Quality handmade footwear

Design, quality, handmade and the most advanced technology in production processes is what you’ll find in various shops and shoe factories in Menorca. Without any doubt, the footwear is one of the products of the island, consolidated national and international level.

However, the most popular shoes are abarcas (sandals). From agriculture, this shoe is comfortable and easy now exported to much of the world, with multiple designs, colours and skin types.

The Menorca footwear history

During 1820 and 1850, Menorca suffered a commercial crisis and a decline in port activity. It is here where manufactures, especially in the footwear sector, which drove modernization and economic growth.

Due to the presence of immigrants of Balearic and Catalan origin in Cuba and the informal commercial networks established between both markets, it was key for the development of the footwear production under the “Saber do” inherited from the most traditional crafts. The commercial structure consisted of small workshops with little need for initial investment through which they resorted extensively to homework.

The increase in exports reached its peak in the years prior to Cuba’s last war. From then until 1930, they were drastically reduced. It was then when the sector channelled its offer to the Spanish market.

Due to the high specialization of footwear manufacturing on the island, the sector was badly damaged by the civil war due to the decline of the Spanish consumption capacity during that stage. That is why, the Menorcan footwear companies stagnated in a context of raw and scarce raw materials, electricity restrictions, low wages and technological regression.

Thanks to the increase in technology between the 50s and 60s, new entrepreneurs started up small factories but better equipped technically. Thanks to this greater modernization and the accumulated knowledge, they started to take outsourcing as a kind of high-quality footwear that conquered North America.

n the mid-70s, the footwear industry in Menorca was still the main economic engine of the island, grouping almost half of the active population. It was the international crisis, the strong competition from other producing countries, the increase in costs in Spain and the lack of adaptation of many companies to the new conditions of the foreign market, adding the preference to invest in other more profitable sectors, which ended with the high production of footwear on the island.

The footwear sector currently in Menorca

At the moment it is breathing an improvement with respect to the commercialization of the footwear manufactured in Menorca. The main brands present their new models at international fairs. This presence is extremely important due to the need for export to keep the Menorcan footwear business growing.