Need to Own: Avarcas

avarcas-pons By nature, I am a researcher; I hunt and gather information like a crazy person. Recently, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw a pair of sandals that I NEEDED TO OWN. Their simple design screamed equal parts chic and comfy. Since there was no shopping credit, I Googled various search terms like "plain leather sandal with back strap" and "leather sandal with tire-like sole" and "leather sandal slight open toe and slingback heel." You get the point.

Finally, I actually did find them, and the style of the sandal is called Avarcas. They originated in Minorca, an island off the coast of Spain. Made with a leather upper, the soles are traditionally crafted from recycled car tires (so they're durable!). As evidenced by their Instagram appearance, their popularity has crossed the Atlantic into the U.S.

If you want an authentic pair of Avarcas, look for the label "Avarcas de Minorcas" and you'll know they were made on the island, with its seal of approval. PONS ($75, pictured) is one brand whose sandals are handmade by artisans in Ciutadella. However, we know cost is a factor, and you can get a pair for less money at places like Urban Outfitters -- we won't judge you.