Process

Designed in LA and made in Mexico, DaVinci shoes pair traditional shoemaking techniques with innovative design to create the ideal fashion-forward barefoot shoe. Every aspect of each shoe, from the leather to the laces, has been specifically sourced and custom-made for us. At our family-owned 15-person factory in Léon, each pair of DaVinci shoes is expertly handcrafted using the classic Stitchdown technique which forges exceptional durability and flexibility. Alongside tradition, DaVinci shoes reflect our deep environmental commitment, using recycled materials whenever possible as well as new design components in ecological ways. As recommended by podiatrists, our barefoot approach ensures comfort and orthopedic integrity which we incorporate with killer design, so our shoes aren't only good for your feet - they look good too.

We pride ourselves on our sustainably sourced hand-finished leather, living wages for our factory workers, and our dedication to the craftsmanship of each shoe. Our shoes are each named for streets in LA in the hopes that you may travel, on foot, and comfortably, far and wide between them.

Why Barefoot?

The way we walk is very important.. Unfortunately, modern day shoes are not designed for optimum foot health.. And this can lead to a lot of problems. Our feet are the first link that makes contact with the ground and takes the load of our entire bodies with each step. If our feet are not strong, this weak link can be the breaking point that can lead to many other issues with your knees, hips, and back.

It is said, modern day shoes, cause weak feet - or feet with low muscle mass that lose the ability to support the joints. This happens because most shoes contain excessive padding, have raised heels, they are too narrow, and have stiff soles. This leads to what is knows as "foot atrophied" or when your foot muscles deteriorate from non-use.

Enter barefoot: the philosophy that our feet are better off like cavemen’s. Barefoot shoes are designed to provide just enough support - allowing the foot to function naturally and with flexibility, sustain proper alignment, and feel things on the ground once again. The idea is you’re connected to the earth but protected from all the grime on the ground. It’s like the paleo diet for your feet.

If you've had foot problems in the past. They could be from your modern day shoes creating a situation where your feet lost their muscle mass.  

It is said, that everyone should go barefoot for at least a third of time.. Unfortunately, that is quite difficult today. But.. the next best alternative is barefoot shoes.. And at DaVinci Barefoot, we are proud to have produced a barefoot shoe you can wear everyday and still look great.  

The Science Behind Barefoot Shoes...

Barefoot shoes offer your feet a wealth of benefits, making them the top recommended shoe from orthopedic specialists. Scientists have found that barefoot runners rely on the natural architecture of the foot rather than on the crutch of a rigid shoe, thus avoiding painful and damaging impacts that non-barefoot shoe runners repeatedly experience. Our ancestors survived thousands of years without shoes, and many communities around the world still choose a barefoot lifestyle (there’s even the Society for Barefoot Living, established in 1994) which may be linked to their significantly lower rates of foot, back, and knee injuries.

Conventional shoes can cause the foot muscles to become weak and eventually atrophy - or worse: deform, which can be incredibly painful and require surgery. Running barefoot - and in barefoot shoes - uses, and therefore strengthens, foot muscles that are crucial to maintaining foot health. Unlike mainstream shoes, DaVinci shoes are sculpted to imitate barefoot motion: Zero Heel-to-Toe Drop: strengthens the feet and allows them to function naturally while reducing impact on the body and enhancing stability.

How Our Shoes Are Made...

It's said, that with the right leather, shoes can last a lifetime. High quality leather not only stands the test of time without tearing or ripping, it can also be wax, and polished to bring out an aging patina that many say adds to the beauty of your product.

And that's why at DaVinci Footwear, we only use oil and vegetable tanned leathers that are treated at the family- owned, full-service boutique tannery - Curtidos Bengala located in Léon, Mexico.  

Curtidos Bengala was established in 1978 with a commitment to superior quality, providing personalized service and the highest quality unique leathers. They are also a socially and environmentally responsible company - a trait which was crucial for DaVinci’s business - dedicated to being nature-friendly through the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced manufacturing. In 1985 they opened their own plant in an effort to reduce negative environmental impacts. To this day, they remain committed to decreasing their carbon footprint while still providing customers with the impeccable quality they’ve come to be known for in both their semi-finished and finished leathers. Curtidos Bengala’s work and performance leathers meet and exceed international physical testing standards, and their proprietary waterproofing system is the best in the world. The team is small and specialized, and workers are compensated with living wages. Curtidos Bengala’s tanning process ensures our leather’s flexibility and durability, as well as achieves the hallmark patina finish that DaVinci footwear boasts.


Our Factory

We make our shoes in Leon, Mexico - A city that lies near the heart of Mexico and is often referred to as "The Shoe Capital of the World". Leon boost a rich leather working industry that dates back hundreds of years with family owned tanneries who's knowledge dates back for generations.

Shoemaking became a part of Léon’s local industry 1645, as local cobblers and shoemakers passed their craftsmanship on to each succeeding generation.

Our shoes are made at Gran Barón. A decades-old small factory in the heart of Léon that was started by single mom Nadia Ceseña who now runs the operation with her husband Ernesto.

 

Gran Barón offers the level of generational knowledge and skill of the city, employing a team of 15 accomplished shoemakers who specialize in traditional construction techniques, including the stitchdown method used to create each pair of our footwear. The company values attention to detail and high quality, living wages, as well as flexibility in terms of design. They love to combine their traditional knowledge with innovative styles and ideas - which was crucial to our partnership,

since our team is comprised of seasoned shoemakers.
Most shoe companies throw a drawing at a factory and aren’t involved again until they see the final product; DaVinci designers, however, are acutely involved in the process at Gran Barón. We design our shoes, make our own samples, and work closely with the Gran Barón manufacturing team in order to arrive at the best shoe.

We micromanage every aspect of each shoe making sure we only receive the highest quality. All our leather is cut by hand to ensure we’re using the best parts of the hide,

The rubber for our soles, made from recycled coconut husk, is created specifically for DaVinci through a small rubber sole manufacturer, our cotton wax laces are made by the best textile manufacturer in the region, and we source our thread from one of the finest thread-makers in Léon.

Our leather is custom-made and tanned for us as per our specifications in terms of colors and appropriate thickness; even the leather for our mid-soles is custom-made for us according to the desired flexibility and durability. At Gran Barón, after months of trial and error and hundreds of samples later, these custom-made aspects are expertly welded together to create the DaVinci shoe. A product that we are proud to put our name on.

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