges from 45 to 75 Euros. The “Maians” can be purchased straight from the website. They are shipped worldwide. In Canada they can be purchased from the LiveWStyle online boutique. They offer free shipping on all orders.
I find the shoes absolutely adorable. I really like the way the designers play with the materials: their cotton mesh is gorgeous. I love the way they mix different materials to create unique textures.
I’m not alone: a fellow blogger that I already featured on this blog, Aurora Berill from Milan, of the Elegance of Luxury blog, was one very happy camper after buying her first pair of “Maians”. Here they are:
You can read her post here.
Here are my favorites from SS2014 collection currently featured on their website:
AURELIA in white: cotton-mesh lace-up low wedge woman’s sneaker with suede accents.
SISTO VANIA in navy and white: this sneaker features a cotton/raffia/jute mixed fabric.
PEPA in pecan and white: cotton mesh upper with additional heel and toe details.
INES VANIA in red – low wedge peep-toe model, with mixed textile and jute upper.
INES BASICO in beige: the classic cotton upper, rubber sole, reinvented as a sexy peep-toe.
And finally, here is the third M: Mustang, an Elche, Alicante based company and a big player on the Spanish market. Mustang makes a wide range of shoes for the young urban crowd. The company has its own, very cute sneakers line called “Funners.
At 39Euro, they are the most accessible of the three. Here are some examples:
They can purchased online from the Mustang website, as well as everywhere in Spain, of course, including this huge outlet store in Elche:
So now you know: Spain makes great sneakers that fit a variety of tastes, ages, and budgets. If you travelling around Spain this summer, you may want to include some of these places into your itinerary. Have fun!