Back Leather goods and shoes
Leather goods and shoes
International recognition and quality
The region of Raiguer can be considered the island's centre of leather and footwear craftsmanship. Inca is known as “the city of leather”, due to the large number of shops dedicated to this sector.
Human intervention in the production process has made leather craftsmanship and the Mallorcan shoe recognised all over the world for its quality, comfort, and durability. It is worth highlighting the diversity it offers, from classic footwear to avant-garde designs. Boots, Texan boots, hiking shoes, sports shoes, orthopaedic footwear, women's or men's footwear… without forgetting the typical and traditional footwear such as the porqueras (traditional closed shoes made from cloth and rubber), the abarcas (traditional sandals from Menorca) or the alpargatas (espadrilles).
Many of the big firms have moved their workshops to other countries, but creativity in design continues in the hands of Mallorcans who carry out this task in many parts of the world. The accumulated experience, the entrepreneurial spirit and the international vocation of Mallorcan footwear entrepreneurs have ensured that Mallorcan brands are now present on all five continents.
You can find out more about this trade at the Museu del Calçat i de la Indústria (Footwear and Industry Museum) in Inca, located in a former army infantry barracks, which were built between 1909 and 1922.
Also, don't miss the Footwear Route. Nowadays, the corporate headquarters of the most important and prestigious brands are located in Inca, with shops open to the public. On this route, you will find the tourist and commercial spots related to the footwear industry in Inca.
Specialised shops await you in other areas to offer you their creations of traditional Mallorcan shoes. The most authentic and genuine.
ABARCAS, PORQUERAS AND ALPARGATAS
They were the typical footwear of the islands' rural population. Rustic and very functional. The abarcas and the porqueras are made of leather with rubber soles. The former for summer and spring, the latter for autumn and winter. Today, they are still a classic part of the local population's clothing, but with a greater diversity of materials and colours.
Handmade alpargatas, or espadrilles, were also part of the everyday life of the Mallorcan people. They are now an elegant and exclusive item that never goes out of fashion and can be seen as part of the attire of some members of the royal family and celebrities.
At the end of the Middle Ages, there was already a tradition of shoemaking in Mallorca, and in the 18th century, the footwear industry was one of the main economic activities in the city of Palma, where most of the small workshops on the island were located.
In the last third of the 19th century, exports to the Philippines and America sparked growth and mechanisation that never completely removed the importance of hand-made products.
During the First World War, the need for footwear in the warring countries opened up new export opportunities. At that time, the production capacity of the city of Palma had declined in favour of other areas such as Llucmajor and, above all, some towns in the Raiguer region, such as Inca, Alaró, Lloseta and Selva.
In 1915, Antoni Fluxà Figuerola founded the Shoemakers' Guild, based in Inca, and in the following years, most companies incorporated a certain degree of mechanisation in their production processes.
The fifties, sixties, and seventies saw the consolidation of Mallorcan brands as a benchmark for design and fashion, at a time when the Mediterranean creative spirit marked a differentiation that was highly valued, mainly in Europe and America.
Today, after having overcome a few crises in the sector, Mallorcan footwear continues to be a symbol of creativity and quality.