You’ve read previously on CL about the new Velasca brand, founded by Enrico Casati and Jacopo Sebastio, when Enrico had the kindness of answering some of my questions (read interview here and here). I will not insist on the vision and position which they wish to achieve because they were very eloquent and open during the interview. What is hopeful from my point of view is the fact that the market segment of shoes costing less than 200 Euro is better and better represented.
By cutting out the middleman and dealing directly with the producers and customers, Velasca can price their shoes more competitively than other budget shoe brands. Not that until now there hadn’t been anything to buy, but some interesting brands like Shoepassion (see review here) or Scarosso, the budget models (especially the English ones), were quite unfortunate, the lasts were uninspired (some were utterly horrible) and the leather looked like plastic.
In the case of Velasca, things look quite the opposite way. Although the last is an RTW, meant to mould on a wide array of feet, it doesn’t give the impression of a last with an ordinary aesthetic. It is well built from the point of view of the comfort, offering a good support, the foot fitting in with it immediately. Velasca offers a wide variety of models both with leather soles and with Vibram soles. Very interesting for summer are the Belgian loafers in full-grained or suede leather, as well as the tassel loafers, both models costing 199 Euro.
Since I’m not a loafer guy, what interests me is the Oxford collection. The most interesting model is tumbled leather semi-brogue named Baron (179 Euro) . Unfortunately, Baron cannot be found among the two reviewed models, but you can find here more photos of it. The models below are Cicisbeo and Saccent (both 179 Euro). I’m satisfied with the two models, especially with Saccent, which suede leather behaves very well. The stitches are neat, no thread ends being visible. Thanks to the Blake-rapid stitching, both models are very comfortable and can be worn all day long without feeling them on your feet. Usually, in this price range the brogue punch holes are a bit irregular, which, surprisingly, is not the case for Velasca. As for the pro and con arguments, I honestly find it hard to call something down the Velasca guys when I look at the price tag.
Ever since you open the box you notice the care given to details. All the package breathes an Italian elegance. You feel that those shoes belong by an unlined jacket and a Doppio espresso. You don’t feel in your hand a less than 200 Euro value shoe, and especially it doesn’t feel or look like a less than 200 Euro shoe. Even if the Blake-rapid stitching weighed a lot in lowering the price, it’s wonderful that other details were not ignored. The present collection covers almost all tastes and it is expected to diversify, Velasca being a young brand.
In the end, should you buy Velasca? If you are used to C&J Hand Grade standards or you’re a fan of goodyear welted shoes clearly not. But if your budget is of less than 200 Euro and you need a comfortable shoe, neatly worked, if you are not interested in successive resoling and you do not intend to keep it for more than 10 years, then maybe Velasca is the answer to your question.