Authentic Greek (Cypriot) Sandals

Yesterday we headed back to Nicosia. This time we had our passports and crossed the border to the Greek side. Immediately it was obvious that we were somewhere different. I was suddenly confronted with lots of recognizable brands – MacDonalds, Starbucks, TopShop – there’s even a Marks and Spencer! On the Turkish side there are no European brands at all – though several stores emulate them, for example Tempo’s stores and supermarket bags are very similar to Tesco’s!

We wandered around the streets and had coffee and ice creams and I was really aware of not using the Turkish words for ‘thank you’ etc…

The highlight of the trip (sad I know) was stumbling on a sandal store. The sandals are made here in Nicosia and they are remarkably similar, if not identical to another sandal brand that I love wearing! The key difference is that these sandals in Nicosia were just 40 Euros! I ended up leaving with 2 pairs but I could have bought more – and may go back next week just to check. They are all leather with leather soles. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with them – never again will I spend over $200 on sandals. My sandals are identical to another brand’s sandal!

Astir bagFeet are badly in need of a pedi after almost 4 weeks of dust and heat! Just focus on the sandals!

gold sandalsI even got shoe bags to take them home in – a nice touch.

sandals

Astir Sandals have two Etsy stores – SandalsAstir and Sparta Sandals – and they will ship. Take a look – you will see many styles that you probably recognize. I found them true to size and I have a Eur 39 in mine. They only show photos in one particular color, but if you scroll through the photos you can see all the available colors that you can request and buy them in.

Not many people can say they are traveling to a different country for sandals hey? 😉

Here are some of the outfits I’ve worn over the past week – to state the obvious – it is damn hot here!

Alexa Chung dress (1)Dress – Alexa Chung for AG Denim (sold out but similar here) // Sandals – Astir Sandals

AllsaintsDress – AllSaints (on sale here with extra 20% off – sale ends tonight!) // Shoes – TopShop

Black shortsShoes – Ancient Greek Sandals // Shorts – J.Crew (on sale plus an extra 30% off with GOSHOPPING) // Top – Mango (similar here)

tassle shortsShoes – Avarca Pons // Shorts – J.Crew // Top – Everlane // Sunglasses – Warby Parker

Sensible Sandals.

Let’s talk spring, summer and sandals.  Sensible sandals.

I have succumbed to the Birkenstock trend I’m afraid.  A little late to the table, but it has taken me since last summer to convince myself that they can be both comfortable and ‘trendy’.  I’ve had a pair of Boston Birkenstocks for years as they are very much part of the Georgia summer uniform here, but I have rarely worn them in recent summers, opting for my Havaianas instead.

Here are some of the images that convinced me they were worth trying again.

Ashley Olsen loves her black patent Gizeh birkies.

AO birkies 3 AO birkies 2 AO birkies

And Heidi Klum is also a big fan of the Gizeh.

Heidi Klum b1 HK b2 HK b3

They look fab on a dude too – he looks so cool here.

dudes in gizeh

 

Gizeh

 

I have the white patent which I love.  They are super comfortable and for my ‘funny feet’ they are amazing offering great arch support.

I also love the traditional Arizona, but in this blue – it seems a little more feminine than the black if that is possible.

Arizona wtf

I’ve just received the Mayari in black to try too – very feminine and I love the toe piece on this style.

Mayari

IMG_5676

Another favorite of mine is very similar to the Mayari – the Yara – this time with an ankle strap.  I think they are so cool looking in this neutral brown.  Great with tanned feet on the boardwalk!

brown-yara-birkenstock-product-1-18055457-3-453359084-normal_large_flex

 

The other style of sandal that I have fallen for in a big way is the traditional Menorcan Avarca Pons.  Made in Spain, the leather is super soft, with no seams to rub on hot feet, and they conceal my crazy toes perfectly.  The soles are made of recycled bicycles tires so they are non-slip and I like the idea of ‘repurposing’ for my feet!  I find them incredibly flattering on – actually quite slimming on my wide feet.  The only downside is choosing which color to buy.  I have the taupe, but I’m thinking about a brighter color too – and maybe an ankle strap version🙂  I LOVE them and haven’t taken them off all weekend.

As for sizing it says they come up small but I am usually a US 8 – 8.5 and I went for a US 8.  I was nervous as often I am a EUR 39 and the US 8 here is labeled as a EUR 38.  The 8 is perfect though – the leather is so soft that it gives and stretches quickly to mold to your foot, so I would stick with your normal size as they may end up too big otherwise!

IMG_5702 Avarca pons AP1 AP2 AP3 AP4 AP5

Just to assure you I haven’t gone completely ‘sensible’ on you I’ve also ordered these Ancient Greek sandals…with wings…oh yes indeed how awesome are these?!

Ancient Greek

 

For those of you that prefer something a little less embellished how about this version?

Ancient Greek 1

 

Now if the rain clouds could just move to the Atlantic I’ll be a happy girl.  Get those pedicures done and the sandals on…sensible or otherwise!

 

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