Chanel espadrilles are another example of shoes which I was did not quite get at first. As a Chanel shoe lover, I have always associated their footwear with a very classic look and hence I was unconvinced about the thick, double sole and the heavy stitching pattern. Additionally, I had no idea on how or where to wear them to, and overall they seemed incompatible with my personal style.ย 

Honestly, I have never actually intended to buy Chanel espadrilles until one unsuccessful trip to the store when I planned to purchase something completely different which was not in stock at the time. Determined not to leave the store empty handed, the visit culminated in me wanting to buy something, anything (!!) flat. And that is how the espadrilles came into my possession. I opted for the popular nude with black toe caps version in lambskin and here are my thoughts on the matterโ€ฆ

Chanel espadrilles full body picture

Fit and Sizing

For someone whose current Chanel shoe collection runs in double digits and who consistently buys the same size each time, I was surprised to find out that I had to go half a size up in the espadrilles. When trying them on in the shop I was even considering going larger as I was barely able to fit into them. Luckily, a helpful sales assistant advised against it and reassured me that the delicate lambskin would stretch over time. And she was right! Thank goodness, after a few wears putting them on is no longer a major struggle but I would not say that they slip on easily.

Chanel espadrilles are designed to be relatively tight fitting and narrow to compensate for the very soft leather which, by its nature, does not hold the foot firmly in place. Wearing light, invisible socks also helps with putting them on, not mentioning that the socks should also absorb moisture keeping the espadrilles fresher for longer warding off unwanted shoey smells.

Once on, they fit well and do not feel too tight thanks to the very supple leather used in their construction. However, just like other Chanel shoes, at first they are quite snug especially at the toe box so your toes may feel gently squeezed, albeit not to the point of being in pain. But fear not, the leather will mould and stretch after a few outings so in the end they will fit like a glove. If you are too impatient to wait for the shoes to adjust naturally to your foot shape, you can use a shoe stretcher to speed up the process. [Back to Menu].

Close up on the shoes and Chanel bag

Are Chanel Espadrilles Comfortable?

I do not believe that there is anything controversial in saying that, in general, espadrilles are not meant for comfort or long hikes. This is not to say that lambskin Chanel espadrilles are uncomfortable. I was worried that the stiff, double jute sole would make these gorgeous shoes painfully unwearable, so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that this was not the case.

Admittedly, to avoid any potential blisters and sores, I started with a couple of short breaking in sessions to get a feel for the shoes, stretch them a little and, more importantly, to get used to the thick sole which initially felt quite high for espadrilles (approximately 2cm). This seemed to do the trick. I have never experienced any issues, discomfort or blisters since although I do not usually wear my Chanel espadrilles all day long. Letโ€™s face it, they belong with the sand and the sea and the chic summer city outing, but there are far more suitable alternatives fashioned for a heavy-duty, long day wear.

Tip โ€“ Chanel espadrilles have a flat insole which does not provide a heel support like the other Chanel flats. Therefore, for additional comfort I would recommend using heel cushion inserts to elevate the foot slightly. This should help to protect feet and knees from aches and pains especially after a longer wear. [Back to Menu]

Chanel espadrilles side view close up


The chic and stylish appearance of the espadrilles have contributed to their growing popularity ever since they were first introduced by Chanel circa 2013. They have been available in a variety of finishes including lambskin, canvas, suede, mesh and tweed, to name a few, so there a lot of options to choose from! For my first pair, I chose the lambskin leather version in beige with black toe caps because lighter colours are the most prominently featured in my wardrobe and it seemed that they could be styled with nearly anything.

Chanel espadrilles, aside from the contrasting toe cap, have an interlocking CC logo at the uppers. Because in this variant the logo is made from the same colour leather as the espadrilles, it is visible but not overly garish or in your face, which is what I liked. The beige leather also blends in well with the jute sole and the natural stitching, making it visible mainly on the black toe cap where it contrasts the most.

Personally, I have never felt that espadrilles made a particularly stylish choice of footwear. When compared to the classic Chanel ballerinas they appear rather informal and chunky. However, with their double sole and the somewhat elongated and pointy toe box Chanel espadrilles convey a slightly more formal look than their standard equivalents. I have seen ladies wearing the all black leather variation in combination with a smart office get-up and Chanel pearls so they can be definitely styled up for a more elegant appearance. Still, to me the beige and black colour option seem more suitable for casual Fridays than corporate client meetings, but I am prepared to be convinced otherwise. [Back to Menu]

Close up on the CC logo

How Durable are Chanel Espadrilles?

While Chanel espadrilles may not be the type of the indestructible footwear which will become a permanent fixture in a wardrobe for years to come, their quality is superb and with appropriate level of care they should comfortably last for a few seasons. The elements most prone to showing signs of wear and tear are of course the jute sole which over time is likely to become fuzzy and the stitching joining the sole and the upper leather which may tear or become loose.

On top of that, even though the outer sole of the espadrilles is lined with rubber, it is important to keep the shoes away from the rain, pool, sea etc. to avoid the jute soaking up water because this may permanently damage them. The delicate leather uppers are also unlikely to take well to water after becoming damp which may cause shrinking and misshaping. Hence, care-wise there is certainly a lot more to think about than with the classic Chanel ballerinas.

Realistically, Chanel espadrilles are a seasonal footwear so they will not see the light of day for a good part of the year which should extend their lifespan. This is unless of course you are lucky enough to live in a climate where they can be worn all year round. For the rest of us not blessed with the eternal summer but fortunate enough to have in our possession a pair of beautiful Chanel espadrilles, taking care of these beauties off-season is a key.

To preserve them from misshaping, creases and discolouration, and to make them as long as possible it seems advisable to keep them in a box or dustbags with shoe filler or paper inserts so they retain their beautiful shape in readiness for the next season or holidays. [Back to Menu]

Chanel espadrilles side view

Good investment?

Chanel lambskin espadrilles are certainly the dream espadrilles. They are effortlessly stylish, luxurious and comfortable. However, at the price point just shy of ยฃ500 for the lambskin version (as of 2019) for seasonal footwear which is not meant to last, they are more of an extravagant, vanity purchase rather than a lifelong investment.

Having said that, because of their smart/casual appearance, they are far more versatile than other espadrilles and can be styled in many different ways, for instance worn as a substitute for sandals, sneakers or even summer office wear. Therefore, despite the hefty price tag their usability factor is high, you will definitely get a value for your money for as long as they last, and the easily recognisable design will earn you maaaaaaany complements. Overall verdict: Optional but welcome splendour. [Back to Menu]

Photos by Badiu Photography

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