Elche's Famous Footwear

Elche's famous footwear industry is the largest in Spain and one of the most important in all of Europe. The city's palm groves are renowned far and wide as being the largest in Europe, but not many visitors are aware of its outstanding shoe factories and retailers. A further impressive shoe making industry can be found in the nearby town of Elda. The town also boasts a superb Shoe Museum. Here there are over 15,000 footwear related items showcasing the history and tradition of the industry. So, for a fine pair of shoes be sure to visit Elche's famous footwear factories.

Elche's Famous Footwear

The fame of Elche's footwear even extends to the Spanish Royal Family. The wife of the heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Letizia is a big fan of Pura Lopez and can often be seen wearing a pair of her shoes. Pura Lopez, a noteworthy fashion designer in her own right, is the daughter of  Elche shoe manufacturer Antonio Lopez Moreno. Founded by Antonio Vicente, Panama Jack is one of the best known Spanish shoe brands. Other well known brands to be found in Elche's shoe factories include Garvalin, Ana Roman and Salvador Artesano that offers free factory tours.

Elche's Famous Footwear Tours

Visitors wishing to explore some of the shoe factory outlets and shops should head for the Elche Business Park. This is located on the outskirts of the city and has numerous shoe factories and retail outlets. For a tour of a working factory and to browse its huge shoe warehouse, a visit to Salvador Artesano is a must. This is a bit closer to the city centre on Carrer Almenara.

For those in the know, this is a popular tour and receives upwards of 80,000 visitors a year. The tour starts with a wine tasting of the local sweet muscatel. Then it's a guided tour of the factory where you can watch the interesting manufacturing process. After the tour visitors can browse the retail outlet. This place is huge and offers thousands of shoes, trainers, boots, belts and bags.

El Corte Ingles

El Corte Inglés is the largest department store group in Europe. Their headquarters are based in Madrid and they boast branches throughout Spain. Outlets range from single department stores to entire shopping centres such as the one in Elche.