I just recently got back from my holiday and while the majority of it was spent in Upper Austria, I did also spend three nights in Madrid, a city that has a lot of meaning to me and a place where I spent almost one year of my life. While I am not a big fan of Spanish tailoring (they have a very weird way of rounding the lapel, that does not suit my taste) Spain has a remarkable pedigree when it comes to shoe-making and there are many brands making the rounds on social media. One, that is almost unanimously agreed upon to be the best value on the market, is a brand called Meermin Mallorca which produces excellent, good-year welted shoes for little money. In addition to their Classic Collection, they also have shoes using cordovan (leather made from horse hide) and the Linea Maestro which are made by hand and naturally follow a higher standard of production. Most Meermin Mallorca shoes are produced in China with the final shoe being sent to Meermin to provide the finishing touch.
Within their Classic Collection you’ll find virtually every shoe model you could imagine from your standard oxfords to penny loafers and chukka boots. It’s safe to say that the Classic Collection will satisfy anyone looking for a good pair of shoes but not willing or able to fork out more for considerably pricier brands. Though the two brands have absolutely nothing to do with each other, Meermin Mallorca’s founders are from the same family that founded Carmina another notable Spanish shoemaker that comes in a higher price and quality category, though they really only share a family surname. I believe this is also why Meermin is able to source high quality leather from similar tanneries to Carmina, though I could be mistaken.
I was in Madrid and so I figured to circumvent any issues with sizing as well as shipping, I might as well visit the boutique directly. I had purchased a pair of monk straps about a year prior but eventually sold those because the fit and quality was sub-par. Though I had initially been eyeing some monks from the French brand Septieme Largeur, the price and convenience of being in Madrid ultimately convinced me to purchase a pair of dark brown double monks which can be found here. I preferred the Elton last over the Hiro last and also decided for a rubber sole as opposed to a completely leather sole simply because Berlin has significantly more rain than Madrid does. Working in a hotel also means you will have to go through back of house areas where things will be cleaned and beverages are spilled, thus a rubber sole is ideal for both Berlin and my job.
I haven’t worn them all too much yet, though I already know I enjoy them. These will give my Vass, which I usually wear at work, some rotation and allow me to break them in because admittedly the leather is quite stiff and not comparable to how easy and snug my Vass fit me when first bought them, however these are two shoes at completely different price points. I can see them being broken in quite soon because at my job I am constantly moving around, so hopefully the leather will relax a bit. Good things take time and that goes for shoes as well. As I lack the knowledge of cobbling I can’t extensively comment on the quality of construction. I can imagine that upon further examination there would be inconsistencies in the seams and stitching or places that aren’t put together as neatly as a shoe that costs 400€+ but this is also not to be expected at such a price point (Classic Line is 160€ a pair). These can be combined with both beautiful suits such as a classic navy or even paired with tailored jeans or trousers for everyday wear. For example in Madrid I wore these with high-waisted seersucker trousers and a white polo and was more than satisfied.
Bottom line is that I am very happy with my purchase and can recommend Meermin Mallorca to both true enthusiasts and anyone looking to add quality dress shoes for little money to their wardrobe. The fact that they stick to classic styles as opposed to doing funky colors, super slim profiles or weird fabric/textural choices is also a plus. They really just want to add a shoe for each occasion. The double monk strap, no matter, the brand is an essential for anyone looking to elevate their style and will certainly make you stand-out from the mundane, black oxford crowd.