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The Traveling Sole

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Ilocos Inabel weave fabric with leather insole and sole plus really cute gold tassels, a shoe that has taken me everywhere. Pictured here against the beautiful tiles on the floor of Casa Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka

As every Gypsetter knows, comfortable footwear is crucial to exploration and aimless wanderings. But must we always choose comfort over style? I have never been one for wearing full own exercise trainer-rubber shoes while on holiday. At the most I own a pair of simple beige Keds and beige snakeskin print Hogans. Please if you ever see me touring around in that baseball cap-rubber shoes-fanny pack combo you have full authority to send me to the looney bin. Hence my eternally ongoing quest for the best stylish travel footwear possible. Destination is a big determining factor, I would never wear ballet flats in the dead of winter to Germany for example… But in general brogues, ballet flats and sandals are pretty versatile. It was last week as I dug up some of my airport OOTD’s for my piece “A Classy State” on how to feel First Class in Economy that I realized one of my absolute favorite pairs of traveling shoes are from a local brand SAPATO.

sapato sandals

So hard to decide! These are all too cute! Gladice leather and Garter low wedge sandal P2795

Drawn by the boho allure of the inabel fabric and cute gold tassels, I bought them for my honeymoon in Sri Lanka. I knew it would be warm and humid and sometimes closed shoes can be uncomfortable and chafing. The other option was sandals but I knew I’d be walking through city streets as well which can get dusty and dirty. I loved the fact that the shoes were fabric which kept my feet cool and that the insole was made of real leather because synthetic materials can trap sweat. The beautiful thing about this shoe is that the inside was also nice and cushy, which is my biggest dilemma with flats – sometimes when they are too flat, my arches hurt after awhile. These shoes have walked all over Sri Lanka, taken me through the side streets of Bangkok on a shopping trip, around the gardens of Singapore and have been one of my favorite everyday mommy shoes in Manila. Not only are they cute and practical but extremely well made as they haven’t fallen apart yet and have just been getting more and more comfortable with each wear.

sapato favorite styles

The best part is that these quality shoes are extremely affordable with many styles under P3000! Clockwise from top left: Rikki snakeskin, leather and garter sandals P2795; Lissa snakeskin and leather flats P3195; Alexa snakeskin, leather and garter sandals P2895; Carmen tricolor leather ballet flats P2995

As providence would have it, one of my yoga buddies Tess Santos is one of the owners of Sapato Manila and invited me to their store re-opening in Rockwell for the launch of their rebranding as SAPATO and an exclusive bespoke shoe making session. I chose their Carmen Tricolor Ballet Flats in a dusty kidskin metallic bronze with the cap and heel in natural snakeskin. I can’t wait to have them for my upcoming trip to Germany. I couldn’t resist and purchased another pair of flats – the Lissa Light Beige Snakeskin with a Kelly Green Leather Trim. The cut of the ballet flat is really comfortable as it moves well with the foot and reminds me of a pair of indian slippers I had before.

sapato wedge

A good neutral wedge is also perfect for traveling! Ashley Wedge P3995

I always get complimented when I wear my SAPATO shoes and I’m proud to say it is a local Filipino brand. Using only real leather inside and out, made with love and care producing high quality stylish shoes – proof being mine are still alive and kicking despite excessive use – SAPATO is a good example of what the face of Filipino design is today. Expert craftsmanship and quality materials and no longer just a product for expert but a brand on its own. I love  the fact that I could now style an entire outfit using only Filipino designers that’s worthy of any international runway or glossy. Here’s a look I am dying to rock on a gorgeous summer seaside town by the Mediterranean. A tailored embroidered dress by Filip+Inna (photo: with Alexa snakeskin, leather and garter sandals by SAPATO for walking on cobblestoned streets perched on cliffs holding on to this super chic Catarina snakeskin clutch by Aranaz and accessorized with simple gold-dipped bronze bangles by Natalya Lagdameo.

filipino global style sapato

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The Author

Writer. Traveller. Wino. Foodie. Bohemian at heart. "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." - Buddha


We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

We are The Gypsetters.

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