Complete Guide to Santoni Shoes

By Elizabeth Hannigan , last updated December 22, 2011

Santoni shoes are handmade by master shoe makers in Italy under the watchful eyes of father/son team Andrea and Giuseppe Santoni. As Andrea Santoni himself puts it, the Santoni reputation is based on quality, not brand. These shoes are not flashy or coated in the designer's label; instead they are top of the line, hand stitched works of art. Santoni currently has a women's line, a children's line and even a line of trainers, but their specialty is elegant men's dress shoes.

Santoni shoes are only made from the world's finest leathers; even the insoles are crafted from these top of the line, high grade leathers. In the Santoni cellar you might find English cowhide, American horse hide and all manner of exotic skins. These include toad, iguana, crocodile and even eel. These leathers are hand cut and Santoni even has an apprenticeship program so that young shoemakers can come learn the art of cutting and making shoes, a tradition that seems to be dying elsewhere.

Besides their fine craftsmanship and hand stitching, Santoni shoes are recognizable to connoisseurs by their famous anticatura. Anticatura is an Italian antique finish that can only be achieved by applying multiple coats of the finest leather dye. This finish looks gorgeous new and even better as it ages, giving each shoe its own unique look as the shoe is worn in. The multiple coats of dye give the leather a three dimensional quality so that they look brown in one light, blue in another.

Santoni shoes are made from start to finish under one roof in Corridonia. The shoes are even designed in house. Santoni's classic collections are constantly tweaked to adapt to current trends while still appearing timeless. You can buy these shoes in the latest cut or you can buy the original styles that Santoni first designed in 1975.

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