Quero shoes are handmade in Spain. As the company notes, Quero offers, “an old way of making shoes… a new way to buy them.” I received a pair of their Mercer Oxford, and they have a new customer. The shoes look amazing, seem to be crafted with excellence, and, most of all, they are incredibly comfortable. I’m buying boots next!
I was about to go out and buy a new pair of black dress shoes when I was offered a chance to check out a pair of Quero handmade shoes. I requested a pair and was sent their Mercer Oxfords in Black. The shoes are, in a word, great.
The company website explains their desire to create a shoe company that honors the craftsmanship of old but takes shoemaking into the 21st century. As they explain, most shoes today are made in factories that pay low wages and offer poor conditions to workers who don’t know the first thing about making shoes. Also, some shoe brands that became popular due to the excellent quality of their products now put profits above quality. As a result, the shoes they currently offer are in a different, and lesser, league that the same styles in years past. Quero notes that shoes from these companies often “look good out of the box look worn and tired after 4-6 months of use (maybe it’s intentional, so you buy more…)”.
Quero wanted to change all that. They set out to find factories that make shoes the old-fashioned way and employ artisans rather than “workers.” Many of their shoemakers come from a long line of shoemakers who have a passion for detail and a commitment to making shoes that look and fit fantastic right out of the box and keep looking great for years to come.
This summary captures what makes Quero a new old company worth checking out:
THE QÜERO STORY: We searched for the best shoe factories in the world and found them in Spain. Our factory has a long history of producing some of the best footwear in Europe. With access to the highest quality raw materials and best artisans in the world, there is no better place to make shoes.
Quero’s website offers a brief look at how to make shoes. Their “Shoemaking 101” explains the five-step process.
1. Cut leather/s for shoe pattern
2. Sew pieces together and attach calfskin lining
3. Create the shape (leather and last together for 24 hours)
4. Affix the sole, insole and other details
5. Finish and polish.
The first step in the process is to cut the leather for the shoes. But before you can even get to step one, you need to find the right materials. Quero does just that, sourcing their leather from Italy, France, and Spain.
MATERIALS MATTER: Soft, resistant leathers that maintain their shape and look. Beautiful dyes that provide rich and pleasing colors. Suedes that stand up to water and dirt and clean easily with a brushstroke. Patterns and shiny finishes to provide a fashion edge. We carefully select each material for our shoes and allow you to select from over 31 choices for made-to-order.
The second step is to cut the leather and sew the pieces together to create the basic shape of the shoe. As previously noted, Quero hires artisans who have a passion for and experience in shoemaking.
The third step in the process of making a pair of quality shoes is to affix the insole. This is a key step since comfort is key when selecting a pair of shoes.
COMFORT INSIDE: All our insoles are of the softest materials that cushion your walk and take the wear out of your daily stroll. We continue to seek out more and more absorbent and cushioning materials to help protect your most important asset, your feet!
So Quero makes shoes in Spanish factories. They use the best raw materials. They employ passionate, experienced artisans. They create shoes with the quality and craftsmanship rarely seen anymore. And they do so at reasonable prices thanks to the fact that they make AND sell their shoes. There’s no middleman. The shoes are manufactured in the company’s Spanish factory and then sell directly through their website.
Moreover, other than occasional PopUp stores, they have no retail locations or fancy offices. The result is a good business for them and significant savings for consumers. As they explain,
We aim to offer the highest quality product at the best possible price, and hope that our customers will love the concept and help us grow.
So let’s get to the shoes. I was sent a pair of Quero’s Mercer Oxfords in black box calf leather.
Available in a choice of black, sand, and brown, the Mercer is $225. I’m used to paying about $150 for a pair of dress shoes, so this was a bit of a premium for me. I wondered if the shoes were worth the extra $75.
The shoes came in a standard, unassuming box and a felt bag with the Quero name and the words “Handmade Shoes” on it. The shoes themselves are gorgeous.
The leather is soft without a blemish in sight.
The anti-slip sole is made from a mix of leather and rubber and is quite comfortable to walk on. As Quero explains:
The oxford that made every loafer lover turn to laces. It has the elegant look of with the simplest lines and the fit that is simply perfect. These are the ideal shoes for the new hipster who still wants to look good and show off a stunning pair of shoes. Good with jeans cords and a full 3-piece-suit. No limitations to where these shoes will take you. We offer the ready-to -go collection in sand, brown, and black. Lined in beautiful leather to make the fit the most comfortable for any shoe of its kind.
I love these shoes. They have the simple, classic design I prefer. They are made from soft leather that looks and feels good. The comfortable anti-slip sole is great, considering these shoes will be worn during 10-14 hour days. And the quality is superb, suggesting I won’t be looking to replace these shoes any time soon.
- Made of durable calfskin leather
- Anti-slip mixed leather/rubber sole
- Blake Construction
- Breathable calfskin lining
- Handmade in Spain
Shoes used to be made by hand. They used to be made from the best quality leather available. They used to be made by artisans who took pride in their work. They used to last more than a few months or a year. Back then, shoes weren’t a commodity.
Quero Shoes is a bit of a Time Machine. It takes us back to those days of yore. Their shoes are made from top materials. Their shoes are made by artisans. Their shoes ship directly to consumers, so there’s no middleman. And their shoes look and feel fantastic.
I’ll be wearing the Quero Mercer Oxfords for a long time, and, as my other shoes wear out, I’ll be replacing them with some of Quero’s other offerings. You see, the company makes a range of styles for men and women. My next pair?
The Quero Chelsea Blackburn. I wear Chealsea boots almost every day, and I can’t wait to see Quero’s take on this classic style. Check them out.
Quero prices that you can still find amazing, handcrafted products. Their Mercer shoes look fantastic and feel even better. The leather used in their construction is flawless. This is the kind of shoes I’ll feel great wearing and, when the time comes, will take to a shoemaker for repair rather than simply throwing them out and getting something new. So while the Mercer is $75 more than most of the dress shoes I purchase, in the long run, I think that $75 is meaningless. In fact, over the longterm, I suspect these shoes are a bargain. Time will tell but, for now, check them out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Fantastic materials; Superb construction; I love the mix of rubber and leather used in the sole; Handmade but not priced as if they were; Company offers a wide range of styles for men and women
What Needs Improvement: Nothing