La Manual Alpargatera: an espadrille boutique with traditional charm
Article updated 7 March, 2019.
Whether you're looking for a pair of espadrilles or not, you will certainly fall head over heels for La Manual Alpargatera!
metro: Liceu (L3)
Monday -Friday 9:30am to 1:30pm and 4:30pm to 8pm
Saturday 10am to 1:30pm and 4:30pm to 8pm
In the middle of the Gothic district there is a boutique that is at once traditional and modern, fashionable and timeless, typically local and universal: La Manual Alpargatera. With its shelves of espadrilles, this little shop has no match in Barcelona!
History of La Manual Alpargatera
La Manual Alpargatera, an innovative and audacious boutique
La Manual Alpargatera is rooted in Barcelona’s history. It was born in the 1940s as a studio making espadrilles, combining artisanal tradition with the fashion of the time: a fairly revolutionary idea at a time when espadrilles were thought of as shoes worn in fields by the poorest class in society.
Espadrille tradition in Catalonia
The espadrille has been a traditional shoe in Catalonia for centuries and it is part of the traditional costume worn when dancing the sardana.
La Manual Alpargatera: a local and international success
Despite the passage of time, La Manual Alpargatera continues to have enormous success. Its clients come from all over the world, according to its brochure which has been translated into 47 languages by customers who wanted to participate in the boutique’s success.
There are even some famous names among the store’s customers: La Manual Alpargatera has welcomed Penelope Cruz, Michael Douglas, Jeanne Moreau, Salvador Dalí, Ralph Lauren, Tyra Banks, Julianne Moore… and more!
However it’s still not overrun with tourists and many Catalan people come here to buy their espadrilles.
La Manual Alpargatera, an artisanal boutique bursting with charm
An old fashioned boutique
As soon as you open the door at La Manual Alpargatera, you understand why it is part of the Catalan cultural heritage. It is prettily lit displaying espadrilles, hats and a whole heap of accessories used in the making of these unusual sandals.
Here everything works the old fashioned way: when you arrive you must go to the counter to ask for a number, as the shop is often full. Once it is your turn, a salesperson will come to give you advice and help you find the perfect pair. The choice of sizes and colours is immense and the styles vary a lot too: flat espadrilles, heels, with or without a strap…it might turn your head (or your heels!).
- Espadrilles cost roughly between €12 and €60
Getting espadrilles made to measure
La Manual Alpargatera also offers a made to measure service. You choose the size, colour, shape, sole, style, material (fabric, suede, leather) and the strap if you want one. Great, no? Expect to wait around two weeks for your order.
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