The new River Oaks Shopping Center location of Clorinda Antinori. 

If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent the shutdown wandering your house barefooted or donning those junky $2 plastic flip flops you got from the grocery store. But as we begin to step into the world again—while maintaining social distancing practices, of course—it’s time to slip on our big-boy-and-girl shoes.

Enter Clorinda Antinori. This high-end Italian shoe brand opened a Houston storefront June 10 in the River Oaks Shopping Center. Pamper your feet with high-quality leather shoes that are ripe with subtle elegance and Italian style, and will mold perfectly to your foot. 

“A leather shoe is supposed to be comfortable, to be malleable, and mold to your foot,” cofounder Antonio Aransaenz says. Most importantly, it must be comfortable.

Aransaenz started the brand 10 years ago with his Italian wife, Valentina Sorzana. The husband-and-wife duo design all of their shoes themselves while working with small, family owned factories in Tuscany, Italy, to manufacture them, which Aransaenz says makes all the difference. “A lot of brands have decided to cheapen materials,” and move their factories out of Italy, he says. But Clorinda Antinori focuses on quality leather and fabrics and expert craftsmanship for their shoes.

As for shoes, the brand offers a wide range of styles, from flats and sneakers that are ideal for the casual Houstonian, to flats for the “everyday working woman,” to classic espadrilles that are perfect for a summer garden party. While the focus is on women’s styles, Clorinda Antinori does offer men’s footwear, such as loafers and driving shoes.

The crisp, beautiful new River Oaks store carries about 150 different styles, Aransaenz says. As an added bonus, about 75 percent of the shoes offered here were designed with the Houston market and weather in mind. For example, the Vivien, an espadrille-like wedge, is light and airy for the Texas heat—it also conveniently comes in three colors, metallic gold, black suede, and metallic lilac.

The shoes are on the pricier side—most are priced in the $300-400 range, and some boots are closer to $700. But, Aransaenz says the cost is worth it because the quality of the materials and the timeless designs will ensure you’ll be wearing these shoes for years to come. 

2039 West Gray St. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon–Sat, noon–5 p.m. Sun. (832) 831-1828.

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