Walk Through:
On Foot
Edition 100
Tied by a unified style story, Walk Through is a themed focus on key pieces from brands exhibiting on Pitti Connect’s digital platform.

While our lockdown lifestyle may undoubtedly have been subsumed by most of us as sedentary, walking has, even in the worst of times, served as an essential activity and a fundamental part of daily life — be it for leisure, necessity, or health. 

As the architecture of our lifestyle changes and gets considerably amped up, so do our footwear needs. This season, footwear has traversed a series of aesthetic and functional changes, more than ever prizing comfort, and attempting bold overlaps between performance, craftsmanship, and classic elegance. Whilst sneakers have undoubtedly stolen the headlines in the footwear industry over the last decade, the consumer is starting to think about more sustainable choices. While the sneaker movement has been spoilt for choice especially with brands now looking to prioritize sustainability in their designs, many are looking to more traditional forms of footwear. Loafers, Derbys, and walking boot styles are back, and after two years of being indoors, footwear brands with an eye on comfort and adaptability are also entering the game- with the interest in technical outdoor sandals rising as a result.

In our most recent Walk Through installment, we spotlight the main players bringing mens’ footwear design into the contemporary age. 

“Excellence without compromise” has consistently been the sartorial mantra of iconic Northampton-born footwear Maison Edward Green. Propelled to the very top of the industry by a team of illustrious craftsmen, the British label prides itself with a profound understanding of tradition — and a knack for adventure to match. After well over a century of artisanal footwear production, the English house continues to refine and improve its process to suit the needs and tastes of today. 

Established in 1825, the Somerset-based shoe manufacturer has over the past two centuries cemented its reputation for quality, comfort, and innovative design. With continuous, painstaking attention to detail and construction, the label founded by brothers James and Cyrus has bred instantly distinguishable mens’ boot designs using traditional, pioneering shoemaking techniques with an avant-garde flair. 

The Italian shoe label was founded in 1960s Tuscany after a count realized his shoes were missing before competing in the Mugello circuit. After Andrea Ventura, a young Florentine shoemaker unexpectedly lived up to the task of crafting the noble car race contestant’s ideal shoe — light, flexible, soft, and with soles stripped of any red detail —, the race was won, and the iconic label was born. 

Founded in 1908, the classic French footwear label created by Richard Pontvert now operates all around the world, distributing the brand’s high-quality leather shoes from Antwerp to Tokyo. While using the top contemporary state-of-the-art technology, Paraboot stays true to its artisanal roots, infusing each design with a timelessly contemporary edge. 

Informed by the aesthetic and spirit of mountaineering, Italian footwear maison Zermatt uses its six decades of expertise in artisanal techniques, to shape the functional yet refined style of the modern adventurer. 

Italian mens’ footwear manufacturer Green George fuses Italian craftsmanship and understatedly luxurious English style — the label’s products are classical, restrained, attentive to quality and detail, whether in business or leisure everyday settings. 

Working from his father’s garage in 1940s Southern Italy, Lido Fortuna laid the strong foundations for what was to become a globally established label of artisanal, high-quality footwear, in the small town of Montegranaro, near the Adriatic coast. Fusing trans-generational passion for the craft with timeless simplicity and elegance, Lidfort endures for its technical and aesthetic mastery of style, and of life. 

While founded in the 1950s, the Italian company flows from an enduring shoemaking family business established in 1886 in the town of Ascoli Piceno where the label began crafting shoes of the local football team. Progressively, their artisanal output evolved to achieve heightened comfort, lightness, and softness of superior materials — appreciated by sportsmen and businessmen alike. 

London-based brand Horatio offers in each pair of shoes an ode to their design philosophy — one celebratory of strong, distinguishable character instead of polished predictability.  “For us, the classic shoe is about character” the brand states in its manifesto. “It’s a 20-year-old battered loafer that’s seen the inside of every pub in the square mile. It’s London personified.” Needless to say, Horatio shoes are made to be lived in — and to last. 

Existing at the intersection of nostalgia and innovation, Athletics Footwear uses cutting-edge technology to explore the binary of form and function, with equally meticulous consideration to style, quality, and performance. 

The Tokyo-based footwear label’s innovative range of winter sandals draws inspiration from both the contemporary urban landscape, the centuries-old spiritual identity, and traditional sartorial aesthetics of Japan. Gender-neutral, and suited for all ages, styles, and climates, the Subu concept lauds the understated time-resistance of sturdy quality and minimalist design. 
Visit the business pages of the featured brands on Pitti Connect: