As early as the 12th century, Aymerick Picaud commented that he had seen the "abarcas" among us

ABARCA, it is said of the footwear made with cow tan leather and that was tied around the ankle and the calf with a wool rope.

Until the mid-twentieth century was the footwear used daily by the shepherds and landlords of the Cantabrian, being the most appropriate for the slopes and mountains, especially with rainy and snowy weather.

As early as the twelfth century, Aymerick Picaud commented that he had seen the “abarcas” among us.

History of Abarcas

Formerly, humanity walked barefoot, but when discovering the different uses of the skin, began to dress with it to protect its body.
As their main problem was the conservation of the skin, on a date without specifying and after experimenting with plants and fruits of the environment, they realized that by treating it with water in which the oak bark was introduced, it was better preserved. From then on, different tanning processes have been spread throughout history.

The first manufacturers of “abarcas” used untanned skin to make “abarcas”.
Nowadays, however, you can buy tanned leather, treated with oils and list
to be used, so that later, the craftsman works, molds and
dye to your liking.

At that time, both men and women, they used sandals in all
hamlets and as a result, there was one or more manufacturers of covers in all villages. Nowadays, however, the “abarcas” are only used in dance and folklore festivals, which is why there are very few artisans from the area who continue with this tradition in the Basque Country.

In the Guipuzcoan town of Deba we can find a craftsman who continues with this work started by our ancestors, Martin Sukia, craftsman who distributes his work throughout the Basque Country and who, playing with leather, has created new products.

From Deba to the world

Although requests for these products, especially come from the Basque Country, Martin’s work have been ordered from places such as Paris, Boise, Idaho, and San Francisco, in the US.