About a month ago, I discovered a little gem of a shoe brand called M.Gemi. After taking a quick browse through their online store, I ended up with about 6 different pairs of sandals on my wishlist. I mean, how can you resist a pair of gorgeously designed, handmade Italian leather shoes?!
Well, I finally tried out my very first pair this month and I’m in already hooked and ready to order more (in fact, I have another currently on the way!). They’re called ‘The Attrice’ (update: these are now sold out, but a similar style – only with a shorter heel – can be found here.) and I’ve been wearing non-stop recently. Here’s a look at the beauts, along with my review and experiences shopping at M.Gemi so far!
Before I get into the shoe review, I have to talk a bit about the packaging. Boy does it scream class! The box isn’t the run-of-the-mill cardboard that can squish in a second – it’s a hard, sturdy box with a pretty print on the inside (works great for storage too!). They even go as far as to include your name on a tag in the inside, which is attached to a snazzy storage pouch that you can use to keep your shoes protected in storage, or inside your travel suitcase.
M.Gemi Review: The Attrice Sandals
Now onto the shoes…The Attrice is the perfect reincarnation of classic 70’s styles – from the wood stacked heel to the warm cognac, vachetta leather (which looks so smooth and supple, and apparently gets better looking with age!). I’m also in love with the front design and top strap, which looks so flattering on the foot and ankle! They’re the kind of shoe you pop on to elevate a tee shirt and jeans, but as you might expect, they also look right at home paired with a summery dress or skirt.
Measuring in at 3.5″ (90mm), the heel provides plenty of height, and yet the shoes are comfortable and easy to walk around in (though I wouldn’t recommend them for long city strolls or day trips). My limit for heels is 4″ (which I typically wear only for special occasions) and I was able to walk in these for a good 2 hours straight without my feet hurting. And no blisters!
The shape and construction of the shoe played a part in the comfort aspect as well. For one, like all of M.Gemi’s shoes, The Attrice sandals have a lightly padding insole made of leather, so you can a nice soft and slightly cushiony bed to lay your foot. The overall shape of the shoes also follows the natural curvature of my foot, so they feel well-supported, with pressure evenly distributed to parts other than just the heel and balls of my feet.
And speaking of fit, that’s probably the one area I struggled with when making my order. I wear a size 9 in pumps, and 9.5 in flats and sneakers. After taking the fit finder quiz, I was matched with 39.5, which is a sort of weird in-between size that supposedly matches up with both a size 8.5W and a 9 N. I do have narrow feet, but I was worried the length would be too short, but it actually fits really well. It’s not perfect though – the shoes are a little bit snug in the front area, but I’m hoping they’ll stretch out a bit with wear. I have a flat pair of sandals coming in in the same size, so I’m curious how they’re going to work since in those, I could be anything from a 39.5 to 40.5. I’ll update my findings here soon!
The nice thing about M. Gemi is that they offer free returns within 14 days, so if the shoes don’t fit, you can easily send them back (at no cost) with an included shipping label. If you pay full price, you’ll get a credit back on your original form of purchase. However, if you purchase something on sale, you’ll receive a store credit – just something to keep in mind!
The only thing I could possibly complain about is the fact that the heels aren’t made of rubber, but rather, what looks to be a hard plastic, so they can be a bit noisy on hardwood floors and such. But thankfully, they’re not slippery, even on slick surfaces.
Overall, I’m really impressed with my first pair of M.Gemi shoes! On top of the amazing quality and service, I also love the fact that M.Gemi partners and supports some of the top family-owned factories in Italy. It me, that justifies the higher price tag (and in comparison to other handmade Italian shoe brands, they’re quite reasonably priced!).
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Update (July 25, 2018): Here’s a look at The Cesta sandal – my second favorite M.Gemi find!
M.Gemi Review: The Cesta Sandals
These are beyond comfy and the fit – which I wasn’t sure would work – is spot-on. I got these in a size 39.5 (which is the same size I got The Attrice in) and even though they’re flat (which often results in me having to size up with some brands), they fit perfectly. The straps hold my feet in snug without feeling too tight. Plus, the sole is flexible and lightweight, which makes them very easy to walk around in.
Update (October 25, 2018): After trying out the above two sandals, I couldn’t wait to see what M.Gemi would drop boot-wise in the fall. Sure enough, they released the Corsa!
M.Gemi Review: The Corsa Boots
The Corsa comes in a range of colors and materials – from black leather to burgundy suede. I love the look of a lighter boot in the fall, so I went with Natural Suede. Here’s what they look like straight out the box.
The Corsa boot is so gorgeous and luxurious looking. The suede looks and feels incredibly rich and supple. They also have a relatively low heel (comes in at around 2″), which makes the comfortable and easy to walk in, while adding enough lift to create a flattering silhouette (even for those of us with very large feet!). The opening is also wide enough to allow for movement, while still looking flattering on slimmer legs.
Size-wise, as I mentioned earlier, I’m a 9 in pumps, and 9.5 in flats and sneakers (wearing very thin socks). Boots, however, can be tricky for me – I’m typically a 9 in most styles, but I tend to size up to a 9.5 if they’re flat and/or I plan to wear them with thicker socks. With these however, I had to size up to a 10 (41) for a comfortable fit wearing socks. The size 9.5 (40.5) pair was too narrow for me (and my feet are only medium width), while the toe box was too short/snug.
So my recommendation when it comes to sizing? If you plan on wearing no socks or very thin socks/stockings, go with your usual flat/sneaker size (or a half size up from your usual size in pumps/heels). If you plan to wear thicker socks, go a half size up from your usual size in flats/sneakers (or a full size up from your usual size in pumps/heels).
As I wear these beauties throughout the fall, I’ll also be keeping an eye out for M.Gemi’s new releases for winter (I could use some cold-weather boots!) – they drop a new style every Monday at 10am EST! In the meantime, here are a few more of my fall favorites from the brand…
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You can’t go wrong with a classic pair of white sneaks. These feature cushy rubber bottoms and soft leather, making them super comfy and perfect for all-day wear.
Another comfy pair of sneakers, with an updated twist. I’m loving the woven detailing (that’s actually handwoven nubuck leather!), and the easy, slip-on style. They’re the perfect pair to transition you from summer to fall!