Maledetti Toscani Shoes A Year Later

Last year I got not one but two pairs of Maledetti Toscani shoes: the STUPENDO and the TOSTA. What happened as a result? My other shoes got almost no action over the last twelve months. Sorry.

STUPENDO Italian Leather Ankle Boots zipper
The STUPENDO Handmade Leather Ankle Boot with zipper open

Maledetti Toscani shoes are simply a few notches above regular shoes and once you get them you and your feet will only want to wear them. It is hard to explain why. I think two factors come together that produce a wonderful combination: style and quality. The STUPENDO are stunning: when I wear them, or see them on my friends who also got them, my thought invariable is: “wow, those are some good looking shoes”. The beautiful distressed leather exudes an understated elegance that is very captivating. The TOSTA, instead, are much flashier and noticeable because of the color, but because of their color they need to be more carefully matched with clothes that get along. I have a pair a gray jeans from Scotch and Soda and they make a match made in heaven.

The quality appears to be really high. After a year the construction is still like new. The leather on the STUPENDO is more beautiful than ever, while the silver on the TOSTA has worn off a bit giving it a little bit of a worn-in look and definitely not a worn-out look yet. Both shoes look like they will be with me for a while.

TOSTA Silver Sneakers
The TOSTA Silver Sneakers Looking Good!

If I had to choose just one pair, I would go with the STUPENDO because they are timeless. If you know me you would know that I prefer timeless over stylish, though not by such a landslide that I don’t touch anything stylish… In general, the STUPENDO are more versatile and they embody traditional Italian shoe craftsmanship in such a way that I am confident that they will last me a long time. I look forward to writing many blog posts about them over the next ten years. :-).

My STUPENDO Maledetti Toscani Shoes After Four Months

STUPENDO Italian Leather Ankle Boots zipper

After four months of wearing my distressed Maledetti Toscani ankle boots I have two thoughts: they look even cooler, and they are starting to mold around my feet.

Fall has arrived. Actually Northern California winter has arrived. It is cold enough to wear jeans and so I wear my STUPENDO Ankle Boots at least 3 times a week with great pride and it is a pleasure to feel the artisanship on my feet.

STUPENDO Italian Leather Ankle Boots zipper
The STUPENDO Handmade Leather Ankle Boot with zipper open

To ensure that I properly tested them, I took them on most of my long walks pushing Marco’s stroller. The park is pretty far so the round trip is a solid forty minutes. Despite what could prove a relationship-ending test, the fire has endured and I am still in love with the shoes. As I was saying, although the shoes felt stiff at first and I was considering a rubber sole, with time they started to mold around my foot and now the thought of rubber soles does not return.

I have gotten to know the ankle boots well: the zippers occasionally come a few notches undone and I have to pull them back up. I was getting ready to warn customers of the flaw, but, in reality, it only happens occasionally and they don’t unzip so much that the boot becomes loose. The other thing to know is that if you are holding a baby and want to slip these on… it won’t work (unless you really force the issue at the risk of deforming the shoes). A long shoe horn can come to the rescue in this case. I have learned to put the baby in the car seat and then put my shoes on.

After four months it is time for me to polish them. But when is life going to hand me fifteen minutes to do that? Even without a polish, they still look very good. My best friend said he would gladly wear a pair. He has wide feet, we are going to try going a size up and it should work out. I have average-width feet and the shoes feel roomy, but not cavernous.

I recently talked to someone who wandered why pay more for a pair handmade shoes. I looked at his TV and asked him why did he pay more to have a 70″ TV? The pride, quality, and design that go into these shoes deliver an experience that the other shoes simply do not. That is why.

Maledetti Toscani Shoes for My Birthday

STUPENDO Italian Leather Ankle Boots

On August 25 I suddenly realized that it was my birthday. It was a sudden realization because we had already celebrated with friends over the week-end, and now it was just another boring and busy Monday. Then, I had another realization, and this one wasn’t as exciting: I am finally older than my shoe size. Well, that, along with the many MP bucks I accumulated over the years [note: I have gone on a bit of a spending spree this year and my balance is getting a bit low], pointed to a very simple decision. I need to celebrate this stupendous occasion with a pair of STUPENDO.

STUPENDO Italian Leather Ankle Boots
STUPENDO Artisanal Italian Leather Ankle Boots

This is my second pair of Maledetti Toscani shoes in three months. But it is totally justified: I just happened to read the you shouldn’t wear the same shoes two days in a row because shoes need to breathe so I had let my TOSTA take a breather. Since I had every objection covered I went ahead and got them. So how did they feel?

Just like the TOSTA, the STUPENDO feels stiff and it doesn’t seem to provide much arch support. It also makes me worry that the zipper will open on its own. On the other hand, the leather looks like it can take the abuse and regenerate (unlike the TOSTA which is not going to regenerate its silver shine if you rub it off).

Despite the fears, I love wearing the boots for their looks. They are a dressy casual that I really love and I can certainly feel the difference, as I wear them, between these shoes and the cheaper ones I used to buy. My Italian feet can finally be happy. I am going to wear them on my long walks and see if they hurt my feet.

Oh, and my birthday turned out to be fun. Peggy brought a wonderful cake and we had a fun afternoon at the office. This was definitely a good birthday!!

Our Maledetti Toscani Shoes Are Almost Here

TOSTA Distressed Leather Silver Sneakers
TOSTA Distressed Leather Silver Sneakers
I have been waiting for these sneakers for months but tomorrow they should finally be here!

There are very few things that can make me mad: Italian customs is one of them. It is an institution that cannot be explained in terms of logic and that often drives Italian entrepreneurs to leave the country. When a few years ago they intercepted a bag that I was trying to return to Dionigi and wouldn’t let it go unless I paid Italian duties three months later, I felt that I was dealing with what is to be expected. I was mad, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t surprised.

This time they sequestered our shipment of shoes going out of Italy and made sure that it was returned to sender. To this day we do not know the reason. The only thing that was missing with the shipment was the English translation of the commercial invoice for US Customs, which was promptly provided and which had been accepted by US Customs who cleared the shipment. Yet, somehow, the shipment could not leave and had to be returned to sender. No explanation was provided and no effort was made to help us solve the problem.

Our decision to expand our offering to shoes was influenced by how quickly we fell in love with Maledetti Toscani shoes. We are extremely excited about receiving them and the delay has been so painful, especially for me: I have picked out a pair of sneakers that I can see on my feet every day as I go to work. Now the second shipment also sat in Italian customs for four days and I had to have Maledetti Toscani contact Fedex and customs to get it moving (again, apparently everything was in order). Finally, tonight, the tracking log shows that the shipment has reached Memphis! What a relief!!! Tomorrow might be the day… I might get to walk home on a new pair of shoes!

I really hope that these shoes are worth the effort. What if I am disappointed? I cannot even consider that possibility right now. I wish I could be a fly on the wall in Memphis.

Maledetti Toscani Women’s Shoes

Maledetti Toscani Boots 6903

I just recently published a post about our intention to carry Maledetti Toscani shoes and we have already received our first inquiry for Maledetti Toscani Women’s Shoes, with a focus on boots. There is a number of boots included in the Fall Winter 2014 Collection but we can’t get them all: I so wish money were no object!

Our first inquiry resulted in the customer expressing interest in a most classic pair of boots: the model 6903. We are not planning on buying this for this summer, but we will probably have it for the fall.

Maledetti Toscani Boots 6903
Maledetti Toscani makes a number of boots and model 6903 is a knee-high boot that stands out.

The Maledetti Toscani Boots labeled with product code 6903 are very classic but stand out thanks to the uniquely high quality leather and somewhat rugged personality. The result is one cool pair of boots. If you like them let us know as we can pre-order them for you. We need to know your size and color preferences (assuming that we will offer a choice of colors) and that you are willing to pay a non-refundable deposit.

Preparing Our First Maledetti Toscani Order

The Model 8571 by Maledetti Toscani

Last year Dionigi began working with Maledetti Toscani and introduced us to a wonderful new company. Maledetti Toscani seems to be a perfect find for us: first, they believe in authentic artisanal production, truly 100% handmade in Italy. They even gave us a presentation showing us how companies can profit by outsourcing production to China and India, and then followed up with a video of the working conditions there and a pledge that that’s not what they’re about. Second, their products are very high quality and inspiring; they also fill a void in our lineup. And, third, they make amazing-looking shoes that are very appealing to us and to many of our customers.

The Model 8571 by Maledetti Toscani
Among the many impressive Maledetti Toscani shoes the 8571 stands out.

Over the last few weeks we have been examining the Maledetti Toscani catalog with a fine tooth comb. Unfortunately, we got excited about too many products and we cannot afford them all. So we have decided to focus on a small subset of their kids, women, and men’s shoes. I do confess that the shoes that we want for ourselves and for our kids this summer made it to the top of the list and we expanded the order from there. We weren’t entirely selfish and had to sacrifice a lot of shoes that we wanted with the words: “we can get those for fall.”

The Maledetti Toscani leather shoes are, in our opinion, the perfect mix of superb leather and of design for the way people live today. They seem to be a wonderful complement for the clothes we aspire to buy and for the overall style that we seek. They go great with Campomaggi bags, we are sure, and they go even better with Maledetti Toscani bags, which we plan on buying later this year.